Starting a Business

3 Easy Steps
Opening a new business or expanding an existing business can be confusing. The City created a Guide on Establishing or Expanding a Business (PDF) for a more detailed explanation on how to start a business. Outlined below are the 3 questions to ask yourself before starting a business:
  1. Is the type of business permitted at that specific location?
    Contact the City's Planning Division at 949-635-1800, ext. 6701 for assistance in determining.
    1. If yes, proceed to Step 2.
    2. If no, another location must be selected where the type of business is permitted.
  2. Does the type of business require any special types of permits (i.e. Conditional Use Permit)?
    Contact the City's Planning Division for assistance in determining permit requirements.
    1. If yes, a Development Case Application (PDF) must be submitted and approved prior to starting your business. Contact the City's Planning Division for more information.
    2. If no, please proceed to Step 3.
  3. Is any construction planned (i.e. tenant improvements, electrical, plumbing, etc.)?
    1. If yes, a building permit is required. Contact the City's Building and Safety Division at 949-635-1800, ext. 6101.
    2. If no, a Certificate of Use and Occupancy must be obtained prior to opening your businesses.
Permit Regulation Resources
We recommend using the State’s Government Online to Desktops (CalGOLD) website to look for information on regional, state, and federal permits and regulations for your specific business.