Resources for Small Business Owners in Los Angeles County

Don Simkovich
Los Angeles County includes many business challenges, but supportive business servicesDon Simkovich

National small business week is wrapping up and here are links to resources for the many small business owners in Los Angeles County.

The county is home to a quarter-million small businesses and another 1.1 million sole proprietors—out of a population of 10 million county residents as noted on

The total employed is 3.1 million according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here’s a look at county resources and some requirements for business licenses.

Business Licenses

Businesses in any unincorporated areas like Altadena “need licenses if they have an impact on the health, welfare or safety of the public” and if they operate in Malibu, Westlake Village and Santa Clarita.

If you’re starting a business visit the county’s tax collector and treasurer website to see the business activities that require licensing.

Business Tax Credits

Paying taxes is as much a reality for small business owners as is finding clients and customers. The Los Angeles County Consumer and Business Affairs has a listing of tax credits and tax resources. Not all of them are current.

This includes:

California Competes tax credit designed for companies wanting to stay in the state.

Recycling Market Development Zones to benefit businesses using recycled materials.

Go-Biz California a portal of services for small business including site selection, permit assistance, and guidance through regulations.

Median Income

The county’s median income is $71,358 (2020), not that much higher than the national median income of $ 67,521 (2020) which was a slight dip from the previous year of $69,000.

Local chambers of commerce

Some of the best resources for small business owners are found in specific regions like the San Fernando Valley with the Valley Industry Commerce Association and the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and this link to doing business with the council.

Local chambers of commerce are some of the best small business resources, especially for networking and lobbying. There are 125 chambers locally with a listing here.

The cost of living and cost of doing business are high in LA County, but there are plenty of business resources to help with questions on all aspects of running a small company.

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I interview entrepreneurs, and dig into the news around Southern California, giving a voice to business owners, artists and more. I also co-write the thriller novel series Tom Stone Detective Stories.

Pasadena, CA

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