Category Archives: USA

Setting Up A Small Business In San Jose

Now I have my work visa I can reopen my etsy business… So heres how I did that. This is just advice and a good starting point, but please check for yourself as rules and laws change. In California setting up a business is a little more complicated as they have more rules than most of the states in the USA.

So Where Do You Go First?

Step 1. Advice

If your a complete beginner then a great starting point is Score They are brilliant they have lots of courses to get you started and your learn everything about different types of business entities, business planning, marketing and more. You can also arrange to have a mentor with them too.

Before I could reopen my etsy shop, my first port of call was the local town hall for advice and mine was San Jose City Hall. They will tell you to obtain a sellers licenses and a Fictious Business Name. Once you have that then you can register your business for tax with City Hall. There are quiet a few other steps and it can be confusing so heres a breakdown of things you will need to do, depending on your business. I work from home and sell on line so this is what I did.

Step 2. Register Business Name: County Clerk Recorder 

Address: 70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110

When registering your business name it all depends on a few things…. If you use your name for your business you do not need to register that. The best advice I can offer is to go direct to Small Business Ally, I got this information from San Jose Town, but your advised to email them first, you just can’t go in and expect to see him or her. For City of San Jose, its:

Juan F. Borrelli, AICP he is there Small Business Ally.

Step 3. Sellers License – Sales & Use Permit (Seller’s Permit) FREE

All businesses selling or leasing tangible property must obtain a Seller’s Permit. I got that from the “State Board of Equalization”

Address: 250 S. 2nd Street, San Jose, CA 95113,

When applying for your sellers licence you will need

1. Bank Address:

2. Suppliers Address: e.g. I used Michaels for some of my supplies so I used them.

3. Fictitious Business Name which lasts 5 years or if you use your own name you don’t need to apply for a Fictitious Name (but please check for yourself as rules change and every city has its own set of rules.

4. Tax ID also known as EIN – I don’t use this atm as its just me, but I might change later.

A Heads up currently the Sales Tax rate in San Jose is 9.25%

Step 4. Registering for Business Tax

You obtain this from your local Town Hall. Mine was San Jose City Hall.

In the reception they will send you to counters 1 and 2 (they may change this in the future but its a heads up) The guys and girls there are very helpful  and they will give you a form to fill in. Registering your business costs $250 a year. You only have to register once, but this fee is payable every year. There do offer a waiver if you earn less than $23,000 a year, and theres a form for that too.

Step 5. Learn More About How Sales Tax/ Use Tax Works.

Go back to the “State Board of Equalization” they have a few free courses on sales tax and more and will help you with everything you need to know for filing sales taxes and Use Tax.

Step 6. Setting up a Business Bank account.

As I run a small home creative business my best advice in the early stages is to find a business account that charges you no fees or low fees to start up. I personally would use a credit union. I use Keypoint Credit Union, they offer a FREE Business account with no fees.

When setting up your account take all your business documents with you, they will need to check over all your credentials.

Sellers License.

Business Registration

Work Permit EAD

Social Security 

Home address, Business address if different

Step 7. Find A Good Accountant.

At the end of you need to file your schedule C for business, I was referred to my accountant and he is brilliant. As a newbie to the USA and filing taxes here, its a must to start off with your right foot forward…

Once I contacted my accountant he called me and talked me through my taxes. He gave me a list of items he required on the form filling so he could fill in my forms, and do my books for me at the end of the year.  My first year completing my tax was painless.

Never be frightened to ask questions every step of the way when dealing with your business and as a newbie in the US everything is run differently here its not like your home.

Step 8. Keep Great Book Keeping…

Moving to San Jose, Silicon Valley, California USA & Closing Down My Business for 90 days.

I’ve been living in the San Jose since May 2016, I’m all settled in now sort of 😉 This is my first blog in a very long time. Its not been the easy moving to the other side of the pond and settling into a new country, but it has been made a little easier as we relocated with Apple and they have helped us every step of the way. Relocating to another country permanently is not like being a full time tourist. Its a lot of paperwork (mountains of it) and waiting its taken over two years to get our green cards. Taxes are hIgh here and learning an alien tax system is mind boggling you definitely need an accountant to make any sense of it. 

We had two options of moving to the USA with a company and one is with a H1B Visa or an L1/L2 visa. We came in under L1 and L2 spouse visa, this was great for me as I only had to wait 90 days to work, while I applied and waited for my Work Visa.

H-1B Visas means the spouse of the partner who comes into the USA cannot work for 2 years. This is pretty terrible in many ways for families moving here. Silicon Valley, California is a very expensive place to live, despite the good wages in the Tech industry, you do need two incomes coming in to help pay for the high prices here for everything. Another issue which is hard for the spouse is they have to give up there job or business… Having to close the door to your much loved business and all the hard work and love you put into it can be devastating. so I’m glad we did not come in on the H-1B Visa. More info on H-1B Visa

L-1 Visa is a another option of moving to the USA as an employee who has worked for company for at least 1 year.  More on L-1 Visa.

My day with Chrissy Clark digital anime/chibi artist.

For my last day in Gatlinburg I had arranged to meet with Chrissy whom I met through the Fairy Society forum.
Since joining the fairy society I have met so many lovely talented people, and  if your interested in meeting like minded people this is a great place to meet.  Since my travelling begin I have travelled all over the states and last year we decided to book a two week holiday to Gatlinburg Tennessee, to my surprise Chrissy just lived 22 miles away, so this was an ideal opportunity to meet a like minded fairy artist friend. I have to say it was a highlight of my stay here in TN. As soon as I arrived at the Local coffee shop called “The Spot” I was welcome by everyone and had a total blast 😉 Chrissy is a extremely talented artist, and an adorable person, she specialises Anime artwork, and her characters are adorable. Check out her lovely work at  their are all sorts of goodies on offer. I have also included the link for fairy society for all kinds of artists its a great place to meet fellow artists, (whether its doll crafter, artist, writers, fashion designer, etc) and make friends, promote your work and also find that special gift for someone special 😉 I look forward to going to Tennessee again one day and meeting Chrissy again and I know we will stay in touch.

Cherohala Skyway Southward bound for Orlando.

On our way back to Orlando from Brent Creek we decided to travel across the Smoky Mountains to connect to the I75. After getting the chance to do deals gap, we were told by many fellow bikers to go and do the Cherohala Skyway as the views were so awesome. So not to miss out on this golden opportunity we set off bright and early and made our way to Cherokee, Bryson City, Robinnsville towards the Cherohala Skyway. The bike ride was awesome in every way…;) the views were spectualar and ride was smooth and I pretty much sang my way the whole time.
In the photos is the view of the smoky mountains form the cherohala skyway, with a little picky of us at the bottom;) and the above clip is the view from out log cabin condo.  If you love green mountains and lots of waterfalls this is a must place to visit… Were be back again:)

Deals Gap – Dragons Tail TN.

To celebrate our birthdays this year, as we are in Gatlinburg Tennessee, we found out that we were near the famous “Deal Gaps” also called the “Dragons Tail”. So who are we to miss out on this golden opportunity of taming the famous  Dragon;).
For those who have not ridden the tail this ride is consists of 318 windy bends in 11 miles set high in the spectacular mountains of Tennessee. In the summer over a 1000 bikes a day will take this trip into the mountains. We set off from Gatlinburg early in the morning on a bright and clear sunny day, and made our was to Townsend on the 321 then crossed into the Foothills Parkway, where you literally ride along the top of the mountain, with awesome views stretching out form either side of you, ideal for a photo op;) At the end the road you hit the famous Route 129 turn left then after 3 miles you begin your descent through Deals Gap😀 With me on my Street bob I took a steady ride into the bends enjoying the luscious curves;) The sights are amazing, but you have to watch out for the rocket bikes coming upon fast, boys will be boys and play and they were having some serious fun;)  There are a few photographers on route who take photos of you as you ride the tail and you can pick these up online. I can honestly say this was a fabulous journey and I loved every minute. Once at the bottom you meet the Dragons Tail resort, where you pick up a few souvenirs and a excellent burger one of the best I’ve had i ages. There’s also the tree of shame for those who manage to wrap their bikes around a tree of two! and board of photos of gravel rash… On leaving the Dragons Tail we decided to head the other way towards “Hellsbender” another awesome bike ride on the way through to Cherokee, then back to Galinburg for a well earned Texas Streak;)
I have to mention all the roads round here in the Misty Mountains are full of step winding roads ideal for the explorer in you, I have never been anywhere like it the beauty is truly awesome.
We were egar to make our way home before the storm hit, reality of danger clearly hit home, when we came upon a fallen tree in the middle of the road with three people trapped inside. Thankfully while we were trapped there for two hours all three of them escaped with their lives and with their feeling all there body parts. We literally missed it by a minute, I’m so thankful that we not a minute sooner… What ever you do guys always ride safe…