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Local Business Resources

General Information
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita does not issue business licenses; however, a Certificate of Use and Occupancy is required for any business located within the commercial retail centers and the Business Park.  This ensures that your business is permitted to occupy a specific building and that the use complies with Building, Fire, Health and Zoning Code regulations.  Depending on your particular business, you may require other approvals or licenses from the Development Services Department, Police Services or other applicable public agencies.  The City has also prepared a pamphlet on "How to Do Business in RSM" to assist businesses in the entitlement and permitting processes.

For additional questions regarding a Certificate of Use and Occupancy, please contact the City's Building Permit Technician at (949) 635-1800 x6101. An optional, no-cost Home Occupation Permit is also available for your convenience for home-based businesses.  Please contact a planner for any questions regarding Home Occupation Permits at (949) 635-1800 x6701.


Rancho Santa Margarita Chamber of Commerce
The RSM Chamber of Commerce serves the local businesses and hosts a number of business and community events throughout the year, including evening and lunch networking mixers, educational business forums, Rancho Fest, State of the City Breakfast and Meet the Mayor.  For more information on the RSM Chamber, email info@rsmchamber.com or visit www.rsmchamber.com. 

  South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce

  Business Watch Program
The Police Services Department currently provides a Business Watch Program.  Please contact Police Services at 949.635.1800 to add your business to the program.

Orange County Business Council
The Orange County Business Council (OCBC) provides advocacy for regional economic development throughout the County. The OCBC accomplishes its mission by leading a high profile program for business interests throughout California and the nation, focusing on three core initiatives: infrastructure, workforce development and workforce housing.  For more information on the Orange County Business Council, visit their website at

  Orange County One-Stop Centers
The Orange County One-Stop Centers provides comprehensive employment and training services, including a Resource Center with access to computers, fax machines, copiers, and telephones. Other services include a resume distribution program; a career resource library, labor market information, networking opportunities, job search workshops, on-site interviews with local employers, transferable skills information, job leads, and training programs.  For more information on the Orange County One-Stop Centers, visit their website at

  Orange County Small Business Development Center
The Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) uses a variety of resources to counsel small business owners in financial, marketing, production, organizational, engineering, technical, and other management topics. Assistance is available to help develop feasibility studies, business plans, cash flow analysis and financial statements. Both one-on-one and group counseling sessions are offered at no cost to the small business. Seminars and special training are available for a nominal fee.

Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Small businesses are 12 critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. The SBA website has extensive information including: loan programs, free e-newsletters, and free online training courses on a variety of business topics. For more information on the Orange County Small Business Administration, call (714) 550-7420 or visit www.sba.gov.

SCORE Orange County
Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth, and success of small business. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA). Over 10,500 successful executives, located in 389 local chapters throughout the United States (including one right here in Orange County), volunteer to provide free, confidential business counseling and low cost workshops as a public service to businesses. SCORE is a great source of free and confidential small business advice to help you build your business—from idea to start-up to success. 
SCORE volunteers are available to help you to leverage their expertise and energies to implement proven business practices in accomplishing your business objectives.  Some of the services SCORE offers include: 
    - No-cost personal counseling and mentoring at the variety of local SCORE offices 
     - The confidential advice of professional business men and women 
     - Experts on business issues who will help you analyze problems and find solutions 
     - Non-confrontational discussions
SCORE Orange County also offers low-cost workshops for both start-up and existing business entrepreneurs. Local business experts conduct training across a variety of relevant subjects including starting a business, business plans, marketing, finance, import/export, human resources and more.  For more information on the Orange County Small Business Development Center, visit their website at www.ocsbdc.com.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Business Tax Center links are located at  http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=236855,00.html

Also available are videos, webinars and audio presentations for small businesses, individuals & tax pros at http://www.irsvideos.gov/


South County Management Society

The South County Management Society is a local chapter of the BYU Management Society based in Rancho Santa Margarita, which is a worldwide network of business professionals with a shared vision of moral and ethical leadership and a common code of business conduct and integrity. Chapters worldwide focus on developing careers, networking and serving the community.  For more information, go to 

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