Many small business owners do not have formal training in entrepreneurship and management, and fewer have a comprehensive understanding of regulatory requirements like registering their business with the city or state, or applying for the permits that let them operate legally and safely.
The primary agencies serving businesses in L.A. are the Office of Finance (registration and taxes) and the Department of Building and Safety (building, signage, and other permits and zoning). Several other agencies may also be relevant to businesses’ needs. Each agency has a website containing detailed information, but no online source gives business owners the full picture. Businesses may miss or misinterpret requirements and risk penalties or project delays – none of which reflects the city’s goal: supporting small business.
To fix this, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles is helping to develop an online resource portal making it easier to do business in our city. The first stage of this effort is to design and build an engaging web portal, drawing interested users to the site. Features will include an events calendar, tools to locate incentives and resources, and a business startup tool. The site will bring together business-oriented features from City department websites at one convenient location.