OCEANSIDE — With all the bad news about the economy, it is encouraging to hear that Oceanside issues close to 2,000 new business licenses a year. Business startups range from out-of-area contractors who work in Oceanside, to local brick and mortar storefronts and home-based businesses.
To help entrepreneurs get started, experts from the Small Business Development Center, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Oceanside Economic Development Commission and city departments shared business tips and resources at the Small Business Forum on Nov. 8.
Jackie Bickford, of the financial services department, said there are some common errors new business owners make.
Prospective storefront business owners often forget to check with the planning department to make sure the location they have in mind is zoned for the type of business they perform.
Home-based business owners frequently overlook obtaining a state sellers permit before they apply for a license.
“It can be overwhelming,” Bickford said. “It’s nice to break it down a bit.”
Other “must dos” before applying for a business license are to register the business name, officially publish it in a newspaper and obtain an IRS federal tax employer ID number, said Joe Molina, program director of business and entrepreneurship at MiraCosta College.
The next order of business is to open a business bank account, tax saving account and payroll account.
“Have a very clear idea about your goals, why you want to start the business and what you expect to gain,” Molina said. “Have savings before starting the business. Cash is the energy that drives the business.”
Starting a home-based business can be accomplished in a day and $150 in startup fees. A storefront business will take 30 to 60 days to open. An existing business with some inventory can be purchased for around $10,000.
As a general rule, transactions need to be made within 12 months of opening a business to cover startup expenses. Business profits usually start rolling in within the first three years.
“Of course, it varies from business to business and there are many variables that come into play,” Molina said.
The city website has a checklist of tips prospective business owners can review before applying for a license.
The Oceanside Public Library is another useful business resource. In addition to numerous books that cover all aspects of business from marketing to operations and finances, there is also an online database that can be accessed from home computers.
Other business resources include the Small Business Development Center and the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, which provide classes and networking opportunities.
“One question networking can solve a small problem,” Jim Schroder, Economic Development Commission chairman, said.
Entrepreneurs said they were encouraged by the information shared at the Small Business Forum.
“It was good to have everything spelled out,” Evan Ingle, an Oceanside resident, said.
“There are certain hoops to jump through,” Carlos Galvan, an Oceanside resident and prospective business owner, said. “What I found out today is the business idea I have is possible.”
Schroder encourages those who are thinking of starting a business to take advantage of city resources.
“Oceanside is business friendly,” Schroder said. “Yes there are rules and regulations. Yes you can do it. You need to cry before you crawl, and crawl before you walk.”