Small Biz Beat: Things get a little easier for your startup

150 150 Alexandra Bjerg and Cheryl Getuiza

Ereg website

Start a business, save some trees

It’s 2:00 am and you’re struck with a brilliant idea for a new business. No need to wait until morning to get started on the paperwork, just open up your favorite browser and apply for a permit online.

Yesterday the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) launched “eReg”, an electronic registration system to apply for a seller’s permit, license or even pay a use tax. The secure online system is free and accessible 24 hours a day.

Just one form starts the application process for all the permits, licenses, and accounts you need to start a business.  If you don’t have time to finish the application in one sitting, you can save it and pick back up where you left off later.

The system allows future or current business owners to:

  • Acquire a seller’s permit
  • Add a new business location 
  • Register as a purchaser
  • Pay use tax 
  • Register for other Special Tax and Fee Programs
  • View the status of account(s) online
  • Access reference materials

The new system is a win-win for both the state and the taxpayer. BOE Vice Chair, Michelle Steel, claims, eReg will cut administrative costs and reduce processing errors. 

“By saving time and money through eReg, business owners will be able to take their minds off tax forms and to focus on running the businesses that create jobs for California”, Steel said. 

Do you think the addition of an online registration system will make it easier to start or run a business in California? What else could be automated and put online?

Candy Shop Cashier

Banks betting more on small businesses

Innovators help thrive our economy. From those ideas come small businesses that can grow into huge businesses. We’ve seen it happen many times.

But there are roadblocks. A big one is money. If innovators behind those small businesses don’t get access to capital to grow their business, it hurts not only them but all of California. 

In fact, this topic is so important, it was discussed at the first California Economic Summit in May.

Today, there’s some good news.

According to a survey of senior loan officers by the Federal Reserve Board, domestic banks have eased their lending standards and have experienced stronger demand for commercial and industrial loans during the first quarter of this year. The standards for commercial real estate loans have also slightly eased. And it doesn’t stop there—interest rates on loans and lines of credit to all sizes of business, including small firms, are also lower.

All of this comes after small businesses complained of very difficult loan guidelines in 2008 to 2009.

Why the change? The major reason U.S. banks gave was “more-aggressive competition from other banks and nonbank lenders.” 

Okay, so it’s not for reasons we want, like improved economic outlook, but we’ll take it. Either way the leaner standards will boost the economy. 

It’s helped already, the survey goes on to say, small business demand for loans has started to pick up.

Here’s to more innovators!


Alexandra Bjerg and Cheryl Getuiza

All stories by: Alexandra Bjerg and Cheryl Getuiza