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County of Sonoma California
Economic Development Board

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Business Assistance Guide and Hotline

Business Hotline

The EDB’s mission is to encourage the startup, retention and expansion of businesses in Sonoma County. We offer several types of small business assistance, through which we provide a wide range of services and resources. We have attempted to provide a comprehensive list of information, but due to the regulatory nature of business formation, the resources below are a work in progress. If we have overlooked anything, we welcome your comments, as they will help us further refine these resources. Please email comments and suggestions to

FREE Personalized, One-On-One Business Assistance

Put our NEW Business Assistance Officer to work for YOU! The EDB now offers FREE one-on-one business assistance intended to help new and existing businesses understand and fulfill permitting, licensing, registration and other regulatory requirements. In addition, the Business Assistance Officer can also help you find financing resources, connect you with services that will help you find qualified employees, and much more. To take advantage of this FREE, CONFIDENTIAL service, call the EDB’s Business Assistance Officer now at (707) 565-7589.

"Ten Steps: A Guide to Starting your Business in Sonoma County"

Ten Steps to Starting Your Business in Sonoma CountyThe EDB’s brand-new step-by-step guide to starting a new business. "Ten Steps" will guide you seamlessly through the process of getting your business started and compliant with rules and regulations. The guide includes contact information for each local regulatory, planning and permitting agency, as well as for state and federal licensing. Also included are several resources that will help prospective business owners put together a business plan, and prepare for the future. While it includes many resources for new businesses, the guide also contains information for businesses that are looking to expand their operation and/or workforce.

Ten Steps to Starting your Business in Sonoma County. (PDF: 74 kB)

Español: Diez Pasos: Una Guía para Iniciar su Negocio en el Condado de Sonoma (PDF: 6.92 MB)

Construction Toolkit

Construction ToolkitConstruction Toolkit: (PDF: 5.40 MB) A step-by-step guide for starting a construction business in Sonoma County.

Whether you are just starting out, and need to get your California Contractor’s License, or you are a bit more established and looking to expand your business, the Toolkit contains the resources and contact information you will need to get the job done. In addition, this Toolkit will provide you with some basic local data on economic and construction trends designed to help you make informed choices as to how to grow your business.

If you have questions at any time as you go through this information, or as you begin to navigate the required steps in building your business, we encourage you to contact the Sonoma County Business Assistance Hotline at (707) 565-7589. Through the Hotline, you will find prompt, personal, and free answers and resources.

Online Business Assistance Guide

Although not intended as a step-by-step guide to operating a business, the Sonoma County Business Assistance Guide will help direct you to those information sources and agencies you must contact before you can open your doors for business. The business checklist below provides much of the information needed prior to beginning or operating a business. If you would like one-on-one assistance, please call the EDB’s Business Assistance Officer at 707-565-7589. In addition, many resources are available on these topics at public libraries, public and private agencies and nonprofit associations that foster small business development, and on the Internet. Where possible, this guide provides contact information for these resources.

Business Checklist

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