Sonoma County’s greatest opportunity for economic vitality and job creation may well lie in the ability of local entrepreneurs to quickly and easily get new businesses up and operational.

As part of a host of initiatives recently undertaken by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB), the organization has just released a new guide entitled, “Ten Steps: A Guide to Starting your Business in Sonoma County.”

The new step-by-step guide provides entrepreneurs and business owners with a concise listing of the most common actions necessary to start a business, complete with essential city, county, state and federal contacts. In addition, sources of technical assistance are outlined, as are resources that can provide financing, workforce, and legal guidance.

The guide is a product of the EDB’s Business Assistance Program, which since its inception last year, has provided more than 300 businesses with free, one-on-one guidance through the regulatory and licensing process, connections with financing, incentives, qualified employees, and technical assistance.

Ethan Brown, who serves as the EDB’s business assistance officer, and staffs a hotline that provides critical aid to business owners, has a recent background as one himself. “Realizing the dream of owning a business is no small feat.” said Brown, “It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication. I can empathize with the position many business owners are in, and I encourage them to mine these new assets designed to help them find success.”

To download a pdf version of “Ten Steps,” check out

To connect with the entire range of new resources available to local business through the EDB, call the business assistance hotline at 565-7589.