Expand Your Business
PLANNING THE NEXT STAGE FOR YOUR COMPANY
Need help getting building permits for improvements at your established business? Looking for ways to pay for those upgrades? Trying to find qualified new employees to expand your workforce? No matter where you are in your business, we are here to give you the support to keep your business moving forward.
Our goal is to help local businesses stay and grow in Sonoma County. As part of that goal, our Business Services Team gathers feedback from Sonoma County businesses like yours, to let local leaders know ways that governmental policies and regulations can best support the business community.
Business Expansion Checklist
Reviewing your original ideas will help you create a more current and relevant road map for continued success.
Update Your Business Plan
Check out local resources for free or low-cost business coaching services in our Business Resource Directory.
Assemble an Advisory Team
Checking in with your financial and legal team periodically is always a good idea. You might also consider finding a business mentor or informal advisory board to ensure that you continue to have a fresh perspective on your business.
Now is the time to review your existing business operations and make decisions on how best to move your business forward.
Evaluate Your Business Structure
If you started your business as a sole proprietorship, you may want to update your status if you’re now in a partnership or have hired employees—so check with an attorney or accountant for a review of your structure. For a list of business types, visit the State of California Type of Business Entity website.
Consider Your Location
When your business is in expansion mode, you might need more physical space.
To find available commercial properties or get current lease rates, contact your real estate broker. The EDB can also provide preliminary research on available properties and lease rates through the CoStar commercial real estate database.
Check with Planning Department
You will also want to check with the Planning Department where your business is located to make sure that the property you are considering is zoned for your business use.
Maintain Licenses and Permits
It’s a good idea to contact city, state and federal agencies for updates on licensing and permitting process and to keep your records up to date. Visit our Local Licenses page and State Licenses page for agency contact information.
Looking for new customers or clients? Considering a business expansion? No matter where you are in your business, we are here to give you the support to keep your business moving forward.
Research Your Market
Customer behaviors change over time, so get up-to-date information about your customers and how to reach them. Visit our business development tools page to find out how to obtain free and customized data for your business.
Increase Sales/Marketing Efforts
Continue to learn how to generate more business from your current customers or identify new customers. For ideas, consider attending a business workshop or utilize free or low-cost business coaching services.
As you move into a growth phase, make sure you have a good funding source that will sustain you through economic ups and downs. See our Finance Your Business page for a list of different lending options.
If you decide to hire employees, you will be required to register them for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Visit the State of California's website for detailed information on workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, and hiring employees.
If you need extra staff, learn the difference between hiring an independent contractor versus an employee at the State of California's page.
Research Wages and Trends
Find out what is going on in the Sonoma job market by taking a look at our quaarterly Job Market Tracker and Workforce Development Survey.
Services for Employers
The EDB, in partnership with Sonoma County Job Link, can help businesses tackle some of their most difficult workforce problems and connect your business to valuable support services.
- Workforce recruitment and retention
- Customized workforce trainings
- Subsidized hiring incentives
- Specialized hiring events
Check out our Find Employees page for more information on workforce training and incentives.
EDB Staff works directly with Sonoma County businesses to identify possible tax incentives and provide useful tips on the application process.
California Competes Tax Credit
The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit designed to help businesses stay in California by encouraging investment and the creation of new well-paying jobs. Detailed information on how businesses can qualify for this tax credit, visit the State of California's California Competes Tax Credit page.
Manufacturing and Research and Development Exemption
This Sales and Use Tax Exemption offers manufacturers a partial reduction in state sales and use taxes for certain equipment purchases and leases. Visit the state’s website for a complete list of qualifying purchases.
Currently, the State of California imposes a statewide sale and use tax rate of 7.25% (plus applicable district tax) on sales and leases of property. With the Manufacturing and Research and Development Tax Exemption, eligible businesses would only pay 3.9375% of the statewide sales and use tax, saving $39.37 for every $1,000 in purchases of qualifying property.
The partial tax exemption is available to businesses in the following North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) business categories:
- Manufacturing: NAICS codes 3111–3399
- Electric Power Generation: 22111-221118
- Electric Power Distribution: 221122
- BioTech Research and Development: NAICS 541711
- Physical, Engineering, and life sciences R&D: NAICS 54171
- Social Science and Humanities: 54172
Running a business can be lonely at times, especially if you’re a solo-preneur. Networking is a great way to connect with other business owners and get the support that you need. Here’s a list of where you can find local networking events and business organizations that you might consider joining.
Be sure to check out the EDB Events Calendar for business events, workshops, and forums hosted by the EDB.
Chambers of Commerce
|Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce||(707) 894-4470|
|Cotati Chamber of Commerce||(707) 795-5508|
|Forestville Chamber of Commerce||(707) 887-1111|
|Geyserville Chamber of Commerce||(707) 857-3745|
|Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce||(707) 433-6935|
|Hispanic Chamber of Commerce||(707) 575-3648|
|Mark West Chamber of Commerce||(707) 578-7975|
|North Bay Black Chamber of Commerce||888-846-5155|
|Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce||(707) 762-2785|
|Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce||(707) 884-1080|
|Russian River Chamber of Commerce||(707) 869-9000|
|Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce||(707)545-1414|
|Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce||(707) 823-3032|
|Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce||(707) 996-1033|
|Windsor Chamber of Commerce||(707) 838-728|