- Visit the Santa Clara Police Department to make sure you're not a prostitute. You can schedule an appointment, and there's free parking.
- Head over to the Santa Clara County Clerk Recorder's Office in San Jose to register your Fictitious Business Name. Bring coins in case you need to park on the street. It took me about half an hour.
- Return to Santa Clara and visit City Hall. Best to have this form ready before you go. There's free parking in a lot across the street.
I'm clearly being flippant on point #1, but massage falls under the category of "Regulated Businesses", along with peddlers, solicitors, adult book stores, and escort services. I'd initially thought we could skip this step, thanks to AMTA, NCBTMB, and CAMTC, but I was mistaken. In the eyes of the law, we are not, at this point in time, on par with physicians.
Concerning point #2, if you're a business newbie, don't hesitate to ask questions. I told the clerks that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and they were very patient and helpful. If you need to fill something out, they'll let you step aside for five or ten minutes and call your number again so you don't need to get back in line.
Off-topic with point #3, but if you're in need of a cup of coffee, you'll see a sign that says COFFEE SHOP on the premises. They sell coffee and Starbucks beverages, but this is a cafeteria. For now, I only know of Philz, Crema, and Barefoot Coffee in San Jose, but I really like Chromatic Coffee in Santa Clara.