I want to open a business or take over operation of an existing business. What permits and/or licenses does the County of Orange require?

For unincorporated areas of the County of Orange land use is handled by OC Planning; cities have jurisdiction over incorporated city properties. In general, businesses are allowed in areas zoned for business use. However, the types of businesses allowed depend on the specific property zoning. For this reason, we recommend that you contact us early in the process of starting a business so that we can assist you in achieving your goals by providing you with a thorough understanding of the zoning regulations that apply to the specific property or area where you would like to establish your business.

OC Planning issues use and occupancy permits or occupancy permits when the use and/or occupancy of a property changes (for example, when a new business owner takes over an existing business or a new business is established).

Business licenses are handled through the Sheriff's Department for unincorporated areas of the County of Orange and are regulated by individual cities if your property is located in a city. The County of Orange only requires business licenses for certain kinds of businesses. For additional information on business licenses, please click here for the Sheriff's Dept FAQs.

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