Licenses & Certification Requirements

Business Licenses:  The City of Rancho Santa Margarita does not issue business licenses, however, a Certificate of Use and Occupancy (PDF) is required.  Contact the Building and Safety Division at (949) 635-1800 ext. 6101 for additional information.

Occupancy Requirements:  A Certificate of Use and Occupancy is required for any business located within the commercial districts 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.  For additional questions regarding a Certificate of Use and Occupancy, please contact the City's Building Permit Technician at 949-635-1800 ext. 6101.

Other Approvals & Licenses:  Depending on your particular business, you may require other approvals or licenses from the Development Services Department or other applicable public agencies. Refer to the “Starting a Business” section of the Business Resources page for additional information.

Home Occupation Permits:  A home-based business, commonly referred to as a Home Occupation, is permitted when conducted as an incidental and accessory use to the residence. A Home Occupation Permit is not required, but may be obtained at no cost from the City's Planning Division. The City's Zoning Code outlines several operating requirements for a home occupation, including the following: 

  • All home occupations generally shall be conducted only within the enclosed area of the dwelling and shall be clearly incidental to the residential use of the structure. The business may be located in a garage, provided all off-street parking requirements for the applicable zoning district are met.
  • There shall be no exterior evidence of the conduct of a home occupation.
  • The principal character or use of the dwelling within which the home occupation is conducted shall in no way be altered (by the use of color, materials, signs, etc.).
Please contact the Planning Division for any questions regarding Home Occupation Permits at 949-635-1800 ext. 6701.