5 Steps to Starting Your Own Business in Tracy

Blog Article by Tracy City Manager Troy Brown

Entrepreneur success

There is little doubt that small businesses are significant drivers of the U.S. economy. Although the recent global recession took a toll on commerce, small businesses are fueling the recovery and taking the lead in job creation. According to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy1, they encompass 99.7% of the U.S. employer firms and created 60% of all net new jobs between the middle of 2009 and the middle of 2013. As the traffic on the Altamont increases each year, more and more residents contemplate starting their own business.

The City of Tracy’s Economic Development Division2 is a valuable resource for individuals looking to transition from employee to employer. Here is a short, 5-Step list you can use to start your own business in Tracy.


Step 1: Get Business Assistance and Training

If running your own business is new to you, then this step is essential to getting you moving in the right direction and placing you on a path for success.

In addition to the numerous online resources available to new business owners, the Tracy Chamber of Commerce3 and the Small Business Development Center4 (SBDC) are valuable resources for individuals preferring face-to-face consultations and trainings with qualified, experienced professionals. They provide resources on topics such as writing business plans, accessing capital, business advocacy, marketing and promoting your business, networking, regulatory compliance, employer responsibilities, tax planning and requirements, federal contracting, technology development, and international trade.

Step 2: Write a business plan

Your business plan is the roadmap for your business success. It outlines the route your business will take to grow revenue. Commonly, the business plan projects three to five years ahead. Some of the components included in a comprehensive business plan are the company description, financial projections, market analysis, and the organizational and management structure of your business.

Step 3: Finance Your Business

Often times new business owners have little access to start-up capital. Common sources of start-up funding come from retirement accounts, relatives, and personal savings. If those sources are unavailable to you or your need more, the SBDC can provide consultation on finding the right loan program for you.

When you’re ready and once your business has been established for at least two years, the City of Tracy can help you grow and expand your business. The Grow Tracy Loan5 is a revolving loan fund, backed by the SBA, from which Tracy businesses can fund new equipment, working capital, tenant improvements, construction, and real estate acquisition.

Step 4: Choose a Business Location

Location. Location. Location. Finding the right location for your business may be one of the most important decisions you make as a new business owner. Ask yourself, what are my specific business needs? How much space do I need? Do I need to be close to my suppliers or closer to my customers? Does the area provide for adequate labor supply? Does the location provide for planned future growth? Can I afford it? All of these questions should factor into your decision of where to locate.

The Economic Development Division of the City of Tracy is available to help you when you are ready. They can help guide you through finding available properties that meet your needs, as well as finding a location that adheres to local zoning regulations. To help you get started, our website provides an easy-to-use property search tool6 that anyone can use to quickly search for a potential business location.

Step 5: Obtain Business License and Permits

The final step is to obtain your business license from the City of Tracy’s Finance Division7. Every company or individual doing business in Tracy must have a valid business license.

The City of Tracy supports and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit and works diligently to provide the municipal environment within which business can be successful. Whether you are starting a new business or expanding your existing business, our Economic Development Division8 is available to serve as a valuable resource for you. Contact our staff9 today to learn more!

City of Tracy


  1. http://www.sba.gov/advocacy – Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy; Frequently Asked Questions. March 2014
  2. http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/?navid=381 – City of Tracy; Economic Development Division
  3. https://www.tracychamber.org/ – Tracy Chamber of Commerce; Member Benefits
  4. https://sbdc.deltacollege.edu/ – Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
  5. http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/?navid=548 – City of Tracy; Loans and Financial Assistance; Grow Tracy Fund Loan Program
  6. http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/applications/loopnet.cfm?navid=536 – City of Tracy; Property Search Tool
  7. http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/?navId=90 – City of Tracy; Administrative Services; Finance Division Business License Tax
  8. http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/?navid=381 – City of Tracy; Economic Development Division
  9. http://www.ci.tracy.ca.us/?navid=793 – City of Tracy; Economic Development Division Contact Information

Blog article by Troy Brown, Tracy City Manager, troy.brown@ci.tracy.ca.us