So you want to start or expand your business in San Diego?
Here are some helpful links to help entrepreneurs do the research for planning, financing, locating and marketing a business in San Diego:
- City of San Diego Resources
- Private Resources
- County of San Diego Resources
- State of California Resources
- U.S. Federal Government Resources
- Financial Resources
- Additional Resources
City of San Diego Resources
The City of San Diego provides general information on starting and operating a business, significant resource materials, market research information, small business troubleshooting, and regulatory, permitting and licensing information. The most important resource is the City's Economic Development Department, which acts as a clearinghouse for small business assistance information.
- City of San Diego Public Library
- City Treasurer's Office
- City Development Services Department
- San Diego Startup Ecosystem Map (Incubators, Accelerators and Coworking Spaces)
There are a number of private organizations that provide business assistance information, market research, technical assistance consulting and networking opportunities.
- San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
- San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
- San Diego Center for International Trade Development
- Fermanian Business & Economic Institute
County of San Diego Resources
Many businesses that operate a business in the City of San Diego must also work with several County of San Diego agencies to successfully complete the process of opening a business. For instance, many businesses will need to file a fictitious business name through the County.
- County Business Resources
- Assessor, Recorder, County Clerk
- County Department of Planning & Development Services
- County Department of Environmental Health
- County Air Pollution Control District
State of California Resources
Many City of San Diego businesses will need to work with state agencies if they intend to incorporate their business, sell alcohol and other goods, hire employees, etc.
- State Board of Equalization
- State Employment Development Department
- State Compensation Insurance Fund
- State Alcoholic Beverage Control
- California Secretary of State
U.S. Federal Government Resources
The federal government provides a host of pertinent information and services to small businesses, including consulting services, tax information, export information and wage and hour information.
- Internal Revenue Service
- U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services
- Department of Commerce
- U.S. Customs Service
- Department of Labor
- Social Security Administration
- Small Business Administration
- SCORE Association
- United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Small Business Export Resources
Several financial resources exist for small businesses in San Diego. However, loans are generally not available to start-ups. Most loan programs require that businesses have at least one year of history.
For additional information on financial resources, visit Financing Your Business.
- CDC Small Business Finance Corporation
- California Southern Small Business Development Corporation
- City of San Diego Business Finance Loan Program
- Accessity (formerly known as ACCION) San Diego
- Storefront Improvement Program
Economic Development Organizations and Chambers of Commerce
- East County Economic Development Council
- San Diego North Economic Development Council
- South County Economic Development Council
- San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
- North San Diego Business Chamber
- Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce
- San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
- City of Chula Vista Economic Development Department
Industry and Service Centers and Organizations
- Better Business Bureau
- BioCom San Diego
- Center for Applied Competitive Technologies
- Industrial Environmental Association
- Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee (MAAC) Project
- The Maritime Alliance
- MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego
- North San Diego Small Business Development Center
- Propel San Diego (Defense Industry initiative)
- Regional Training Center
- San Diego Convention Center Corp.
- San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC)
- San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
- San Diego Tourism Authority
- San Diego Unified Port District
- San Diego Workforce Partnership
- South San Diego Small Business Development Center
- UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization