Business Toolkit

The City of Eureka has development a business toolkit in partnership with the North Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to help guide new businesses through this City and its departments. The toolkit can be navigated within the City's website, or can be downloaded as a PDF. Please give us feedback on the document so it can continue to meet the needs of our diverse business community!

BUSINESS 101 CHECKLIST

JUMP TO SECTION:

Create a Business Plan

Plan for Location & Workspace Needs

Fulfill Business License and Permit Requirements

Plan for Equipment

Get Funded

Engage for Success

Guide to City Departments

 

Create a Business Plan

A business plan will help you clarify your business goals and identify action steps for achieving those goals. If you're missing important details regarding your business, drafting your plan will make those "trouble spots" obvious and will make it easier to reach out for targeted assistance. A business plan is also important for investors, who will typically ask to see realistic projections for a project’s timeline and costs.

 

Understand Your Location and Workspace Needs vs. Government Requirements

Requirements and safety codes can greatly affect  your business in a wide variety of ways, from how a space is used to how equipment is installed. Before deciding on a location, it is incredibly important to have a thorough understanding of how and when your space will be used.  We recommend making a list of everything you will be doing in the space and calling the Economic Development or Planning Department to make sure you have a full understanding of the regulations outlined in the Eureka Municipal Code. This will help you identify what type of space you’ll need, as well as help you think through special inspections of permits you’ll need to do business. Are you a small office-based startup? If so, consider using a local co-work space!

  •  Read the tip-sheet “5 Questions to Ask Before You Sign a Lease” located in this guide.
  • Consider co-working options as outlined in the resources section.
  • Use our interactive online map tool to locate your business and determine its zoning,   http://www.ci.eureka.ca.gov/depts/engineering/gis.asp
  • Contact Eureka’s Planning or Economic Development Division for information about a location’s zoning designation and development/renovation requirements.

 

Understand Business License and Permit Requirements

You’ll need to give your business a name, and decide what legal structure it will follow. Then you’ll need to apply for the business permits and licenses that apply to your business.

 Completing these steps involves time and money. Help from legal professionals and business consultants may help you stay on track and within budget.

  •  Review the business license page on the Finance Department section of the website.
  • Visit the state-run CalGold website to confirm which permits and licenses you’ll need and feel free to follow up with the Economic Development Department or SBDC for guidance
  • .Consult with an appropriate professional if necessary, and begin completing applications.

 

Plan for Equipment

Before you purchase equipment (especially pre-owned equipment), be sure to identify where you might need special permits or inspections. As a general rule, equipment that needs to be installed (bolted to ceiling, floor, or wall), emits fumes or smoke, makes noise, or discharges waste will require an inspection and/or permit by the Building Department.

  •  Create a list of the equipment you will need and how that equipment will be installed.
  • If your process involves water discharge, you should also contact the Public Works & Utilities Department for more information.

 

Get Funded

Financing a new business can be challenging, especially for first-time entrepreneurs. Take stock of your savings, and investigate grants and small business loans offered by local, state, and federal agencies. Banks and credit unions—particularly local ones—are also worth looking into.

  •  Budget based on your space and equipment needs assessment
  • Start contacting financing agencies using the Financing section.

 

Engage for Success

Eureka businesses thrive on collaboration and communication. Decide what channels fit your businesses and personality, and network for success.

  • Review the list of networking resources in the following section.

 

Guide to City Departments

BUILDING DEPARTMENT

Assures that buildings are built or improved in accordance with applicable building codes.

707.441.4155

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Issues permits for and inspects construction for privately funded development.
  •  Explains how building regulations apply to individual building projects.
  • Assists in the process of approving a business license application.
  •  Oversees ADA Code enforcement.

 

CITY CLERK

Liaison between the Public, Media, Mayor, and Eureka City Council members. Maintains City records, oversees elections, and prepares and publishes City Council Agendas.

707.441.4144

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Accepts and processes Public Information requests.
  •  Issues Special Events Permits.

 

CITY MANAGER

Provides general management oversight and direction to all City Departments. Also provides administrative support to the City Council.

707.441.4144

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Responds to citizen and business inquiries.
  •  Issues filming permits.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Works to strengthen Eureka’s economy by recruiting new businesses as well as helping existing businesses operate successfully.

707.441.4209

BUSINESS SERVICES

 

FINANCE DEPARTMENT

 Provides financial management and accounting services for all City of Eureka departments.

707.441.4120

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Accepts payment for, and issues, Business Licenses.
  •  Accepts payment for water/wastewater fees 

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT

Provides fire, rescue and emergency medical services within Eureka and the great Eureka area. This department also oversees Fire Prevention services to ensure building compliance with fire safety codes.  

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Enforces public safety policies including hazardous waste rules.
  •  Inspects building plans for fire safety precautions.

 

PLANNING AND ZONING DEPARTMENT

Oversees land and building development and use on private property.

707.441.4160

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Advises business owners about required permits and fees for development and how properties and buildings can be used, improved, and developed.
  •  Assists in the approval process of a business license.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Provides crime prevention and community policing services

707.441.4060

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Approves ABC licenses.
  •  Administers background checks for massage therapy, firearms, taxi service, and scrap-recycling businesses.
  •  Provides additional policing services for Old Town and Downtown businesses
  •  Provides vehicle and abatement services

 

PUBLIC WORKS & UTILITIES

Oversees the City’s public improvement projects and manages water resources, water treatment, streets, and code enforcement services.

707.441.4209

BUSINESS SERVICES

  •  Issues Wastewater and encroachment permits.
  •  Coordinates commercial/industrial water conservation programs.
  •  Enforces public safety policies including weed abatement, blighted properties, and hazardous waste rules.