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Starting a Business

Starting a Business in the City

Interested in opening a business in the City of Cerritos? To assist you as you begin the process of starting a business in Cerritos, follow the Starting A Business Flow Chart and guidance below:

1. Find a Potential Business Location

First, you will want to find a location in Cerritos where your proposed business is permitted to operate by checking the zoning of the property. You can do this by using the City’s online GIS zoning map or by locating your property on the City’s printable zoning map. A list of permitted business uses within each zone is available in the Cerritos Municipal Code. Once a potential location has been determined, please call the Department of Community Development at (562) 916-1201 to verify that your business is permitted at a proposed location.

2. Apply for a Business License

Once you have identified a location in the City where your business is permitted to operate, submit a business license application online.

For a business proposed in a commercial or industrial zone in the City, you will need to provide various supporting documents such as a Statement of Use lettersite planfloor planproperty owner approvalapplicant agreementCounty of Los Angeles Fire Department intended use statement, and if applicable, your Seller’s Permit.

If your business is proposed in a residential area, you will need your Seller’s Permit, if applicable, a Statement of Use letterapplicant agreement, and property owner approval to apply.

3. Apply for Permits

Once your business license application is approved and paid for, you may now submit an application for any required building permits for any tenant improvements you may want to do. If you would like to change your building sign, you will need to apply for a sign permit, and approval of a “Grand Opening” or other banner will require a temporary sign permit. If you are not sure which permits you need, the Application Assistant will help you determine the correct permit applications you will need to complete.

Contractors Doing Work in the City of Cerritos

If you are performing work in the City of Cerritos as a licensed contractor, you will need to apply for a City of Cerritos Contractor's Business License. In order to apply, you will need to have a copy of your State Contractor’s card. If you are applying as an agent on behalf of the owner or licensed contractor, you will need to submit a notarized Letter of Authorization.

Service Providers Doing Work in the City of Cerritos

If you are providing a service in the City of Cerritos but your office is based outside the City, you will need to apply for an Out-of-Town Business License. This business license is required for service providers such gardeners, handymen, janitorial or services, pool maintenance, real estate broker, private patrol, taxi services, ambulatory services, tow services, catering services, delivery services, etc.

If you need assistance, please contact the City of Cerritos Business License Office at (562) 916-1236.

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