If you’re looking to start a business in California, you definitely aren’t alone. It’s one of the most diverse, thriving business locales in the US, and a great place to go if you work in agriculture, technology, or entertainment. It’s not without its challenges, of course – and understanding the business climate of the state is essential in knowing how to overcome those.
That’s where we come in. Here are some of the most interesting and important facts about California – and everything you need to know about starting a business there.
The economy of California is the 8th largest in the world, with a 2013 Gross State Product of $2.2 trillion. To give that number some context, the total GDP of the US in 2013 was $16.8 trillion. Not surprisingly, this makes California the largest, wealthiest state in America, competitive on a global scale rather than a national one.
Much of California’s success is tied to the fact that it’s a hotbed for two of the US’s largest industries, entertainment (Hollywood) and technology (Silicon Valley). It also has one of the largest agricultural industries in the country, and the farms of the state raise more turkeys than any other state in the US.
California is known as a center for innovation – and not without reason. The state’s tech industry constantly pushes new discoveries and knowledge, businesses within the state are constantly exchanging new business models and ideas, and the diversity of industries within the state allows for the emergence of concepts that might otherwise never see the light of day. That California is the home of several leaders in innovation, including Apple and Google, only furthers its reputation.
Coined in 1968, California’s nickname doesn’t actually refer to its thriving economy – at least, not entirely. In the 1800s, California was one of the central locales of the gold rush, leading to fast growth in the area as people moved there in droves to make their fortune. The nickname also references the sprawling fields of golden poppies seen throughout the state each spring. Lastly, it is a reference to the state’s beautiful sunsets, official state colors, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
California is home to 3.7 million small businesses, which employ approximately 6.7 million people between them. This accounted for approximately 49.6% of the state’s private workforce in 2013. Interestingly, firms with fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of employment, and small businesses accounted for 95.8% of California exporters.
California may have a reputation as a hotbed for startups, but it’s also known as a rather challenging place to operate for businesses of all sizes. It’s only #30 on Forbes’ Best states for Business List, owing to the fact that it taxes businesses higher than most other states and that it has more complicated business laws.
Now that you know some of the more interesting facts about the state, it’s time we got down to specifics. To that end, check out our guide on starting a business in California. We’ve taken great pains to make it a one-stop, comprehensive resource – and the only bookmark your business will ever need.
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