Starting a New Business

Top Links
Development Services Department: 626-570-5030
Finance Department: 626-570-5021
Building and Planning Division: 626-570-5034
Alhambra Fire Department: 626-570-5193

Certificate of Occupancy/Home Occupation Permit

Contact: Development Services Department
Alhambra City Hall - Development Services Department (First Floor)​
111 S. First. St., Alhambra, CA 91801; 
Phone: 626-570-5034

  • 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.
  • Contact the Planning Division to determine if the desired business location is in the appropriate zone.
  • All business will also need to apply for a Business License at the Finance Department after applying for a Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit.
  • For more information concerning Certificate of Occupancy and Home Occupation Permit, click here.
  • For Zoning & Land Use permit applications, click here.   

New and Renewal of Existing Business Licenses

Contact: Finance Department
Alhambra City Hall - Finance Department (First Floor)
111 S. First. St., Alhambra, CA 91801

  • All businesses and contractors, including rental property owners, operating in the City of Alhambra need a Business License.
  • All businesses operating in the City of Alhambra will need to apply for a Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit prior to applying for a Business License.
  • Most business licenses are issued annually and are to be renewed each year within 30 days of expiration to avoid penalties and interest charges.
  • Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed and assigned a license number. A Business License Tax Certificate will be issued only after all approvals have been made (including the Certificate of Occupancy or Home Occupation Permit). Most businesses are issued annually.
  • For more information, click here.

Zoning, new Construction, Additions/Changes To Existing Buildings

Contact: Building and Planning Division
Alhambra City Hall Development Services Department (1st Floor)
111 S. First. St., Alhambra, CA 91801; 
Phone: 626-570-5034

  • Provides assistance with plan reviews; construction inspections.
  • Assists with questions regarding zoning matters, new construction, additions or changes to exterior or interior.
  • For Planning Division information, click here.
  • For Building/Remodeling Division, click here. 

Life Safety and Inspections

Contact: Alhambra Fire Department
Alhambra Fire Department Headquarters
301 N. First St., Alhambra, CA 91801;

  • Issues fire safety permits, and conducts plan checks and fire inspections, including inspections for the Certificate of Occupancy. For more information, click here.

Street Maintenance Issues

Includes: Street sweeping; Graffiti removal on public or private property that is visible from the street; Hazardous Trees/shrubs (obstructing traffic); City parking lots; Obstructions to public property and/or right-of-way; tree trimming city trees.

Contact: Public Works Department (first floor)
Alhambra City Hall
111 S. First St., Alhambra, CA 91801; 
Phone: 626-570-5067

For more information, click here.

Shut On/Off Utilities Services

Contact: Utilities Department
City of Alhambra - Utilities Customer Service Building
68 S. First St., Alhambra, CA 91801; 
Phone: 626-570-5061

Residential and Commercial Trash and Recycling Services


Allied Waste Services (Residential)
Phone: 1-888-742-5234

Consolidated Disposal Service (Commercial)
Phone: 800-299-4898

City of Alhambra
Phone: 626-570-5010

Food & Beverage Permit and Alcohol Permit

Contact: Los Angeles County Health Department

State Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

Factors to consider when starting a new business:

  • Location - seek a good location with customer-friendly parking.
  • 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.

Relevant Permits, Licenses, & Applications

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More Information

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