Starting a New Business

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David Dolphin, Deputy Director of Utilities
(626) 570-3230
111 South First Street
Building Division Counter Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Plan Check Counter Hours: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Certificate of Occupancy/Home Occupation Permit

Alhambra City Hall - Community Development Department, Economic Development Division
111 S. First Street, Alhambra, CA 91801 
Phone: 626-570-5038

  • Contact the Planning Division at (626) 570-5034 or during counter hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. to 10:00p.m., or 2:00p.m. to 4:00p.m.) to determine if the desired business location is in the appropriate zone.
  • All businesses operating in the City of Alhambra need a Certificate of Occupancy, or Home Occupation Permit if you're operating a business at your home. 
  • All businesses are required to obtain authorization from the property owner to conduct a business at their property. The Property Owner Authorization of Use form must be submitted with the Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit Applications. 
  • All businesses will also need to apply for a Business License at the Finance Department after applying for a Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit. (APPLICANT MUST APPLY FOR A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY OR HOME OCCUPATION PERMIT AND GET APPROVALS BEFORE APPLYING FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE).  


  • Submit the application for a Certificate of Occupancy to the Community Development Department, Economic Development Division.
  • The Certificate of Occupancy will be reviewed by the Building and Planning Divisions.
  • Building and fire inspections will be required.
  • The Certificate of Occupancy wil be issued once all inspections are completed and approved.  
  • Guide to Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy

  • Submit the application for a Home Occupancy Permit to the Community Development Department, Economic Development Division for review to ensure that the type of business is permitted in your home. 
  • A home business does not require building and fire inspections. 
  • The Home Occupation Permit will be issued after the Home Occupation Permit fee is paid.
  • Guide to Obtaining a Home Occupation Permit

New and Renewal of Existing Business Licenses

If you're a new business or a business that needs to renew a business license, please contact the Alhambra Finance Department at (626) 570-5021 or click here to find out how to apply for a business license.

Food & Beverage Permit and Alcohol Permit for New/Existing Food Establishments

If your business is a restaurant, you will be required to contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control and Los Angeles County Health Department, in addition to City approvals.

State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, (213) 736-2005

Los Angeles County Health Department, (310) 665-8450

Factors to consider when starting a new business:
  • Space - determine if the space is adequate for current needs and foreseeable growth. Investigate traffic patterns; tour the building; find out who the previous tenant was and why they left. Evaluate the physical location and if the space is a good fit for your product line. Be realistic and don't over-commit.
  • Identify competitors - check out neighboring businesses for complementary products and/or services. Is there an established cluster economy?
  • Seek professional assistance - hire a real estate attorney who specializes in lease negotiations who understands your area and type of business.
  • Identify your responsibilities - determine if you will need to maintain the heating, air-conditioning and other systems, as well as keep up the parking lot and building exterior.
  • Affordability - determine if the rent will be affordable.

e project created needed retail space (including a Denny's Restaurant), affordable housing for seniors, and the elimination of slum and blight. The project has provided the City with $20,000 per year in sales tax revenue and $44,344 in annual property tax revenue.

New Century BMW dealership: Many of the Main Street Auto Row dealerships were given financial incentives to locate and/or expand, leading to approximately $3.3 million annually in sales tax revenue to the City.

Howard Street Town homes Affordable Housing Project

Main Street - Northwest Corner of First & Main

 Permits, Licenses, & Applications

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