Starting a Business

Starting a business can be exciting and challenging. The City of Elk Grove is here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have to help ensure your new venture is successful.

There are many things you should consider when starting a business. This section is here to help you with the process. If at any time you need further assistance please feel free to call a business license representative to help you.

Business License Contact Information

Business License office hours are:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, except holidays

City Hall
8401 Laguna Palms Way
Elk Grove, CA 95758
Phone (916) 478-2211

What is required to have a Business License for a commercial location?

Licenses are issued to businesses with a physical location within the City limits . The fee for a General Business License is $12 for a two year license. The license is non-transferable. Any change in the information provided may invalidate the business license and requires a new application.  Business licenses issued by the City of Elk Grove are for tracking and publication purposes only.  Applicants are responsible for complying with all applicable laws and regulations in conducting business in the City of Elk Grove.

While a number of businesses only require a General License, others may be required to have a Special License as well. To see a list of types of businesses that are required to have a special business license, click here.

Zoning

The first step is to make sure you meet zoning requirements and restrictions to insure your business meets Zoning Code requirements. Certain areas of the City are zoned for Commercial and Industrial Uses. Additional requirements for the operations of businesses are also included in the Zoning Code. You will need to verify that the zoning classification of your proposed location allows the kind of business you plan to operate. Planning can be reached at (916) 478-2265.

Use Permit

Some commercial businesses must also obtain a Use Permit to operate in the City. This is done to review and control the operations of businesses which might have a detrimental impact on other nearby businesses or residents.

Before signing any leases or moving in, check with the City’s Planning Department to verify correct Zoning and if a Use Permit is needed.

Sign Permits

All new signs require a Sign Permit. For additional information on signage requirements contact the Planning staff at (916) 478-2265.

New Construction or Change in Occupancy

Construction of a new building or alterations to an existing building will require approval by the Building and Safety staff. Once your project has been approved, you need to contact the Building and Safety division to make sure your proposed project meets current building code and fire safety requirements and may require review by the Fire Chief before you can occupy your new or improved space and open for business. For additional information contact Building and Safety staff at (916) 478-2235.

Exempt Businesses

A business license shall be issued to the following enterprises at no charge and marked as “EXEMPT” upon the completion of an application. This information is important to the Economic Development statistical information.

  • Any non-profit organization with proof of 501(c)3 (must attach a copy of your 501(c)3 with your application).  
  • Any apartment or rooming house  
  • Any agricultural activities such as growing of crops or raising of livestock. No exemption for wholesaling, processing or storage of products of multiple farms or cooperative marketing arrangement.  
  • Any sale of produce raised on the same parcel of land from a roadside stand served by no public utility services on a seasonable basis.  
  • Any enterprise that solely manufactures, sells, purchases, possesses or transports alcoholic beverages.  
  • Any enterprise operating as a bank or financial corporation subject to the in lieu taxes.  
  • Any enterprise operating solely as an intercity transportation business for household goods or other property for hire that is under the jurisdiction of PUC.  
  • Any commercial traveler whose business is limited to goods, wares, and merchandise sold or dealt in at wholesale.  
  • Any enterprise operating solely as a real estate auctioneer whose principle place of business is located outside the City.  
  • Any café musician who plays a musical instrument at any retail establishment where food or alcoholic beverages are sold.  
  • Any enterprise operating solely for the solicitation of donations for the support of veterans by federally chartered veterans’ organizations.  
  • Any person honorably discharged or honorably relieved veteran who is unable to earn a livelihood from manual labor. (Mail in copy of DD214)  
  • Any blind person operating a vending facility.  
  • Any residential care facility or residential day care home of six or less people or a small family day care of eight children or less.  
  • Any professional services business, not based at a location within the City, whose work in the corporate limits.  
  • Any Adult-oriented Business (You need to apply for a Special License).

Mail completed application to:

Elk Grove City Hall
8401 Laguna Palms Way
Elk Grove, CA 95758

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