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Opening A Business

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Careful planning is fundamental to success. We recommend you research the costs and other aspects involved in opening a business. Review the “Tools for Business Success” section of the City's website. The Tools for Business Success site has a wide range of resources designed to help you start and grow a business.

To obtain information about demographic reports and psychographic analyses click here for the Community & Economic Development Department and review the Publications and Reports section. For real estate information click here (LoopNet) for available retail, office, commercial or industrial sites.

Before opening a business, we recommend you contact the following City of Palm Springs departments and other organizations to obtain the appropriate paperwork needed to open a business in Palm Springs:

City of Palm Springs Economic Development 760-323-8259
City of Palm Springs Planning Department 760-323-8245
City of Palm Springs Business License Department 760-323-8289
City of Palm Springs Building Department 760-323-8242
City of Palm Springs Fire Department 760-323-8186
Internal Revenue Service (Federal Tax ID Number) 800-829-1040
Riverside County Clerk (Fictitious Business Name) 760-863-7490
Riverside County Health Department (Restaurants) 760-320-1048
ABC (Alcohol & Beverage Control) 760-568-0990
State Board of Equalization (Seller’s Permit) 800-321-2752
State Contractor’s License Board (Contractor’s License) 800-321-2752

Getting Started

In order to assure a smooth opening, we recommend the following steps:

1. Make Contact with a Planning Department Professional. Provide the address of the site you are considering and get a zoning clearance. Different zones allow different business. You don’t want to sign a lease in a zone that doesn’t allow your type of business.

2. Pay your Business License Tax. You’ll do this after receiving a zoning clearance. Print an application from the City’s Business License Department.

• You should budget anywhere between $300 to over $900, depending on the number of your employees.

• Contractors and Professional Businesses are charged on a separate fee scale. Please contact a Business License Department Professional for a list of fees.

3. Zoning Sign-off. Once you pay your Business License you need to take it back to a Planning Department Professional and have it signed off.

4. Need a Sign? A Planning Department Professional will be happy to assist you in determining your signage needs.

Sign permit fees can range from $315 to $958 for multi-tenant complexes. A Planning Department Professional can provide more information if you are located in a multi-tenant complex.

Temporary Signs & Banners will run $34 and may be used ONLY ONCE AND ONLY FOR 30 CONSECUTIVE DAYS.

5. Restaurants

Grease trap – If you need a grease trap, a Building Department Professional will be happy to guide you.

Outdoor seating requires a “Land Use Permit” (LUP) which costs $696 unless the restaurant you are leasing has an existing LUP that you may transfer for $122.

• Restaurants must also contact the Riverside County Health Department (RCHD) to obtain a list of their requirements and fees. RCHD approval is required for the building department to issue a permit.

• The ABC (Alcohol & Beverage Control) must be contacted if you wish to provide liquor in your restaurant.

6. Building Alterations & Expansions – Any time the exterior of a commercial building is altered on the outside or whenever a building is enlarged, the City requires Architectural Review. For more information on alterations and/or expansions, please contact a Planning Department Professional. A Minor Architectural approval is required for exterior alterations that do not add square footage to the building. An application is available on the City’s website.

We hope you find this information helpful in opening your business in the City of Palm Springs. Our mission is to assist in creating a positive experience in opening a business in our beautiful city. We wish you all the best – Welcome to Palm Springs!

“To identify & advocate quality economic development
in the greater Palm Springs Area”

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