Registering as a Business
- Apply for a free EIN (Employer Identification Number). This number is for tax purposes. For example, if you do work for a company, the
company may ask for your EIN or social security number to report work expenses on
- Register your business at the City of San Jose. Click on the Register link on the right hand column to download the business registration
form. If you are a freelancer, select “Sole Proprietorship” as the type of ownership. For information on creating a home-based business, click here. *If you live in another city and intend on basing your business in another city,
go to the city’s website to find the correct forms and information.
- Fill out the Business Tax Exemption Form. This will waive the annual business license fee for the first year. You will need
to fill out this form every year to continue receiving this fee waiver if you still
qualify for the exemption.
- If you are registering your business in San Jose, turn in the business license and
business tax exemption forms to the San Jose City Hall.
- If your business name includes your full name (ex. Ima Spartan Designs), you do not
need to register for a Ficticious Business Name. However, if you wish to operate under
a name other than one with your first and last name, then you must register for a
Ficticious Business Name.
- If you intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be
subject to sales tax if sold at retail, then you must register for a Seller's Permit.
- Learn about your tax obligations. If you are a sole proprietor or partner in a trade or business, file for taxes as a self-employed individual. Be sure to keep track of work expenses and income.
NOTE: The SJSU Career Center is not a legal entity and cannot provide legal advice. This information is only intended to provide guidelines and resources. All information and policies are subject to change without notice.
Creating a Website
Creating an online portfolio or website for your business is crucial for getting clients and advertising your work. Use these website builders or portfolio sites to start building your business presence online.
Promoting Your Business
List your business online, network at community events, and join local business groups to promote your business.
Check out these freelance job boards to connect with potential clients.
- Business Owner Space - information on creating a business
- SJPL Works - business resources at the King Library
- Lawyers in the Library - free 20-minute legal consultation
- I.D.E.A.S. - student organization focused on creating innovative ideas
- Freelancers Union - resource on pricing your work
- Pricing 101 - article on hourly vs. project pricing
- Silicon Valley Center for Enterpeneurship - courses, research, and innovation challenges through the College of Business
- San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce - nonprofit focused on promoting businesses in the Silicon Valley
- Silicon Valley SBDC - business resources
- Silicon Valley SCORE - free mentoring and low cost workshops on business development
- FranNet - franchises for sale