The Basics to Launching a Startup in Hollywood
Everyone who comes to Hollywood has a dream. If you’re a current or aspiring entrepreneur dreaming of expanding or opening your own business in Los Angeles, Hollywood will no doubt be an attractive option.
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So if you fall into this particular demographic, then here are a few basic things you need to know if you’re planning on starting your own venture in the Hollywood Business District:
It's all about the culture and the creatives
Hollywood is not only home to the biggest stars in all of America, but is also home to an array of ethnicities and cultures. The LA Times lists Hollywood as a highly diverse neighborhood. Earlier in August, crews started on a permanent installation in Hollywood Boulevard to commemorate the Black Lives Matter movement. Moreover, with more than half of its total population being immigrants, this opens up a lot of opportunities for aspiring business owners from various cultures to shape the neighborhood’s business district and economic landscape.
Los Angeles also has a relatively large pool of creatives compared to other cities in the US. With Hollywood being the center of the entertainment industry, there’s no shortage of talent to work with. This is especially beneficial to entrepreneurs who are looking to assemble competitive teams for their startup.
There are practical steps (and costs)
Once you’ve decided on opening a business in Hollywood, you need to make your business official. When you register, you need to follow the guidelines provided by California state law. The first step is choosing which business structure you’ll register as. With Los Angeles being one of the most expensive places in the country to live and start a business in, it might be beneficial to look for a structure that offers protection for your business income. In this case, you may opt to register as a limited liability company (LLC) or as a corporation, which renders your business as a separate legal entity and limits your personal liabilities.
For those registering an LLC with the state of California, filing fees generally cost between $90 and $115, depending on how you file your documents. Filing your paperwork in person involves an extra in-person fee, and is often processed faster than online submissions. The rates are slightly higher for those looking to start a corporation. Either way, your business will also have to pay up to $800 every year in annual minimum taxes.
Hollywood is recovering from challenges
Los Angeles has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic –the surge in cases prompted stricter social distancing rules in the county. Hollywood, in particular, has suffered major losses as social distancing requirements in California made logistics harder for the film production and entertainment industry. Being one of, if not the most, important industry in Hollywood, lots of small businesses in Hollywood's Business District that are dependent on the entertainment industry have closed down. So it may not be the most ideal time to open a business in the area at the moment.
In order to bounce back, however, The Hollywood Partnership, a non-profit organization that manages the Hollywood Entertainment District, is focusing on initiatives to address storefront vacancies in Hollywood. This is being done through diversifying the business mix, which aims to serve area workers and residents much better.
As an aspiring business owner, remember that small businesses play a major part in Hollywood's fame and success and in keeping its economy strong amid the pandemic. Despite the costs of opening a business in the area and the possible economic risks brought about by COVID-19, the everyday support of Hollywood's colorful business community can enable entrepreneurs like you to make their business dreams a reality, consequently preserving Hollywood's image in the process.