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Starting a Business

There can be numerous steps to starting a business. If you are planning a home business, you must contact the Business Registration Division at (714) 738-6531 or (714) 738-5326 to determine if your activity is allowed in the home. Review the Home Occupation requirements before contacting the city.

If your business will be conducted in a commercial or industrial location you may need to contact one or more of the agencies listed below. Before signing a lease we recommend you contact the Community Development Department at (714) 738-6598 to determine if your site is zoned for the purpose of your business.

For assistance in locating someone doing business in the City, contact the Business Registration office. In order to register a business or make a change to your business name, ownership, address or activity, a business registration application form is required to register or amend your account. You may call City Hall, apply in person or use our download area to obtain the form. Please contact the Business Registration Division for applicable fees. The City requires that any person conducting, managing, carrying on or engaging in any business, trade, profession, or occupation in the City of Fullerton, obtain a business registration certificate from the City.

State Licenses

Many occupations, such as physician, attorney, construction contractor, etc., require a State license; you may be required to show proof of this license before a City registration certificate is issued. If you are in doubt about State licensing requirements for your business, you should contact the appropriate agency such as the State Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 344-9940 or visit their website.

Filing a Fictitious Name Statement

A Fictitious Business Name or DBA (Doing Business As) is the name a business uses other than the owner's name, or in the case of a corporation one that is different from that registered in the articles of incorporation.  If you are using a fictitious name the California Business & Professions Code requires that you file a Fictitious Name Statement. It is also important to do this to enable the consumer to know who he/she is doing business with. Filing will entitle you to initiate suits for the protection of the name. Most banks require you have proof of filing to open a business account using the fictitious name. A DBA must be filed with the Orange County Clerk/Recorder, followed with an advertisement in an Orange County newspaper that files public notices. For more information contact the Orange County Clerk/Recorder at (714) 834-2500 or visit their website. The Orange County Clerk/Recorder now has a branch office in Fullerton at 201 N. Harbor Blvd. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., M-F.

Resale Number

If your business involves the sale of tangible personal property either retail or wholesale, you are required to obtain a seller's permit from the State Board of Equalization (SBOE). As a seller, you must remit sales tax (collected from the consumer at the (time of sale) to the SBOE. The SBOE will advise you of the time and manner in which taxes are to be reported and paid. Failure to register for a seller's permit and pay taxes in the manner prescribed may result in a fine or other penalty. For more information contact the State Board of Equalization at (800) 400-7115 or visit their at their website.

Federal and State Employer Requirements

All businesses that have employees are required to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the U. S. Internal Revenue Service. This is required for the purposes of withholding and payment of employee taxes. For more information contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 or visit their website.

As an employer, you may also be required to file with the State of California Employer Development Department. This is for the purpose of withholding employee tax, as well as for meeting unemployment insurance requirements. For more information contact the Employment Development Department at (888) 745-3886 or (916) 653-0707 or visit their website.

Alcoholic Beverage License

If your business is going to sell any type of alcoholic beverages you must first obtain an Alcoholic Business License from the State Alcoholic Beverage Control. For more information call (714) 558-4101 or visit their website.

Alarm System Permit

If you have an alarm in your home or business, you are required to have a valid Alarm User's Permit. Contact the Fullerton Alarm Coordinator in the Administrative Services Department at (714) 738-6529.

Fire Inspection Fee

New businesses, at commercial locations, will be inspected by a Fire Inspector. For more information about fire Inspections contact the Fullerton Fire Prevention Bureau at (714) 738-6500.

Building Permits, Signs and Banners

If you will be remodeling the structure you plan to occupy, building permits may be required for the work. A permit is required for signs and banners. For further information contact the Development Services Department at (714) 738-6541.

Home Occupation Requirements

Fullerton Municipal Code Section 15.17.030(M) regulates businesses based out of the home. Included within these regulations are requirements that no on-site sales occur, no non-resident of the premises is employed on-site, no direct outdoor storage occur, and no increase in pedestrian or vehicular traffic occur as a result of the business. If you are planning to have a business in your home you are required to initial the Home Occupation Agreement section on the Business Registration application.

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