Apply For A Business License Costa Mesa, California

Are you interested in opening a business in the city of Costa Mesa?

Everyone planning to open a business in Costa Mesa is required to procure a business license in order to comply with city regulations. You can contact the Business License office at (714) 754-5234 to discuss your business plans and to request a business license application. One of the most important steps in beginning the licensure process is to have your business location zone approved.

There are certain sections of the city where certain businesses may be prohibited. You will need to check with the Planning Division at (714) 754-5245 to find out if your business will be approved.  You should not enter into a real estate contract until you are sure your location is in the correct zone, otherwise you may be paying for a property that will not be issued a business license. Contact the Planning Division to be certain. 

What can you expect to find on the Costa Mesa business license application?

The business license application for the City of Costa Mesa, which can be printed off the City of Costa Mesa website or requested in person at the Finance Department at City Hall on the first floor, is a short document used to collect information about your proposed business. It consists of questions including:

  1. Your business name
  2. The physical address of your business
  3. Mailing address and business phone numbers and contact information
  4. The start date of your business
  5. The average number of employees you will be hiring
  6. The type of ownership, meaning whether you are a sole proprietor, in a partnership, a part of a larger corporation, a husband & wife co-ownership, LLC or LLP
  7. If it is applicable, you will need to submit your seller’s permit number, your contractor’s license information and/or your FEIN
  8. You need to supply all owner’s names, contact information, dates of birth and driver’s license information
  9. You will need to provide a full description of your proposed business activities
  10. If you plan to sell alcohol, you must have a Alcohol Beverage Control Permit Number
  11. If you are renting property, you will need to show the number of spaces, rooms or units
  12. You will need to choose your fee category from the seven given: general business, contractor, tax exempt organization, ‘show, exhibition, swap meet,’ administrative offices, vehicle wheel/tow-truck/bus, taxi cab
  13. There is a list of yes/no questions dealing with what types of materials and storage facilities you will need for your business, answering yes to any of the questions will require you to have a Fire Department approval for your business
  14. Your signature is required in order to process your application. By signing, you are stating that the information you provided is true and accurate, that you agree to comply with all rules and regulations in licensing your business

Do you plan to operate your Costa Mesa business from your home?

If you plan to run your business from your place of residence, you must submit an application for Costa Mesa Home Occupation Permit in addition to your business license application. This application can be downloaded and printed form the Costa Mesa website, or you can request one from the Finance Department on the first floor of City Hall. The Costa Mesa Home Occupation Permit application requests that you give detailed description of your business activities, the portion of your home that will be dedicated to operating your business, your business name and contact information. If you do not own your home, you will need to provide the name of the property owner and his or her contact information. There are other questions that will need to be answered accurately in order to be issued your home occupation permit. This application comes with a list of evaluation standards that you will be required to adhere to in order than your permit be issued.

Will you need additional licenses or permits to operate your Costa Mesa business?

If your business handles food, alcohol, tobacco, or adult-oriented material or entertainment, you will need separate licenses or permits. There are may other businesses that will need additional permits or licenses, such as, but not limited to:

  1. Auctions
  2. Amusements and rides
  3. Bingo games
  4. Christmas tree Lot
  5. Firearms dealer
  6. Massage parlor/masseur or masseuse
  7. Door to door peddler
  8. Swap meet

Some of these businesses will require approval by the Health Department, Police Department, Fire Department, and/or City Council. It is important that you know the requirements for additional permits and licenses before you apply for your Costa Mesa business license. If you are not sure, please contact the Costa Mesa Business License office at (714) 754-5234 to determine what other types of permits or licenses you may need.

What costs can you expect to incur?

Aside from additional licenses and permits, you can expect to pay a fee for you business license application. This will be calculated based on the information that you provide on your Costa Mesa business license application, and will be determined by the Finance Department. They can be reached at (714) 754-5234.

Do you have further questions or concerns?

Contact the Costa Mesa Business License office at (714) 754-5234 to discuss any additional questions or concerns that you might have about obtaining your business license in Costa Mesa.

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