Business Start-up Resources

The list of resources below provides entrepreneurs with contact information for agencies that can help entrepreneurs plan, finance, site, and market a successful business in San Diego.

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.

Private Resources

There are a number of private organizations that provide business assistance information, market research, technical assistance consulting and networking opportunities.

  • Fermanian Business Center
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    3900 Lomaland Drive
    San Diego, CA 92106
    (619) 849-2692, Fax: (619) 849-2691

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.


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.

  • California Secretary of State
  • Sacramento Office
    1500 11th St., Third Floor
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    (916) 657-5448
  • Los Angeles Regional Office
    300 South Spring St., Room 12513
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
    (213) 897-3062

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
    880 Front St., First Floor
    San Diego, CA 92188
    Information: (800) 829-1040
    Forms and Publications: (800) 829-3676
    (The IRS's small business tax guide is an invaluable tool for tax planning)
  • Department of Commerce
    U.S. Export Assistance Center
    9449 Balboa Ave., Suite 111
    San Diego, California, 92123
    Phone: (858) 467-7032
  • U.S. Customs Service
    Airport and Seaport (619) 685-4304
    Otay Mesa Border (619) 690-7696
    San Ysidro Border (619) 690-8800
    Tecate Border (619) 938-8300
  • Small Business Administration
    550 West C St., Suite 550
    San Diego, CA 92101
    (619) 557-7250
    Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) Consulting Services
    (619) 557-7272


Financial 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.

  • ACCION San Diego (requires at least six months of business operation)
    Phone: (619) 795-7250, Fax: (619) 795-7260

Additional Resources

  • Office of California-Mexico Affairs
    (619) 645-2660
  • Office of California-Mexico Affairs
    (619) 645-2660
  • Center for Applied Competitive Technologies
    (619) 230-2080
  • Community College Regional Consortium
    (619) 660-4357
  • Contracting Opportunities Center
    (619) 285-7020
  • Emerging Business Center
    (619) 544-1365
  • Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee (MAAC) Project
    (619) 426-3595
  • Metropolitan Transit Development Board
    (619) 231-1466
  • Regional Training Center (619) 792-6501
  • SDSU Defense Conversion Center
    (619) 594-3393