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Cerritos Small Business Resources

Launching a business in Cerritos, CA can provide a wide range of benefits to startups, while also working to meet the needs of the community. Cerritos has much to offer, including an excellent geographical location close to Los Angeles and all of Orange County. It is also easily accessed, thanks to the I-5, I-605, and I-91 freeways, making it a solid choice for companies that plan to serve the region.

Deeper within the community, Cerritos has a smaller feel with its numerous noted neighborhoods, commercial districts, and a beautiful tree-lined park system. For a business that is looking for a local base close to a strong economic center and lots of consumers, Cerritos is a perfect choice.

Considering these factors, any business may wish to consider the value of starting up in Cerritos. Yet, there’s so much more available here than some other communities offer in the way of support and resources. If you are planning to start a business in Cerritos or the surrounding area, these resources can help you get off the ground fast and with the best possible support for long-term success.

Community Business Incentives

As a startup or business moving into Cerritos, you will find there is a generous amount of help and support available. The community offers business incentives to encourage the area’s continued economic health growth.

Some of those incentives, which you can learn more about through the City’s business website, include:

  • Fast access to business permits for expansion, tenant improvements, and other permits, including some as quick as just a matter of days.
  • No/low property taxes as companies are not assessed any added cost to operate here as they are in other communities. They do not pay city utility user taxes, city impact fees, street lighting assessment fees, or library assessment fees.
  • The city provides businesses with a 5% discount on electric utility costs. It also has some of the lowest water rates in the county and region as a whole.
  • There are several business-oriented development zones already present, all of which are well-maintained and accessible.

The city’s ombudsman program is a unique resource. It provides a way for community businesses to get the support they need while interacting with and developing to meet the needs of consumers. It is a type of partnership that is forged between the businesses in the community and the city itself. This is a core resource available through the city’s Business Retention and Economic Development team.

Business Licenses and Permits

To obtain a business license to operate in the city, companies need to turn to the Cerritos business license division. The good news is they have moved this system to a fully online resource, which means you don’t have to wait in lines or make an appointment.

You can call the Business License Office with questions at any time at 562-916-1236. Or, if you are obtaining your initial business license or paying your business license fee, you can do that on their website at permits.cerritos.us.

First, you’ll want to create a new account for your company on that site, and then submit an application for your business license. Typically, this process takes about 1 to 2 weeks to complete but may be sooner in some cases. The costs depend on the business type, but they usually range from $50 to $100.

Business Formation

For a company to operate in the city, they need proper registration. A core component of this for many companies is the creation of an LLC. While not a legal requirement, an LLC provides company owners with ample protections, including safeguarding personal assets from liability claims.

The state of California requires companies to register their business formation. A simple and helpful resource for this in California, and Cerritos specifically, is Tailor Brands. They provide a full guide to registering an LLC in California that can speed up and amplify the process, saving you time and money. They also offer a Registered Agent service that meets the requirements set by the state.

Small Business Health Insurance

The state requires many businesses to offer quality insurance to employees. However, as a small business owner, you may qualify for the Covered California Small Business Program. All small businesses that have 50 full-time employees must offer health care coverage under the state’s laws. However, many companies offer coverage even if they have fewer employees because it is a very important consideration when choosing employment.

Covered California makes this rather simplistic and easy to do. It is an organization established by the Department of Health Care Services in the state and allows companies to obtain quotes for:

  • Health insurance plans
  • Dental insurance plans
  • Vision insurance plans
  • Bundled plans

Companies can create an online login and then navigate the process of comparing policies and determining which is best suited for their needs.

OSHA Guidance

Companies that need to establish operations in the state must meet all California and OSHA guidelines for creating a safe workplace. These rules are very specific to the type of industry itself, not just related to the overall general safety of employees.

The State of California Department of Industrial Relations provides this type of support. Here, you can learn about COVID-19 regulations that may still be in place.

For companies that are just launching, it is possible to obtain a free consultation to set up and manage your company’s needs right on the organization’s website.

Los Angeles County Consumer & Business Affairs

The county itself can also provide companies with a wide range of resources to support their growth and development. The Small Business Concierge service is one of the best county-focused opportunities available. It is provided by the Los Angeles County Consumer and Business Affairs Department as a way to support business owners considering the move into the county, including into Cerritos.

It can aid with several resources:

  • Get counseling services as a small business owner to find and locate business locations.
  • Receive support in drafting a business plan.
  • Learn about available local small business lending options from the county.
  • Acquire business development resources for the company.
  • Attend Small Business Saturdays, a once-a-month opportunity to learn how to grow your company.

Taxes in Cerritos

For those companies that plan to operate in the city, it is critical to understand local, state, and federal tax requirements. This can be done through the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration’s Cerritos office. You can access them in person by visiting their location, or you can contact them by phone by calling 562-356-5641. You can also file a form online to set up an appointment.

Though speeding with an attorney is critical, most small businesses in the state can expect the following taxation in the city:

  • The sales tax rate in the city is 0%.
  • The sales tax rate for California is 6%
  • Los Angeles County’s sales tax rate is .25%.
  • There is also a 1% tax for Los Angeles County Tax Sl and a 2.225% tax rate for the Los Angeles County Tax SP.

The total sales tax rate is 9.5%. To learn more about the taxes companies may have to pay based on the industry and type of sale, visit the Business Taxes and Fees section of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration website.

Establishing a business in Cerritos, CA can offer a wide range of benefits. With these small business resources, it may be easier to get your company off the ground.