Business Activities

A Guide to Starting a Business in the City of Oceanside

Are you ...

  • Planning to start a new business in the City of Oceanside? 
  • Expanding your business?

The City welcomes you and wants to help get you started as soon as possible. Save yourself time and frustration by reviewing the following guidelines. All businesses operating in the City of Oceanside (including home-based businesses) are required to have a business license.

The Development Services Department should be your first stop. A staff member will explain the process, necessary permits, answer questions or direct you to someone who can. Contact: City of Oceanside, Development Services Department, Planning Division (760) 435-3520. For Renewal information or for the status of application in process, please call (760) 435-3878.
 

Locating a Business Site

Before signing a lease agreement or purchasing a business site, check with the Planning Division to see if the property is zoned correctly for the type of business that you will be operating. (760) 435-3520

If you plan to build a new structure, or renovate or expand an existing business, check the zoning and ask about building regulations. Building permits are required for all construction and remodeling work except for painting, carpeting and the installation of counters, cases or partitions less than five feet nine inches high. Separate permits are required for the installation or alteration of signs. For information, call the Building Department. (760) 435-3520

Application Process

With the submittal of the business license application and administrative fee the application will be routed for all approvals, then a business license will be issued to the applicant.

The approval process takes approximately 15 days. However, the process could take longer if a "change of occupancy permit" or a "co-permit" is required. Contact the Planning Department at (760) 435-3520 for further information. Businesses locating in the redevelopment area must be approved by the Community Development Commission, a process that could also extend normal processing time.

Renewal Process

After one year, a renewal form will be mailed together with the administrative fees due. A business license tax will be assessed based on the gross receipts for the past 12 months, which is 50 cents per $1,000.00 gross receipts with a minimum of $50.  Contact the Business License office at (760) 435-3878 concerning the appropriate license processing fees.

To download a business license application for the following types of businesses, please click on the following links:

PLEASE NOTE: Submitting a business license application and paying the required fee does not authorize the commencement of business. Applicants should wait for final approval to be certain that all regulatory requirements have been met.

Business License Appointments

An appointment is not necessary to submit your Business License application. If you have general questions regarding the application process please call 760-435-4500. If you would like an appointment with our Business License Inspector please click link above. Once you have booked the appointment you will receive an e-mail confirmation.

APPOINTMENT LOCATION: City of Oceanside, 300 N. Coast Highway, City Hall East - Cashiers Office. Go to window and ask for Jackie Bickford, Business License Inspector.

Pay Online

For your convenience, you may now submit and pay your Business License Renewal and fees and/or Transient Occupancy Tax online. We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover card. You will need an account number and a security code which you can find in the upper right hand corner of your renewal form.

Information for County, State and Federal Agencies:

Fictitious Name Filing: To ensure that no other business lays claims to your firm’s fictitious name (a name that does not include your surname), the owner must register the name through the County Clerk. Fictitious name or DBA (doing business as) are one and the same.
760-940-6858 / http://arcc.co.san-diego.ca.us/arcc/services/fbn_info.aspx

Sales Tax: Any retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer selling tangible personal property which is subject to State Sales and Use Tax is required to have a Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization.
858-385-4700 / http://www.boe.ca.gov/elecsrv/ereg/index.html

Food Restaurant or Hazardous Materials: If your business falls under the Food, Restaurant, or Hazardous Materials category, check health regulations with County Health Department.
San Diego County Department of Health Services
619-338-2222 / http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/

Liquor, Beer, Wine: Businesses selling or serving alcoholic beverages require a special state license.
State of California Alcoholic Beverage Control Department
760-471-0730 /http://www.abc.ca.gov/

Contractors License: Depending on your business, you may be required to obtain a Contractors License. Contact the State of California on how to obtain a contractors license, or find out more information.
800-321-2752 / https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicenseII/CheckLicense.aspx

Massage: The California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) is charged with implementing the newly established education and background requirements to obtain certification as a massage therapist or massage practitioner in the State of California.
916-669-5336 / https://www.camtc.org/

Taxes:

Federal: All businesses are subject to taxation by the Federal Government. Employers must apply for an Employer’s Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (Form SS-4). A business owner must also withhold Federal Income Tax and Social Security taxes from his/her employees as well as contribute the employer’s share of Social Security and Federal Unemployment Taxes.
Internal Revenue Service
800-829-1040 / http://www.irs.gov/

State: All businesses are subject to income taxation by the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Employers must apply for an Employer’s Identification Number from the Employment Development Department (EDD) (Form DE-1). A business owner must also withhold State Income Tax and State Disability Insurance from his employees as well as contribute the employer’s share of State Unemployment taxes. All Employers are required to have Workers Compensation Insurance for employees. Certification of this insurance is required for acquisition of a business license.

State Compensation Insurance Fund
619-552-7000 / http://www.statefundca.com/

Tax Administrator, Employment Development Department
619-284-8615 / http://www.edd.ca.gov/

Franchise Tax Board
800-852-5711 / https://www.ftb.ca.gov/index.shtml?disabled=true