I am planning to open a business in Ventura, California. Where should I start?
To open a business in the City of Ventura, you will need to apply for and be issued a business license. The application can be filled out and printed online at the City of Ventura
website or can be requested in person from the Business Tax Office, located at 501 Poli Street, room 107. Zoning clearance should be acquired before you purchase or lease any business property. Zoning clearance can be obtained by contacting the City of Ventura Planning Division at (805) 654-7725. When you discuss your business property, be sure to mention the activities that you plan to conduct on the property so that the Planning Division can verify that these activities are legal in the proper zone.
Will I need other Ventura permits or licenses?
As mentioned, you will need a business license and a zoning verification, but you may need additional permits or licenses to operate your business in compliance with federal, state, and local entities. An example of additional licenses could be that if you plan to hire employees, you may need to have a FEIN (federal employer’s ID number). You would need to contact IRS by calling (800) 820-1040 to determine if you need a FEIN. This is one example of many business situations that may require that you procure other licenses or permits. Others include getting a massage license, certain permits if you plan to solicit any goods or services, etc. The City of Ventura urges you to contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs to discuss your business endeavor and for more information regarding additional requirements. They can be reached at (800) 952-5210.
What information is required to apply for a Ventura business license?
Your business license application needs to be filled in completely and accurately with information regarding you as the business owner and your business. Some of the information includes (but is not limited to) the following:
- The legal name of the owner(s)
- Name of your business
- Physical and mailing address and contact phone numbers of your business
- Owner contact information including home address and phone number
- Type of ownership (single owner, trust, corporation, LLC or partnership)
- If applicable: state certification or license number, FEIN, state employer’s ID number, resale number and number of employees
- A description of your business activities
- Owner(s) name, social security number, California driver’s license number, date of birth, and email
- A check list of types of business that you may be conducting, including home business, alcohol sales, entertainment, etc.
- A section of business tax calculations
- A space for your signature stating that all the information you have provided is true and accurate
What fees am I expected to pay?
Your business tax fees will be calculated based on the type of business you plan to conduct, your gross receipts, and the month that you open your business. There are three categories that your business may fall into:
- wholesale or retail, etc.
- professional services, rentals, contractors, etc.
- seasonal or special events, vendors, etc.
Depending what category your business falls into, and your estimated gross receipts, your business tax will be calculated and may different for each type of business. The section for calculating your fees and an explanation of what types of businesses may fall into each category is located on your business license application. You can call (805) 658-4715 for assistance with the calculations.
I still need information. Who should I contact?
The City of Ventura maintains an excellent website and many of your questions may be answered through it. If you still need to speak to someone directly, you can visit the Business Tax Office, located at 501 Poli Street, room 107, or call the office at (805) 658-4715.
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.