Business License


One of the basic steps in starting your new business is to review applicable city, county, state and federal regulations and obtain any necessary licenses or permits. The following lists some of the requirements at each level of government. It is a general guide and should not be considered an all-inclusive checklist. Requirements vary depending on the type, size, location, etc., of the business.


A business license is an annual tax you pay for doing business within a city boundary. It is required BEFORE any business, trade, profession, enterprise, establishment, occupation, or calling is conducted within the boundaries of a city, even if your business is physically located outside the city limits or you have a business license from another city. Business license fees and regulations are different for each city. Contact your city for further information:

CAMARILLO: 601 Carmen Drive (805) 388-5330
FILLMORE: 250 Central Avenue (805) 524-3701
MOORPARK: 799 Moorpark Avenue (805) 517-6200
OJAI: 401 South Ventura Street (805) 646-5581
OXNARD: 214 S. C Sreet, Oxnard (805) 385-7817
PORT HUENEME: 250 North Ventura Road (805) 986-6526
SANTA PAULA: 970 Ventura Street (805) 933-4211
SIMI VALLEY: 2929 Tapo Canyon Road (805) 583-6736
THOUSAND OAKS: 2100 East Thousand Oaks Boulevard (805) 449-2201
VENTURA: 501 Poli Street, Room 107 (805) 658-4715


Zoning/Building & Safety

Zoning: Every business must comply with the zoning ordinance regulations, whether the business is in the county or in a city. BEFORE SIGNING any leases and moving in, you should check with the local Planning Department to be sure that your proposed business is allowed at the location you are considering.

Planning permits: Many businesses can be started with few permits; however, other more intensive businesses will often require special permits before the business can commence. These are Conditional Use Permits (CUP) and Planned Development Permits (PD) and usually require environmental review and public hearings. These permits will take time to acquire, so factor this into your plans.

Signs: Check with the City or County Planning Department BEFORE using or installing any type of permanent or temporary sign, including those on walls, windows, banners, balloons, and awnings.

Building and Safety: In addition to checking with the Planning Department, you should also check with the local City or County Building and Safety Office to see if the building you intend to occupy is suitable for your business.

Address and APN: Before going to any public agency, you should have an exact address for the proposed business. It is also very useful to have the Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) for the property as well. Having accurate site location information is crucial for receiving the correct zoning information and for filing various documents and permits.


County Government Center, 800 South Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009

Fictitious Business Name: If you regularly transact business in this state for profit under a fictitious business name, you will need to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County Clerk’s Office.

Click here for information regarding Fictitious Business Name Statements.

Health Permits: Contact the County Environmental Health Division, Hall of Administration, 3rd Floor, (805) 654-2813 for the appropriate permit if your business/project is associated with any of the following: retail food sales, public pools/spas, septic systems, underground fuel tanks, medical waste, hazardous waste, tattooing, body piercing, permanent cosmetics, landfills, compost facilities, or trash trucks.

County Business License: The County Sheriff’s Office accepts applications for business licenses ONLY from businesses located in the unincorporated areas of Ventura County which are regulated by the Sheriff, such as: temporary show or concert, dance hall, hawker, pool table, pawn broker, junk collector or dealer, massage parlor, rubbish collector, second-hand dealer, solicitor, taxi cab operator, itinerant merchant, bingo, etc. If your business address is located in the unincorporated area, or you conduct business in the unincorporated area, please contact the Sheriff’s Office to see if you are required to hold a County Business License at (805) 654-2371.

County Business Tax Certificate: All businesses, professions, trades, vocations, enterprises, establishments, occupations and callings being conducted in the unincorporated areas of the county must obtain a Business Tax Certificate. This includes temporary businesses (e.g., film productions). Even businesses located within any city limits that deliver, solicit, or operate in the unincorporated areas of the county must have this certificate. For more information, call the Business Tax Bureau at (805) 645-1328.

Property Tax (business): Each person owning, possessing or controlling taxable personal property used in his or her business, trade or profession, shall file an annual property statement with the County Assessor showing the cost of all taxable property such as supplies, equipment, and fixtures, as of January 1, the lien date. Business inventory is exempt from taxation. Property with an assessed full value of $10,000 or less is exempt from taxation in Ventura County. For assessment information, call the Assessor’s Office at (805) 654-2181. For questions on payment of taxes, call the Tax Collector’s Office at (805) 654-3744. For tax rate information, call the Auditor’s Office (805) 654-3170.

Kennel Licenses: The County Animal Regulation Department regulates kennels. Contact the Animal Regulation Department for kennel business information: 600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010, (805) 388-4341.

Air Quality Permits: Air quality permits are required for any equipment or process at a facility which may emit air pollutants. The Air Pollution Control District (APCD) has a two-step permitting process. Applicants are required to obtain an Authority to Construct from the District before construction begins. After construction has been completed, but before operation begins, applicants are required to obtain a Permit to Operate.

Permits must be modified when any equipment or process is modified, if the equipment is moved or changes ownership, or if conditions on the permit need to be modified.

Examples of equipment or processes requiring a permit are boilers, engines, dry-cleaning machines, vapor degreasers, gasoline storage tanks, and surface coating operations. Application forms are available from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District at the following location: 669 County Square Drive, Second Floor, Ventura, CA 93003. General information (805) 645-1400. Permit information (805) 645-1401.


Board of Equalization: Every person, firm, partnership, or corporation intending to sell tangible goods ordinarily subject to sales tax is required to apply for a California Seller’s Permit. Wholesalers, as well as retailers, must apply for a permit for each place of business. If you fall into this category, you must obtain a Sales Tax Permit whether your business is commercial or home based, sales or repair oriented. If you have questions, or if you require a Sales Tax/Seller’s Permit or Resale Certificate, contact the Board of Equalization: 4820 McGrath Street, Ste 260, Ventura, CA 93003-7778, (805) 677-2700, toll free (800) 400-7115.

Employment Development Department (EDD): In general, if your business will have employees and you will pay wages in excess of $100 during a calendar quarter or you hire domestic employees, contact the Employment Development Department for requirements pertaining to State Income Tax withholding, and Unemployment and Disability Insurance. Employment Tax Customer Service Office, 4820 McGrath Street, Ste 250, Ventura, CA 93003, (805) 654-4506, for forms only, call (805) 654-4505.

Franchise Tax Board: For information on the personal or corporate state taxes resulting from your business activities, contact the Franchise Tax Board at: 300 South Spring Street, Unit 5704, Los Angeles, CA, 90013-1265, (800) 852-5711.

Labor Commissioner: Contact the Labor Commissioner for labor standards, employer regulations, minimum wages/overtime, working conditions, and filing complaints:
411 E. Canon Perdido Street, Ste 3, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, (805) 568-1222.

There may be other STATE REGULATIONS depending on your type of business. Check the white pages of the telephone directory under “State Government Offices” for agencies dealing with alcohol beverage control, consumer affairs, contractor licensing, industrial relations, etc.


Internal Revenue Service: For information on:

  • Employer Identification Tax Number, and
  • Federal Withholding Taxes

Contact the Internal Revenue Service at the following location:
751 Daily Drive, suite 100, Camarillo, CA 93010 (800) 829-1040

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE): The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government whose mission is to “aid, counsel, and assist, insofar as possible, the interests of small business.” It has many programs available, including loan and bond guarantees, publications, training, and special emphasis programs for international trade and selling to the government. Small Business Administration District Office, Economic Development Division, 330 North Brand Boulevard, Ste 1200, Glendale, CA 91203-2308, (818) 552-3209

SCORE is comprised of retired business people who donate their time and expertise to those wishing to start, buy-out, or expand a business. SCORE offers consultation, seminars, and clinics on internal small business operations, such as planning for future growth. Counseling is also available at most of the Chambers listed below: SCORE (805) 204-6022

Copyright Information For copyright information and forms, review their website or call (202)707-3000. To order application forms, the number is (202)707-9100. TTY is (202)707-6737. The mailing address is Library of Congress, Copyright Office, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20559-6000.

Patent and Trademark Information

For patent and trademark information, check out the website or call (800)786-9199.


Your local Chamber of Commerce may be of assistance:

Camarillo Chamber of Commerce
2400 E. Ventura BLVD, Camarillo, CA 93010
(805) 484-4383
Fillmore Chamber of Commerce
354½ Central Avenue, Fillmore, CA 93015
(805) 524-0351 (805) 484-4383

Ventura Chamber of Commerce
785 South Seaward Avenue, Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 648-2875

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,
200 W. 7th Street, Suite 4, Oxnard, CA 93030
(805) 486-0266

Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce,
P.O. Box 497, Santa Paula, CA 93061
(805) 525-0028

Moorpark Chamber of Commerce,
225 W. Los Angeles Avenue, Moorpark, CA 93021
(805) 529-0322

Ojai Chamber of Commerce
150 West Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
(P.O. Box 1134 Ojai, CA 93024)
(805) 646-8126

Oxnard Chamber of Commerce
400 South A Street, Oxnard, CA 93030
(805) 385-8860

Port Hueneme Chamber of Commerce
220 North Market Street, Port Hueneme, CA 93041
(805) 488-2023

Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce
200 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, CA 93060
(805) 525-5561

Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
40 West Cochran Street, Ste 100, Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 526-3900

Thousand Oaks Chamber of Commerce
600 Hampshire Road, Suite 200, Westlake Village, CA 91361
(805) 370-0035