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Starting a Business in Garden Grove

Who needs a Business License?

All persons who operate a business or perform services in the City of Garden Grove are required to apply for a Business Operations Tax Certificate in addition to any zoning or other regulatory permits which may be required. (Actually, Business License is a misnomer for Business Tax Certificate.)

What is the purpose of a Business Tax Certificate?

To partially defray ongoing City costs associated with the support and maintenance for public safety services; i.e., Police, Fire, other support services.

Must all Businesses have a License?

Yes, whether they are selling a product, providing a service, or soliciting by phone or in person. The only exceptions, of course, are those organizations exempted by the Internal Revenue Service and the Franchise Tax Board.

Where do I start?

Before you go to the Business Tax Division in the City,

1st: Determine whether you need a Seller's Permit number;

2nd: Determine whether you should file a Fictitious Name Statement. Once these determinations have been made, you may then proceed to your local Business Tax Section.

Who needs a Seller's Permit number?

Anyone who is actively engaged in conducting a business as a seller of tangible property. If you have a Seller's Permit number for one city but want to operate in another city, the address must be changed to reflect the current local business address. If you continue to operate in another city but also want to operate in Garden Grove, you must register both addresses with the State Board of Equalization. They can be reached at (949) 440-3473

Where can I get a Seller's Permit number?

A Seller's Permit number may be obtained at the State Board of Equalization, 16715 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92606. Telephone (949) 440-3473.

Who needs to file a Fictitious Name Statement?

Anyone who is using other than his/her surname. For example, "John L. Jones Carpets" would not require filing a fictitious name statement. "John's Carpets" would require filing a fictitious name statement.

Where can I do this?

Fictitious Name Filing information is available by calling the Orange County Clerk, 630 N. Broadway, Bldg. 12, Room 106, Santa Ana, California 92701: Telephone (714) 834-3005.

Why do I have to file a Fictitious Name?

Because the State of California says the public has a right to know with whom they are doing business.

Where can I obtain information about a Business Tax Certificate?

Through the Business Tax Division of your local government. In the case of Garden Grove, call or stop in at City Hall, 11222 Acacia Parkway, (714) 741-5074.

Can a Business be operated from a residential home in Garden Grove?

A business may be approved in a residential zone with certain restrictions. Those restrictions would apply to factors not recognized as part of reasonable household use such as: signs, excessive noise, light, odors, dust, vibrations, or storage; or use of flammable substances. To check zoning requirements for a home occupation, call (714) 741-5312.

Is a person who solicits at my door required to have a City Tax Certificate?

Yes, any person who solicits for a donation, sells a service or product, or makes an appointment to demonstrate a product at a later time - is required to have a permit from the City of Garden Grove as well as a business license tax certificate. The permit card is white in color. It has a picture and identification including the name of the company or organization which is represented.

Some exceptions to the ID Card would be charitable organizations. However, even charitable organizations should have a Permit document which should be presented upon request.

What is a determination letter?

A Determination Letter is a document issued by the Internal Revenue Service which authorizes an organization to operate in a charitable, nonprofit status. It is a permanent part of the organization's files and must be presented to the Business Tax Division if the organization is requesting a no-fee/exempt business tax certificate.

Who needs a State Contractor's License?

All questions on requirements for a State Contractor's license should be referred to the State Contractor's Licensing Board in Santa Ana at (800) 235-6393 or refer to their website: www.cslb.ca.gov.

What about zoning for my business?

Check with the Planning Division, (714) 741-5312, before you decide where you may want to operate. If, for instance, you have chosen a site for your new business but that location is not zoned for the particular type of business you wish to operate, DO NOT ENTER INTO A LEASE THAT CANNOT BE BROKEN!

As a small business person, where can I get help?

The Small Business Administration provides potential, new, and established small business persons with financial assistance, management counseling, and training; 200 W. Santa Ana, Suite 700, Santa Ana, CA 92701: Telephone (714) 564-5200.

SCORE - Service Corps of Retired Executives offers business management counseling. For information, call (714) 550-7369.

What is the Chamber of Commerce?

The Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce is a group of business people working together to make Garden Grove a better place in which to live and make a better living.

How can I join the Chamber?

Simply call the Chamber of Commerce business office at (714) 638-7950.

How can I get unauthorized vehicles on my property removed?

Make sure all entrances to your property are posted to reflect your intentions; i.e., "All Unauthorized Vehicles will be towed." As a caution, private property impounds can be tricky because they are regulated by several statutes. If you have any questions, check with HCD Liaison Officer at (714) 741-5704. You may also want to make arrangements with the Garden Grove licensed towing company of your choice before the first incident.

How can I get rid of people who loiter or are rude, loud, and obnoxious?

Make sure appropriate signs or notices are placed within clear view of your patrons which indicate that loitering is not allowed and that you reserve the right to refuse service. The proprietor, may politely request that the loiterer quietly leave your premises. If anyone refuses to leave your premises, you may call the Police Department at (714) 741-5704.

Should I get a burglar alarm? Why?

Yes. You should use as much crime prevention data and material you can to assist the authorities in maintaining the peace.

How do I get a burglar alarm? Why?

Contact the Garden Grove Alarm Coordinator at (714) 741-5875.

What kind of Crime Prevention program does the City have to offer me or my employees?

Several programs are available including Rape Awareness/Personal Security; Internal Theft; Shoplifting; Robbery Alert; Burglary Prevention; Forgery; Bad Checks; Bad Credit Cards. Additionally, the Community Services Officers will perform a commercial Security Inspection and instruct business owners who are interested how to establish a commercial Watch Program. The Crime Prevention telephone number is (714) 741-5760.

Are there any rules about handling chemicals?

If you handle chemicals or other potentially hazardous materials, please contact the Garden Grove Fire Department at (714) 741-5600.

What about other Fire Protection Services?

The Fire Department offers a full range of fire safety programs for employees as well as fire prevention consultation services in areas such as evacuation planning, emergency medical preparedness, earthquake preparedness, general fire safety, and more, by calling the Fire Department's Fire Safety Educational Division at (714) 741-5624.

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