Starting your Business

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Buy Local LogoThe City began a Buy Local campaign to encourage residents to do just that...buy local! By supporting our local businesses, we’re supporting the jobs these businesses provide to our friends and neighbors; the other local businesses that supply them and the jobs they create; services and programs provided by our City; and we’re helping the environment.

The City of Monterey is anxious to assist new businesses to assure their successful location in Monterey. Starting a new business requires a major commitment of time, energy, and capital. You will also be required to obtain a business license, and other required zoning, planning, and building permits, depending on the nature of your business. Most important to your success is the development of a business plan, which describes how your business will be managed and operated. A business plan is also essential if you are seeking financing for your business.

If you plan to operate your business in the City of Monterey, you must apply for your business license in the City of Monterey. The only requirement is that you have a fixed place of business.

Business license
Fees are based on your estimated receipts for the next year. If you are a new business, the fees are based on estimated receipts. In estimating gross receipts, sales tax receipts should be excluded form the total. Business licenses are renewed annually in July of each year at the beginning of the fiscal year.For more information, visit the City's Finance Department.
If the name of your business is different from your own legal name you must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement. The Fictitious Business Name Statement is filed with the County Clerk. It may be necessary for you to go to the County Clerk's office in Salinas and fill out the forms establishing the name of your company. If you need to file, you should do so within 40 days of starting your business. The forms can be obtained from:

Monterey County Clerk
168 West Alisal St., 1st Floor
P.O. Box 29
Salinas, CA 93902

The current filing fee is $30 for businesses with one owner and one business name. There is an additional charge of $7 for each additional business owner or business name. After filing, you will be required to publish a legal notice of your business name in any newspaper of general circulation in the County where the principal place of business is located, once per week for four consecutive weeks, and to file an affidavit with the County Clerk within 30 days after publication.
A. California Coastal Rural Development Corporation offers a variety of small business loan programs to assist businesses and farmers with financing.
Established in 1982, the organization is dedicated to economic development and job creation. Our mission is to assist enterprises to grow, thrive, and prosper, enabling the overall economic development of our communities.
221 Main Street, Salinas, CA 93901
Call Loree Van Bebber 831.424.1099, Ext. 205
or Carole Cook, Ext. 203
Visit them on the web at www.calcoastal.org

B. The County of Monterey, Environmental Resource Policy Division Office of Economic Dev. provides financing information and assistance to small businesses throughout the County. For more information call them at 831.755.5065.

Environmental Resource Policy Division Office of Economic Dev
P.O. Box 180, 240 Church Street - Room 301, Salinas, CA 93902
Phone: 831.755.5065, fax: 831.751.6933
oed@co.monterey.ca.us| www.mcbusiness.org/

C. Central Coast Small Business Development Center
This organization provides no cost, hands-on technical assistance and support to small business on the Central Coast. For information or assistance, from Monterey call 1.800.464.6136, or write to Central Coast Small Business Development Center at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003. www.centralcoastsbdc.org

Outline of Permits

Before selecting a particular location, check with the City of Monterey's Planning Division to make sure that your business meets Zoning Code requirements. Certain areas of the City are zoned for Commercial and Industrial Uses. Additional requirements for the operations of a business are also included in the Zoning Code. You need to verify that the zoning classification of your proposed location allows the kind of business you plan to operate. Contact the Planning Office, (831) 646-3885 for more information.

Some commercial businesses must also obtain a Use Permit to operate in the City of Monterey. Use Permits enable the City to review and control the operations of businesses which might have a detrimental impact on other nearby businesses or residents. Such businesses include fast food restaurants, businesses providing live entertainment, and/or businesses with late hours of operation adjacent to residential areas. Contact the Planning Office,(831) 646-3885 to determine whether or not you will need to obtain a Use Permit.

Some businesses which have few or no impacts are allowed to be operated out of an existing residence. Such businesses must obtain a Home Occupation Permit. Additional information can be obtained from the Planning Office, (831) 646-3885. Click here to download a project application (PDF).

All new signs require a sign permit, and may require approval from the Architectural Review Committee. Information on signage requirements can be obtained from the Planning Office, (831) 646-3885.

Construction of a new building or an addition to an existing building will require approval of the Architectural Review Committee and building permits. Planning Staff can provide you with information Regarding Planning and Building Code requirements for your proposed business. Contact the Planning Office, (831) 646-3885 for more information.

Once your project has been approved, you need to contact the Building Safety Division to make sure your proposed project meets current building code and fire safety requirements. All new construction must be approved by the Permits & Inspections Office and may require review by the Fire Marshall before you can occupy your new or improved space and open your business. For more info contact the Permits & Inspection Office,
(831) 646-3890.

California State Board of Equalization
111 East Navajo Dr. Ste 100
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3003

(Hair stylists and barbers) need to obtain a license before starting their business from the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Independent Massage Technicians when applying for a business license must provide a copy of a California Massage Therapy Council Certificate.www.camtc.org
Massage Establishments must go through the Monterey Police Dept. before submitting their business license application. Call Monterey Police at (831) 646-5698

applicants must provide a copy of their IRS 501-(c)(3) form designating them as a non-profit. Information can be found at www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits