A Step-by-Step Guide to Launching Your Own Business in Camarillo

Aerial photo of the sun setting over Camarillo (high resolution)

Whether you’re just thinking about getting started or are ready to tackle every detail, starting a business can sometimes feel overwhelming at first. In Camarillo, we’re all about supporting businesses, both small and large, right from the beginning. In this article, explore the steps you’ll need to take to establish your business here in the city.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

What form will your business take? If you’re planning to operate as anything other than a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to register with the Secretary of State. What are the business structures that aren’t sole proprietorships? There are many, but some of the most common are limited partnerships, corporations, and LLCs.

Step 2: File Your Fictitious Business Name

If your business name does not include the last name of the owner, you are required to file a Fictitious Business Name (FBN) statement with the County Clerk. You’ll need your FBN to open a bank account for your business, too.

Step 3: Find the Right Location

Consider the ideal place for your business to be located. Important factors for retail endeavors include market demand for your products or services, the demographics of your ideal customer, operational costs, nearby competition, and growth potential. Manufacturers and tech startups would consider additional factors like access to materials, infrastructure, available labor force, logistics, and more. Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you can search available properties on our website, or by working with a commercial real estate agent.

Step 4: Get Zoning Approval

Once you’ve found your location, take a look at the zoning map to determine what zone it’s in. Then, look at the Camarillo municipal code to determine if your business is an allowed use in that zone.

Some zoning uses are allowed by right, while others may be a discretionary process. We can walk you through the process and if necessary, schedule a meeting with our Get-To-Yes Consultation Team to let you know what it will take to develop or redevelop a property.

Businesses operating in commercial locations need to apply for zoning approval, and those operating in residential locations need to apply for a home occupation permit. You can find the applications on the City of Camarillo’s website. This process will verify that your business operations are allowed in the area you’ve selected, and let you know if you need additional permits.

Step 5: Get Your City Business License

Once your zoning has been approved, register for a City of Camarillo Business License. If you have questions about the licensing process, contact the Business Tax division at 805-388-5330.

Certain businesses, such as massage establishments or venues providing live entertainment, will require additional permits from business tax to operate.

Step 6: Apply for Additional Permits (if necessary)

Depending on your business, plans for your space and more, you may need to get permits from the following offices:

Signage and Tenant Improvements

Food Facilities

Step WHENEVER: Get Help, Ask Questions, Join the Community

At any point in the process of spinning up your business, the Camarillo Economic Development Division is here to help! From the first steps of formation to business plans, hiring, training, finances and more, there are many resources to help you here in Camarillo. Explore our small business resources online or reach out to us with any questions. Just ask us! We can help you discover your best way forward.

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