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Start a Business

Our City continues to promote and sustain a strong, robust business climate throughout the community by providing Economic Development Team assistance. Our mission is to attract and grow business and investment in the community, expand the City's tax base to provide great City services and enhance the quality of life.

Our team has a successful record of aggressive business promotion. We have a dedicated staff to assist your businesses. We offer assistance with the working through the development process starting from the conceptual stage, financing options, networking, professional development and various support services.

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:

  • Determine whether you need a Seller's Permit number
  • 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.

I would like to open a Cannabis business in Garden Grove. What do I need to do to open or start a business involving cannabis?

All Cannabis activity, including Retail, Dispensary, Delivery, and Cultivation, is a prohibited use in the City of Garden Grove. See Garden Grove Municipal Code section 9.52.020 shown below for further information.

  • A: Pursuant to Garden Grove Municipal Code Section 9.52.020:
  • A. Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Prohibited. Except as exempted in subsection C below, cannabis dispensaries and cannabis delivery are prohibited in all zoning districts, planned unit development districts, and specific plan areas in the City. It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to own, manage, conduct, or operate any cannabis dispensary or cannabis delivery service or to participate as an employee, contractor, agent or volunteer, or in any other manner or capacity, in any cannabis dispensary or cannabis delivery service in the City of Garden Grove.
  • B. Establishment or Maintenance of Cannabis Dispensaries Declared a Public Nuisance. Except as exempted in subsection C below, the establishment, maintenance, or operation of a cannabis dispensary or cannabis delivery service as defined in this chapter within the City limits of the City of Garden Grove is declared to be a public nuisance and enforcement action may be taken and penalties assessed pursuant to Title 1, Chapter 1.04 of the Garden Grove Municipal Code, and/or any other law or ordinance that allows for the abatement of public nuisances.
  • C. Exemptions. Pursuant and subject to Proposition 64 adopted by the State voters in November 2016, this section shall not prohibit: (1) the possession, planting, cultivation, harvesting, drying, or processing of up to six marijuana plants by persons 21 years of age or older inside a private residence, or inside an accessory structure to a private residence located upon the grounds of a private residence that is fully enclosed and secure; or (2) the possession of or giving away of the marijuana produced by such plants to persons 21 years of age or older. (2882 § 8, 2017; 2863 § 5, 2016)
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.

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:

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;

Small Business Administration
200 W. Santa Ana, Suite 700,
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Telephone: (714) 564-5200.