I want to open a business in Lake Forest. Where do I start?
The City of Lake Forest does not require a business license or that you hold any special permits from the city other than a zoning confirmation. You can contact the Development Services Department at (949) 461-3400 to discuss your business location and to request information on zoning confirmation. Not requiring a business license does not alleviate responsibilities of any business from being licensed by state or federal entities. It is your responsibility to be in communication with the Development Service Department to determine if you need any approvals from other city, state, or federal departments to run your business legally.
You should also contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to determine if you will need any law enforcement approvals. They can be reached at (714) 647-1868. The City of Lake Forest encourages businesses to register so that in the event of any emergency the city will have your business contact information. This also allows the city to have your business on the city mailing list so that you may be notified of business seminars and workshops. You can register your business online on the City of Lake Forest website. There is a short document that asks for your business and owner contact information, as well as two emergency contacts who have keys to your business.
I want to use my home to run my Lake Forest business. Is this acceptable in Lake Forest?
Yes, it is acceptable in the city of Lake Forest to conduct business from your home. You are still encouraged to register your business, and there are a few rules and regulations that you will be expected to comply with, including that you not use your garage to operate your business, that you have no evidence on the outside of your home that would indicate that you operate a Lake Forest business inside, and that you not hire anyone living outside of your home to work in your business.
Will I need any other approvals or Lake Forest licenses?
You may. If your Lake Forest business includes any of the following activities you will need to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s department at (714) 647-1868:
- Firearms dealer
- Nude modeling
- Billiard hall
- Nude rap session
- Massage therapist
- Dance hall/studio/instruction
This is not a complete list of activities that would require a police department approval. For a complete list, visit the City of Lake Forest website or contact the Development Services Department at (949) 461-3400.
I still need information. Who should I contact?
If you need more information or still have questions, the Lake Forest Economic Development website
has useful information. You can also contact the Development Services Department at (949) 461-3400 or you can visit them in person at 25550 Commercentre Drive, suite 100, in Lake Forest.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.