Starting a Business

Apply for a Business License

If you are planning on opening a business located in the City of Arroyo Grande, or doing business within the city limits, you must first obtain a business license. You can complete and submit a business license application form (PDF) and pay the appropriate application fees (PDF) at City Hall, or you can complete our Online Business License Application and submit your payment through our online secure portal. For questions about business licenses, please contact Administrative Services at 805-473-5400.


To determine if your business operates within the city limits, please refer to the City Address Listing (PDF).

You should also confirm with the Planning Division at 805-473-5420 that your type of business is permitted or allowed at the desired location prior to lease execution or purchase. Some additional requirements and approvals required by the city are, but not limited to:

Land Use Approval

While many uses are permitted in certain zoning districts, others are conditionally allowed with approval of a land use permit. This is usually achieved through either a plot plan review (minor) or a conditional use permit (major).

Signage Approval

A sign permit must be approved prior to installation of any new signage. Allowed signage is based on the type and location of the use. The display of temporary banners is allowed, subject to certain provisions.

Building Permits

If you intend to alter or remodel any walls, including non-bearing walls , doors or windows, or install or remodel any electrical, plumbing or mechanical portions of your building, you will need to obtain the appropriate building permit(s) from the Building Division at 805-473-5450.

Other Approvals

Certain businesses require additional approvals from other agencies. For example, businesses involving food service must obtain approval from the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Services Department.

Prior to Opening

Before you open your business for the first time, you must schedule a business license inspection by calling the Building Division at 805-473-5450. The inspector will check for proper use of extension cords, appropriate size and number of fire extinguishers, exiting issues and other fire and life-safety items.

Home-Based Businesses

If you intend to operate a business out of your home, you must obtain a Home Occupation Permit in addition to a business license. Home-based businesses do not require a business license inspection.

Do Not Solicit Registry

Pursuant to City Ordinance No. 578, the City of Arroyo Grande has established a "Do Not Solicit Registry." The purpose of the Registry is to protect the health, safety, welfare, and privacy of residents by allowing residents to register their residence address on the City's "Do Not Solicit Registry." If you wish to be added to the "Do Not Solicit Registry," download the application here.