Starting a Business in Silicon Valley

Perhaps you have a great new idea, or you are a software developer and you want to offer your services through your own company. In these cases, and more, you will be starting a business. Here are some steps with the contacts so you don’t spend an arm and a leg. We try to save you time and money here, so good luck!

Here are the essential steps, along with recommendations from our experience. We have been able to do everything we need without a lawyer, but you may want to hire one since lawyers do help, and every situation is unique. Or, you could just follow these steps, it’s up to you.

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Form a Corporation or LLC

The best way to do this is to have a service firm do the work for you with the state for a small fee. We have used, and reommend Legal Zoom.

Get a business permit

While the County of Santa Clara issues no licences, the mailtain a great list of all the individual cities and their phone numbers for their business/license permit offices. Check out Santa Clara County business license per page.

Santa Clara has reasonable fees. Check them out.

Get Business Cards

Try: VistaPrint

Get Insurance

A general liability policy is a small investment. We recommend:

Get a Bank Account

WAMU seems to have the best basic business checking, and no fees.

Get yourself a web site

We use and recommend them highly. Good service and reasonable cost, and free tools. You will have what you need fast.

Here are some other useful informative web sites

  • – we start up startups
  • CiscoSystems+San Jose Enterpreneur Center