Downtown Long Beach
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Opening a Business

Learn How to Open Your Business Downtown

We’ve taken the process of opening a business in downtown Long Beach and mapped it out along Ocean Blvd.

We have broken the process up into 11 simple steps for you to understand what you need to do step-by-step.

Ready to Get Started?

Provide your business with an accurate and realistic path for success. Business start-up assistance and other programs available from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted by Long Beach City College. The SBDC provides one-on-one counseling, business training seminars in marketing, financing, business start-up, international trade, and procurement programs to small businesses.

Long Beach Small Business
Development Center

3447 Atlantic Ave., Suite 205
Long Beach, CA 90808
Phone: 562.570.4574

Once you have a business plan drafted, determine if your prospective business has particular needs that can be met by one of the City of Long Beach's business development programs.

The City of Long Beach's Bureau of Economic Development and Cultural Affairs has information on business loans, business incentive programs, starting a business, free business counseling services, job training, placement assistance, and export development assistance.

The City of Long Beach Economic
Development & Cultural Affairs Bureau

110 Pine Avenue, Suite 1100
Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone: 562. 570.6615

Work with a broker to find suitable site for your business that are aligned with the business model outlined in your business plan.

All land and buildings in Long Beach are subject to zoning by the City of Long Beach. Among other things, zoning regulates the types of use allowed on each site. It is imperative that the business you intend to open is aligned with the zoning. For more information about the uses permitted on the site, contact the City of Long Beach's Department of Development Services:

The City of Long Beach Department
of Development Services

Phone: (562) 570-6194

Downtown Plan Website

If you intend to name your firm anything other than your own name, you must file a fictitious business name, also called a dba (Doing Business As). To File a Fictitious Business Name:

Los Angeles County Registrar
Phone: (562) 462-2177
LA County Registrar Website

Any person operating a business in the City must obtain a business license and pay an annual business license tax. Additionally, the Business License Division can tell you which permits are necessary before opening.

The City of Long Beach
Business License Division

Phone: (562) 570-6211

The Business Development Center, the Business License Division, and the Development Services Center can all help you determine what other permits or licenses you may need. Contact the appropriate offices listed below.

For Wholesale and Retail Businesses
To Apply for a Seller's Permit:
State Board of Equalization: (310) 516-4300

For Restaurants and Food Vendors
A Health Inspection is required.
City of Long Beach Health Department: (562) 570-4132 ext. 0

For Restaurants Serving Alcohol and Liquor Stores
A Liquor License is required.
California Department of Alcoholic Beverages Control: (562) 982-1337

For Some Types of Retail and Manufacturing
South Coast AQMD: (310) 233-7000

Business Structure
If you are filing as a corporation, S corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, you must register with the Secretary of State.
Secretary of State: (916) 657-5448

The City of Long Beach's Development Services Center has representatives from various City offices to help determine the permits you will need. The Center is located in City Hall, 4th Floor, 333 West Ocean Boulevard. Contact Development Services staff directly at the numbers listed below:

For questions about Zoning, Environmental Review, Land Use, and Conditional Use Permits.
Phone: (562) 570-6194

Development Services
For questions about Plan Check, Mechanical, and Electrical Permits.
Phone: (562) 570-6651

Business License
Phone: (562) 570-6211

Public Works
For questions on public right-of-way, sanitation, and recycling.
Phone: (562) 570-7082

Fire Prevention Services
Phone: (562) 570-7086

Permit Processing Assistance
The Development Services Help Desk offers business assistance by providing information, guidance, counseling, mediation and referral services in getting through the City's permitting process.
Phone: (562) 570-6952

A partnership, corporation, or a sole proprietorship with employees requires a Federal Tax I.D. Number. A sole proprietorship without employees can use the owner's social security number.

Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (562) 491-7751

The same rules generally apply for a State Tax I.D. Number as for a Federal Tax I.D. Number.

Franchise Tax Board
Phone: (800) 852-5711

Separate business and personal accounting is essential when you file your tax return. Contact your local bank or credit union to create a checking account for your new business.