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Business Permits & Zoning

Read the information below and start the quiz whenever you’re ready. You can come back to this page at any time.

Where do I Apply for a Business Permit?

Your city or town will require a Business Permit for all businesses, including Dealerships.

Each town or city has its own License requirements for any business in its area. And Business Permits go by many names including; Business Permit, Business License, Certificate of Business Tax, etc.

The DMV no longer requires proof or “evidence” of your Permit, with your Dealer Application.

You can learn more and find the resource in your area at California’s Office of Business & Economic Development website Enter your County Name and “Automobile Dealer.”

Where do I Check to Make Sure My Location is Properly Zoned?

Each town or city has its own Zoning requirements for any business in its area. Your Dealership must be located in an area that allows auto sales.

Wholesale-only Dealers may operate their businesses from a residence. Retail Dealers will need a commercial location that is properly zoned and may not be a residence.

Unfortunately, each city and town has its own zoning “codes” and rules where specific businesses may operate.

You can learn more and find the zoning resource and map for your area at California’s Office of Business & Economic Development website Enter your County Name and “Automobile Dealer.”