The City of Oxnard would like to welcome and thank you for choosing Oxnard as the place to operate your business. The City would like to make the process of starting a new business or relocating your business to Oxnard as easy as possible.
Use the following guide to help you through the various agencies and steps involved in starting your business.
Get to Know Your City Departments
License Services will assist you with the application of your Business Tax Certificate (BTC) and additional permits that may be applicable. A BTC is a certificate issued to a business upon the payment of the business tax paid to the city annually for the right to conduct business within the city limits. A BTC is required before conducting any business, trade, profession, enterprise, establishment or occupation. This is applicable whether the physical business address is located inside or outside the city jurisdiction and even if a tax certificate is issued from another city. For more information, contact License Services.
Planning Division will assist with determining the proper location for your business operation. Learn about the planning and zoning process and requirements for establishing a commercial or home based business and to find about what forms and permits you may need such as a Zone Clearance Application in addition to your Business Tax Certificate (BTC).
Building & Engineering
If your business will be occupying a commercial or industrial building, it may need building permits and inspections prior to the building being open for business and may require a Certificate of Occupancy before opening. Contact Building & Engineering for more information.
Also See: Small Business Assistance Program
1. Your Business Plan
When considering starting a business, it is advisable to first create a business plan. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to determine a method for accounting of finances, equipment, and location, business laws, taxation, and if you will have employees, partners or contractors. There are different types of business structures such as a: Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a Limited Liability Company, a Cooperative, and/or a Corporation. See the Business Licensing FAQ handout for more information.
Comprehensive Business Resource
Small Business Resource
2. Federal Resources
For the purpose of tax administration, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about an Employer Identification Tax Number (EIN) and if applicable, a Self-Employed Individuals (SE) tax.
3. State Resources
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is the agency to contact to obtain a Seller’s Permit. This may be required for a business with any type of sales within the state or other types of business such as automotive repair. If you are considering having employees or for hiring independent contractors, contact the Employment Development Department (EDD) If you are considering a licensed profession or state certification, visit The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for more information. If your business is considering selling or serving alcoholic beverages, you will need to contact Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) for additional information.
Employment Development Department Ventura Office
4820 McGrath St #5704 Ventura CA 93003
Department of Consumer Affairs
Alcohol Beverage Control Ventura Office
1000 S. Hill Rd #310 Ventura CA 93003
4. County Resources
Every person who conducts a business in the state under a fictitious business name, any name other than your surname, have more than one owner, or to check against infringing on another business name, you will need to file a “Fictitious Business Name” (FBN) with the County Clerk’s Office.
Unlike real property, business property is reappraised annually. For assessment purposes, the owner of a business must file a property statement each year with the County Assessor’s Office.
Please contact the County Environmental Health Department for if your business is food sales, public pools/spas, tattooing, body piercing, permanent cosmetics, cosmetology or is a business that may require a health permit.
Air Quality permits are required for any equipment or process at a facility that may emit air pollutants. If this applies to you, please check with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPD).
County Recorder/County Clerk
Ventura Environmental Health
Ventura County Air Pollution Control District
669 County Square Drive, Ventura CA 93003
5. City of Oxnard Requirements
Business Tax Certificates
Once you have determined a business plan, have all the necessary Federal, State and County requirements, an approved location identified for your business, you will be ready to apply for an Oxnard Business Tax Certificate.
A Business Tax Certificate is required before conducting any business, trade, profession, enterprise, establishment or occupation within the City of Oxnard. Even if your business physical address is outside the city but you are conducting business in the city, you will require a Business Tax Certificate.
Business Tax Certificates are issued on an annual basis. The business tax certificate must be renewed in advance on the first day of the anniversary month each year. The City will send a renewal notice, however, penalties are assessed for delinquent accounts, regardless of whether you receive a renewal notice or not.
Costs & Fees
The cost of a business tax certificate varies based on the type of business. Generally, a business tax is calculated either on a flat rate or gross receipt. If the business tax is calculated on gross receipts, you will be required to provide a 12-month estimate of gross receipts. Each year thereafter you will be required to remit proof of gross receipts to renew.
Additional Permits Some businesses require additional permits if offering certain types of services. These include but are not limited to dancing, entertainment, tobacco sales, massage, mobile vendors, taxicab companies and taxi cab drivers. Contact licensing for additional information.
Some businesses are exempt from paying a business tax but must still submit an application for a business tax certificate. If you collect retirement benefits, are a non-profit organization, have a valid Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Permit or Moter Carrier Permit (MCP), please contact Licensing Services to discuss
Before committing to a location, be sure that location is appropriate for your type of business. If you will be conducting a business from a commercial, industrial or home location, you will need to contact the Planning Division first to verify that your business meets the guidelines set per city zoning code. A planner will review your business plans and discuss your best options. If the location of your business if appropriate for the zone, then you can apply for a Zone Clearance or Home Occupation Application.
Commercial Business-Zone Clearance Application (ZNCL)
This application ties with a Business Tax Certificate for your business to operate at a commercial or industrial location. This application essentially clears your business to operate within a specific zone. Zone Clearances will also reveal if your proposed business location will require building improvements, parking requirements and/or building occupancy requirements.
Additional Permits Requirements
If your proposed business will store hazardous materials, the fire department will require a Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) permit. If your business will discharge waste water such as from auto car wash or repair, restaurants, etc. Your application will be reviewed by Water Resources Division (Source Control).
Grand Openings/Temporary Use Permits (TUP)
To help advertise most commercial businesses, you may want to have a grand opening. A Temporary Use Permit allows you to advertise a grand opening for 30-days. Inquire with a planner regarding a grand opening event.
A separate sign permit is required if your business will be installing, modifying or replacing a sign.
Home Based Business-Home Occupation Permit (HOP)
If your business will operate out of your home such as a home office, it will require a Home Occupation Permit in addition to a Business Tax Certificate. A planner will inquire about the type of business you intend to operate and disclose any limitations or restrictions. Generally, a home office is intended to use your home as a business address without modifying the existing residential use of the home.
Ready to Start?
- If you are ready to start, you can begin a Business Tax Certificate process by visiting License Services or click here to begin the application.
- If you would like to discuss your business plans, make an appointment with a city planner. Visit the Planning Division page for more information.