Welcome to your library card to some of the most useful government, personal financial planning and advice, as well as business tools to help entrepreneurs and executives achieve success. Below are links to a giant archipelago of information resources. We encourage you to explore and bookmark these. Click on any of the links immediately below to jump to an individual section. Our resource website links include:
- Government Links: federal government tax, financial information, and business resource websites
- California Links: California state agencies and tax information
- Southern California: county, and city government tax and business links
- Education and Retirement: financial planning and other helpful resource links
- Personal Tools: financial and investing information and advice
- Business Tools: entrepreneurial advice websites, along with links to top business software and services
The federal government, along with state, county, and city government agencies offer a world of useful information, tools, and advice for consumers and business owners. Below are links to many of the most useful federal and California state and local government websites.
US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The Internal Revenue Service
Find downloadable tax forms and publications along with useful tax advice.
IRS Federal Tax Refund Status
Track the status of your federal tax refund.
Social Security Administration
An essential information resource for your retirement, Medicare, disability, survivorship, and other benefit questions.
U.S. Small Business Administration
A wealth of information for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
U.S. Department of Commerce
A thorough overview of the Commerce Department and its many subsidiary bureaus.
Federal Consumer Information Center
An essential resource for free and low-cost federal consumer publications along with information on product recalls, consumer alerts, tips on how to protect yourself from scams and frauds, and more.
Federal Trade Commission: Franchise and Business Opportunities
This site has lots of information, including an FAQ section, Guide to the FTC Franchise Rule, consumer alerts, Before You Buy pamphlets, and state disclosure requirements.
US Copyright Office
Find all of the forms, publications and information you need to copyright your original work.
US Patent and Trademark Office
The official site for searching the U.S. patent and trademark TESS database.
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
California Franchise Tax Board
A wealth of information for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)
The state tax administration board of California. Here, you can file a tax return, make a payment, get information on taxes and fees including sales and use taxes as well as property taxes, download forms and publications, apply for business licenses, sellers permits, and accounts, look up local tax rates, learn about California sales and local taxes, plus find information on a vast array of consumer and business needs.
California Franchise Tax Board — Check for your state tax refund
Where's your tax refund? Get the answers here.
California Franchise Tax Board — Forms and Publications
Download any California state tax form or publication here.
California State Government Agencies Directory
Start your search for a vast library of California consumer and business information here.
Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
Find business resources, licenses and permits, business income tax credits, and more.
California Secretary of State — form a business
Form or register a business entity in California. Depending on the business, there can be multiple steps and required forms. The Secretary of State website can help.
County of Los Angeles
A wealth of information for entrepreneurs and small business owners from the Los Angeles County Government.
City of Los Angeles
The official government website for the City of Los Angeles. Here, you can find a trove of information and contacts for consumer, business, tax and licensing needs.
City of Los Angeles Business Portal
This site is the go-to resource for Los Angeles city business tax information, building and safety services, financial assistance, city planning and zoning, minority business development, applying for construction, environment, filming, and other permits, and more.
County of Ventura
Business services, licenses and permits, tax and assessment information, consumer assistance, and other resources for Ventura County.
The official government website of Orange County. Here, you can find information and resources for county government agencies and contacts, consumer and business services, license, permit, sales, local, property, and other county tax information, and more.
Education and Retirement
Planning and budgeting for your children's education and your retirement are two of the most important financial planning decisions you will have to make in your lifetime. The linked websites below offer valuable advice on how to plan ahead and navigate the the challenges of paying for college, along with a happy and secure retirement.
An essential resource for learning about 529 and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts for your children's college education. A 529 plan is a college savings account that offers tax and financial aid benefits. 529 plans may also be used to save and invest for K-12 tuition in addition to college costs. The site includes useful college savings planners and financial aid calculators.
US News and World Report — Best Colleges and Universities
This annual rankings of the top public and private colleges and universities is more than a set of lists. You can find valuable information on how to apply for college, finding the right school, paying for your children's college education, test preparation, and more.
Student Loan Repayment Information
The National Council of Higher Education Resources website offers a large library of information for parents of college students. This section provides useful information on repayment of student loans, one of the larger costs for any family.
Consumer Reports — Student Loan Debt Management
An investigative report on student loans with advice on the best ways to finance higher education.
US News and World Report — Retirement
An excellent resource for articles and information on all aspects of retirement planning, including financial management, 401Ks, prescription drug costs, best places to retire, and more.
Managing your money wisely makes all the difference. These financial advice and investment websites can be an invaluable resource to help you make the right moves with your money.
The website of Money Magazine offering personal finance as well as investment news and advice including stock quotations.
Wall Street Journal
The best-known business, financial, and investment newspaper in the world. (Subscription access required for many articles.)
US News and World Report — Money
A large portal within the US News and World Report magazine website containing a wealth of insightful articles and information on consumer finance, investing, and financial management. The US News Money site includes sections on personal finance, investing, including stocks and ETFs, credit cards, real estate, loans, credit cards, insurance, as well as business and economic news.
Forbes — Personal Finance
Personal finance and investing advice articles from Forbes Magazine.
Get more from your money. A great resource for finding the best credit cards, home mortgages, insurance, loans, and information on managing your credit score.
Google Finance is hub of financial and investor information, and portfolio management tools.
Yahoo Finance provides financial news, data, and commentary including stock quotes, investment analysis tools, press releases, financial reports, and original content.
The personal finance and investing portal of MSN.
Real Estate ABC
Information and resources for buying and selling a home, including mortgages.
A venerable resource of consumer products and services reviews, as well as helpful articles on personal finance, banking, credit cards, car and homeowners insurance, and more.
Below is an array of website links for business entrepreneurs and executives. Whether you are launching your first business or are a seasoned executive, these information resources, software tools, and cloud-based services can help give your company or organization a competitive edge.
INFORMATION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS
The website of Entrepreneur magazine, filled with helpful articles for business owners.
American Express OPEN Forum
Information, inspiration, and connections for operating a successful business. Filled with articles and tools from business plan templates, to information on planning for growth, managing money, building your team, winning new customers, and more, the OPEN Forum is an outstanding resource for any entrepreneur, business owner, or executive.
Better Business Bureau
Browse or search for a business or charity's reputation. Included are instructions for how to file a consumer or B2B complaint.
Bizwomen is an online community for women business executives and entrepreneurs to connect, support one another, learn and grow. You can share and explore ideas with women across the United States or in your neighborhood to help grow your business.
Direct Marketing Association
The Direct Marketing Association is the largest trade association for businesses that are interested and involved in direct, database and interactive global marketing.
Electronic Frontier Foundation: Intellectual Property
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, (EFF) works to preserve, balance and ensure that the internet and digital technologies empower consumers, creators, innovators, scholars, and average citizens. This section of the EFF website spotlights current challenges and solutions facing the intellectual property rights of everyone.
Learn more about available franchise opportunities or advertise your franchise to potential buyers at this site, which aims to connect franchise buyers and sellers, as well as anyone thinking of starting one.
Fundability is a marketplace where entrepreneurs and investors can find funding success.
The world's leading social network for all things business.
Entrepreneurs can get help with the personal finances, money management, and budget planning. In addition, Mint offers free financial planning software.
US Chamber of Commerce
Find your local branch, figure out how to start, learn about new taxes and much more at the national Chamber of Commerce site.
BUSINESS SOFTWARE AND SERVICES
QuickBooks by Intuit is the most popular accounting package in the world. Available for Windows and Macintosh computers, and as a cloud-based service, QuickBooks is offered in a wide array of versions for freelancers, small businesses. You can also find specialized versions including general accounting, payments, point-of-sale, payroll, and time tracking.
A wildly popular, easy-to-use, cloud-based vendor of customer relationship management, tools for your entire company, including online solutions for sales management, service, direct email and marketing, and call center operations.
PayPal makes it easy for consumers to shop and share money with family and friends. Businesses use PayPal for all kinds of payments including point-of-sale, credit cards, Apple Pay, along with PayPal's business loans.
The Square credit card and mobile phone payment reader has become a ubiquitous point-of-sale payment tool in shops, restaurants, even service businesses. The company's rapidly growing Square Capital service provides loans for growing businesses and entrepreneurs.
A service of PayPal, Venmo is a popular mobile phone payment app for iPhone and Android devices. For ecommerce website owners and for social commerce, Venmo allows for seamless payments at checkout.
Cashless payment made effortless. A growing number of banks and businesses accept Apple Pay as a convenient, secure, mobile payment service for customers using their iPhone or Apple Watch. The contactless mobile payment service works with a growing number of credit card card payment readers including Square. Apple Pay is also integrated into Apple's Messages mobile texting app and is accepted by many websites, allowing ecommerce businesses to accept payments by text message, in mobile apps, and on the web.
Google Pay is a digital wallet platform and online payment system developed by Google for in-app and tap-to-pay purchases in retail establishments, and with ecommerce websites and apps on mobile devices, enabling users to make payments with Android phones, tablets, or watches.
Samsung Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service by Samsung Electronics. It allows users make payments using compatible phones and other Samsung-produced devices like the company's popular Galaxy phones and a contactless payment terminal in stores and restaurants.