State Agencies and Liaisons
California State Agencies for Small Business Support
Agencies across the State of California provide services and resources to small businesses to assist with topics ranging from business registration and taxes, employment policies, and environmental risks and concerns. These agencies provide direct assistance to California’s business owners and their employees through a variety of services and expertise.
Business Licensing and Permits
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration provides online services to assist businesses with registering a permit, license, or account for Sales and Use Tax and most of the Special Tax and Fee programs.
Services: Seller’s Permits; Business Licenses and Permits; Tax Payments
Phone: (800) 400-7115
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control manages the administration of alcoholic beverage licenses, regulates compliance with the laws of the ABC Act, and publishes educational information on preventing alcohol related crimes and responsible practices.
Services: Alcoholic Beverage Licensing; Education Services
California Secretary of State (SOS) Business Programs Division
The Business Programs Division, the largest division of the Secretary of State’s office, supports California by registering business entities and trademarks and enabling secured creditors to protect their financial interests. The Business Programs Division processes millions of business filings and information requests each year.
Services: Register a Business; Request Copies of Business Entity Documents
Phone: (916) 657-5448
Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
The California Franchise Tax Board assists taxpayers with filing tax returns timely and accurately. The department provides information for business owners looking to clarify their filing needs and identify potential fraud or tax scams.
Services: Tax Filing; Tax Education
For business filing information, visit ftb.ca.gov.
Direct assistance with small business tax filing requirements can be found with the FTB Small Business Liaison at ftb.ca.gov
Board of Equalization (BOE)
The California State Board of Equalization administers tax, fee, and appellate programs to support state and local government. The taxes and fees associated with BOE include: Property Tax, Alcoholic Beverage Tax, and Tax on Insurers. The Alcoholic Beverage Tax and Tax on Insurers are jointly administered with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).
Services: Property Tax; Alcoholic Beverage Tax; Tax on Insurers
California Tax Service Center
The California Tax Service Center is a partnership between the Board of Equalization (BOE), California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), Employment Development Department (EDD), Franchise Tax Board (FTB), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Tax Service Center connects business owners to the applicable department to quickly navigate their business tax requirements. Visit theSmall Business Assistance Centerfor additional assistance with business startup, management, and closures.
Services: Tax Assistance; Business Tax Education
California Department of Insurance (CDI) Community Relations and Outreach Branch
The California Department of Insurance regulates insurance practices and consumer protection in the State of California. The Community Relations and Outreach Branch works directly to assist wildfire survivors, local governments, small businesses, community service organizations, neighborhood associations, and consumers in accessing the Department’s services, including educating consumers through the development and distribution of insurance informational guides, in print and online.
Services: Insurance Regulation; Consumer Protection; Education
Phone: (800) 927-4357
To view this guide in other languages, click here.
Employment Laws and Education
Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA)
The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency oversees seven departments, boards, and panels that serve California’s workers and businesses. Each of the agencies below provide different services to support employment in the State and provide protections to workers.
Agriculture Labor Relations Board (ALRB)
The California Agricultural Labor Relations Board guarantees justice for all agricultural workers and stability in agricultural labor relations by protecting, implementing, and enforcing the rights and responsibilities of agricultural employers, employees, and labor organizations.
Services: Agriculture Employee Protection; Employment Education
California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB)
The California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board is an independent administrative court system for workers and employers seeking to challenge decisions made by the Employment Development Department (EDD).
Services: Unemployment Insurance Appeals; Unemployment Education
California Workforce Development Board (CWDB)
The California Workforce Development Board is responsible for the oversight and continuous improvement of the workforce system in California, which encompasses a wide array of work, including: policy development; workforce support and innovation; and performance assessment, measurement and reporting.
Services: Workforce Policy; Workforce Education
Department of Industrial Relations (DIR)
The California Department of Industrial Relations protects and improves the health, safety, and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. DIR administers and enforces laws governing wages, hours and breaks, overtime, retaliation, workplace safety and health, apprenticeship training programs, and medical care and other benefits for injured workers. DIR also publishes materials and holds workshops and seminars to promote healthy employment relations, conducts research to improve its programs, and coordinates with other agencies to target egregious violators of labor laws and tax laws in the underground economy.
Services: Labor Laws and Compliance; Employment Education
Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH / CalOSHA)
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA, protects and improves the health and safety of workers in California and the safety of passengers riding on elevators, amusement rides, and tramways – through the following activities: Setting and enforcing standards; Providing outreach, education, and assistance; Issuing permits, licenses, certifications, registrations, and approvals.
Services: Workplace Standards; Workplace Safety Education; Permits, Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Employee Development Department (EDD)
The California Employee Development Department manages the state’s unemployment programs, disability insurance regulation, paid family leave enforcement, payroll taxes, and publishes labor market information. The department publishes resources for employers to provide education on the roles and responsibilities of having employees.
Services: Payroll Taxes; Family and Disability Leave; Unemployment; Employment Education
Employment Training Panel (ETP)
The Employment Training Panel provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. ETP prioritizes small business training and is an essential resource for small business employers who may otherwise have no means to train their workers.
Services:Employee Training; Innovation and Training Grants
Environmental Health Regulation
California Air Resources Board (CARB)
The California Air Resources Board is charged with protecting the public from the harmful effects of air pollution and developing programs and actions to fight climate change. From requirements for clean cars and fuels to adopting innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, California has pioneered a range of effective approaches that have set the standard for effective air and climate programs for the nation, and the world.
Services: Vehicle Regulation and Compliance; Air Pollution; Environment Education
Department of Food and Agriculture
The California Department of Food and Agriculture oversees the protection and promotion of agriculture. Those goals include licensing for cannabis cultivation, supporting agricultural production and innovation, overseeing agriculture marketing, enforcing weights and measures laws, and protecting the environment and food supply against pest and pesticide, among others.
Services: Cannabis Cultivation Licenses; Agricultural Production and Innovation; Agriculture Marketing; Weights and Measures; Pest and Pesticide Regulation
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment manages the assessment of health risks posed by environmental contaminants. OEHHA can help businesses understand the requirements of Proposition 65 and how to ensure their business follows its protocols.
Services:Health Assessment; Environment Regulation and Education
Fraud and Scam Protection
Department of Financial Protections and Innovation (DFPI)
The California Department of Financial Protections and Innovations regulates licensing of financial institutions, provides alerts on fraudulent activities and scams, posts advisory notifications on remaining vigilant against threats to your business, and publishes educational information on how to keep your business protected from predatory lending.
Services: Fraud Education; Financial Institution Licensing
Procurement, Acquisitions, and Small Business Certification
Department of General Services (DGS) Procurement Division
The California Department of General Services serves as business manager for the state of California. The DGS Procurement Division (PD) sets state procurement policies and provides purchasing services while advocating for Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (SB/DVBEs).
Services: SB/DVBE Certification; Procurement and Contracting
Phone: (916) 375-4400 or (800)-559-5529 (Toll Free)
California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)’s Office of Brownfields
The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)’s Office of Brownfields mission is to protect California’s people, communities, and environment from harmful chemicals and to enhance economic vitality by restoring contaminated land. We encourage small and disadvantaged businesses to respond to solicitations for contract opportunities that will help us promote environmental justice in vulnerable communities. DTSC’s Office of Brownfield’s small business program quick reference guide provides an overview of how to work with our agency and support our mission.
California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
The California Department of Consumer Affairs administers license types including certificates, registrations and permits, from architects to accountants, dentists to veterinarians. Through the BreEZe Online Licensing portal, licensees and applicants can submit license applications, renew a license and change their address among other services.
Services: Professional Licenses
Phone: (800) 952-5210
BreEZe Online Licensing: https://www.breeze.ca.gov