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Start a Business

Ventura County Grows Business
Welcome to this brief tour of Ventura County and our ten key communities. Ventura County offers your business everything it needs and everything your employees want. Rarely does a business location provide the unique combination of infrastructure, skilled workforce, financial stability, market access, affordability and the quality of life that’s available in Ventura County.


Business Start Up Assistance


Resources to assist in developing a business plan and taking all of the necessary steps to start-up your own business.

Business Licenses
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. Visit the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s page for the following applications:

  • Business Tax Certificate Application
  • Business Tax Certificate Application Instructions

Business Tax Certificate Renewal
To renew your business tax certificate, you must provide the tax collector’s office with evidence that your business has the appropriate land use and building permits, or is exempt from permit requirements. Permits must be obtained in person from the Planning Division and Building and Safety Division counters.

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CATFA)
The CDTFA website has specific information about the programs they administer, how to register for permits and licenses, and how to file and report correctly.

CalGold – Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development permit assistance website, CalGold, is a comprehensive website that assists business owners in finding the appropriate permit information for their business. It also provides contact information for the various agencies that administer and issue permits, including those for cities, counties, and various other departments, including the CDTFA.

County of Ventura 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.

EDC-VC – Economic Development Collaborative
The EDC-VC is the business resource for companies of all sizes doing business in Ventura County. EDC-VC promotes jobs and economic growth to maintain the county’s economic vitality through these key programs and services: Business consulting and workshops, loans, manufacturing outreach program, G.E.T. Trade, the how-to on international trade.

One Stop Permitting Website
The first step when looking for a County permit is to visit the Ventura County One Stop Permitting website. This website was built with the end-user in mind. It takes you step-by-step through almost every County permitting process with links and resources along the way. This website is especially helpful for residents who have never applied for a planning or building permit. It covers a wide range of permits including:

FilmingTree trimmingReplacement roof installationHome additions
Patio coversBarns under 2,000 square feet in sizeSwimming PoolsSecond dwelling units or “granny flats”
Single-family homes on vacant, legal lotsGround mounted solar panelsElectrical service for agricultural wellsStorage sheds
GradingNon-habitable structures within a FEMA floodplainTract MapsParcel Maps
Discretionary Parcel Map WaiversConditional Certificates of ComplianceConditional Use PermitsPlanned Development Permits
VariancesAdministrative VariancesZone Changes 

Permit Navigator
The County of Ventura strives to consistently improve the services it provides to residents including small businesses. The Permit Navigator program is a service to help small business owners find the best pathway to complete any County permitting process. This program is especially helpful when a permit application has been submitted and the business owner feels “stuck” in the process. Questions can be emailed to VCpermitnavigator@ventura.org with an explanation of the issue. Response time is within 2-3 business days.

Regulatory 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.

Regulatory License Application
Copy of Ventura County Sheriff’s Department approval letter must be attached to this application.

SBDC – Small Business Development Center
EDC-VC has added the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to its menu of comprehensive business services. SBDC provides free advising and workshops to small business owners in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and a network of 12,000+ volunteers, they are able to deliver business consulting services at no charge or at very low cost.

WEV – Women’s Economic Ventures
Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) programs combine classroom training, capital and individual technical assistance to support the small business entrepreneur through start-up, stabilization and growth phases. Most services are provided in Spanish and English.

City Business Licenses


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.

City of Camarillo

City of Fillmore

City of Moorpark

City of Ojai

City of Oxnard

City of Port Hueneme

City of Santa Paula

City of Simi Valley

City of Thousand Oaks

City of Ventura

Fictitious Business Name
Every person who regularly transacts business in this state for profit under a fictitious business name shall file a fictitious business name statement not later than 40 days from the time he commences to transact such business.

Locating Your Business


Contact the agency where you want to locate your new business. There are 10 cities and the unincorporated County of Ventura area. Each agency has different requirements for conducting business in their jurisdiction.

County of Ventura – Unincorporated Area


EDC-VC – Economic Development Collaborative
The EDC-VC is the business resource for companies of all sizes doing business in Ventura County. EDC-VC promotes jobs and economic growth to maintain the county’s economic vitality through these key programs and services: Business consulting and workshops, loans, manufacturing outreach program, G.E.T. Trade, the how-to on international trade.



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