Small Business Liaison
The Department of Consumer Affairs Small Business Liaison (Liaison) assists small businesses by responding to and directing your inquiries to the appropriate area. The Department of Consumer Affairs has designated the Liaison as required by Government Code, Section 11148.5 (c).
The Department of Consumer Affairs is often asked what is needed to begin a business, what license/permits and requirements are needed, and who to contact for specific issues to ensure proper compliance.
A significant number of inquiries received by the Liaison are of a non-jurisdictional nature and are referred to the entities listed below. Please feel free to contact these entities directly.
Please be advised that the Liaison cannot answer questions related to or intervene in any investigation, enforcement or disciplinary action taken against a license or registration. Inquiries of those types must be directed to the appropriate agency within the Department of Consumer Affairs.
A quick guide to doing better business with the California Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Center
When you need general consumer information. The toll free line is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 800-952-5210. Automated services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Provides detailed information on the business permit, license and registration requirements.
State Board of Equalization
Information relating to sales or use tax liability, special taxes and fees, property tax administration, and franchise and income tax appeals.
Franchise Tax Board
Information relating to franchise tax requirements.
Employment Development Department
Information relating to unemployment insurance, disability insurance and employment tax.
Internal Revenue Service
Information relating to federal taxes and employer identification numbers.
Small Business Administration
Information regarding starting and managing small businesses.
Tax Information Center
Information relating to income, payroll, sales and use tax for businesses.
U.S. Business Advisor
Information and services provided by the government for the business community.
Department of Industrial Relations
Division of Worker's Compensation
Information relating to worker's compensation requirements.
Department of Corporations
Responsible for the regulation of securities, franchises, off-exchange commodities, investment and financial services, independent escrows, consumer and commercial finance lending, and residential mortgage lending.
Department of Business Oversight
Information relating to credit unions, industrial loan companies, banks, savings and loan associations or savings banks.
Department of Insurance
Information relating to requirements for insurance companies, agents and brokers.
State Bar of California
Office of Certification
Information relating to registration of law corporations and limited liability partnerships.
Department of Justice,
Registry of Charitable Trusts
Information relating to charitable trusts and public benefit corporations.
Information regarding importing and exporting issues related to the U.S. Customs Service.
U.S. Department of Commerce
Promotes American businesses keeps a vast array of economic statistics. Conducts the census, issues patents and trademarks, sets industrial standards.
California Business Investment Services (CalBIS)
Provides tailored site selection and investment counseling services for businesses, real-estate executives, and site selection consultants considering California for new business investment and expansion.
California Chambers of Commerce
Provides links to the websites of California Chambers of Commerce.
California State Association of Counties
County agency where the principal place of business is located. Information relating to city/county/business licenses, fictitious business name requirements, zoning, building permits, etc., dependent on business entity activities. To determine the applicable county agency, please refer to the list of California counties provided on this website.
If the DVBE participation is a requirement of the competitive solicitation then a bidder must document their commitment to full DVBE participation or provide an approved Business Utilization Plan.