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City of San Luis Obispo
Economic Development

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Business Resource Information

The City of San Luis Obispo's Economic Development Manager assists new and existing businesses.  We work closely with local agencies and business organizations to help solve your business problems.


We have found the following list of business resources to be helpful to all types of businesses.  For questions on the necessary permits required of your particular business, please contact the agency listed.









City of San Luis Obispo LogoCity of San Luis Obispo
990 Palm St.

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401



Business Licensing

The purpose of the city's business license ordinance is to provide for necessary regulation of lawful businesses being conducted within the City in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of the City. The primary focus of the City's business license regulation is to provide reasonable assurance that businesses operating in the City are doing so in compliance with the City's planning and building policies, regulations, and ordinances; and are in compliance with the City's business tax provisions.


Fire Department Disaster Preparedness Program

Find out how to protect your business in the event of a disaster. It includes a checklist to help you prepare as well as more information about the program.


San Luis Obispo Downtown Association

San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Garden Street, Suite 209

San Luis Obispo, Ca 93401

(805) 541-0286



2007 Downtown Association Strategic Plan


Established in 1975, the Downtown Association promotes the health and welfare of downtown. The Downtown Association serves its retail, professional and service members in a variety of ways, ranging from promotional events to networking opportunities and business development.

EVC Economic Vitality Corporation

Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC)

735 Tank Farm Road, Suite 264

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 788-2012


The Economic Vitality Corporation is an alliance of San Luis Obispo businesses and public agencies focused on stimulating the economic vitality of San Luis Obispo County. The EVC manages the City’s Revolving Loan Program, offering small business loans to qualified local businesses.



The Institute for Professional DevelopmentThe Institute for Professional Development

Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo Campus

P.O. Box 8106

San Luis Obispo, CA 93403

(805) 546-3180

The Institute for Professional Development provides customized training for business and organizations throughout the County of San Luis Obispo.


San Luis Obispo Chamber of CommerceThe San Luis Obispo

Chamber of Commerce

895 Monterey Street

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 781-2777



The Chamber's Economic Vision Document

With 1,500 members in all aspects of business, the San Luis Obispo Chamber serves area businesses with the latest business news, community information and business connections. The San Luis Obispo Chamber is nationally known as one of the most progressive and dynamic Chambers in the country.




 Business & Entrepreneurship Center at  

 Cuesta College

 P.O. Box 8106

 San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-8106

 (805) 546-3188


The Business & Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) at Cuesta College program is a network of Community College professionals working in strategic partnerships with businesses, industry and community organizations to identify and meet California's economic development needs in the areas of business improvements and entrepreneurship training.


The San Luis Obispo Public Library

Reference Section

995 Palm Street

San Luis Obispo, Ca 93401

(805) 781-5989

The Reference Section includes over 100 business and trade journals and newspapers; a Career Action Center specializes in small businesses; and an Investment Business Reference Section that includes import/export literature. 


4251 Higuera St., Suite 800

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401(805) 547-0779

How to Start a Business in San Luis Obispo County

SCORE is a local service that offers confidential, free counseling to small businesses. Workshops are also given on a variety of business-related topics for start-up and existing businesses.



                    Mission Community Services Corporation

                71 Zaca Lane, Ste 130

                San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

                (805) 595-1357



Mission Community Services Corporation, along with their Women’s Business Center website, offer support to individuals looking at self-employment as a viable option for their next job. The Business Center works with start-up and existing businesses, too. The services offered include one-on-one consulting services and business-related training classes.  Many of their services are federally funded.



                    Business and Career One-Stop

                880 Industrial Way

                San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

                (805) 903-1400


Business and Career One-Stops (BCOSC's) are designed to provide a full range of assistance to job seekers and employers under one roof. The centers offer training referrals, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related programs. Available at the BCOSC will be Goodwill personnel, CA State Employment Development Department staff, Cuesta College instructors and private agencies to assist employers and job seekers.


Cal Poly Small Business Development Center

 for Innovation

 California Polytechnic State University

 San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

 (805) 756-5171

One of a network of regional small business development centers, the Cal Poly Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for Innovation promotes the development of technology-focused ventures. By providing high quality business assistance to start-ups and established companies, the Cal Poly SBDC for Innovation helps entrepreneurs launch companies, create and retain jobs, attract capital investment and contribute to the prosperity of the Central Coast.

                c/o Longcrier & Associates
                100 Cross Street, Suite 103
                San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
                (805) 782-5236

Softec is the Central Coast’s leading technology industry group. Established in 1995, Softec has grown to over 1000 members and includes organizations as well as individuals and is by far the largest, most active technology group in the area. Our list of members range from leaders in the tech industry, representatives in education, participants from the private sector, as well as individuals who are just plain passionate about technology.




Better Business Bureau of San Luis Obispo County

P.O. Box 129

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

(805) 963-8657

The Better Business Bureau helps to promote effective relationships between businesses and a more informed buying public. The Bureau can provide business and charity reliability reports, help promote better relations between businesses and consumers, resolve consumer to business complaints, provide consumer advice and referrals, and process inquiries and complaints on businesses in San Luis Obispo County.



DBA - Fictitious Business Names

California law requires that every person who regularly transacts business for profit under a fictitious name must file and publish a fictitious business name statement. Contact the County Recorder for additional information.

County Recorder

1055 Monterey Street, Ste. D120

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

(805) 781-5080


County Clerk, Hall of Justice and Records

1055 Monterey Street, Ste. D120

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

(805) 781-5080


County Health Permits

If your business will involve the handling of foods, you must consult the Environmental Health office and obtain a permit. Permits do not transfer if you take over an existing food business.

Environmental Health

2156 Sierra Way

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 781-5544


County CUPA Business Plans

If your business involves the handling of hazardous material above threshold quantities, you must submit a Business Plan to the local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA).



Property Taxes
As owner of record, you will automatically be sent a tax bill by the County Assessor's Office. Tangible personal property exceeding $30,000 is also taxable.

County Assessor

1055 Monterey Street, Ste. D360

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

(805) 781-5643


Tax Collector's Office

1055 Monterey Street, Ste. D290

San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

(805) 781-5830





Alcoholic Beverage Control

If you intend to have your business sell alcoholic beverages, contact the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

California Department of Alcoholic Beverage ControlCalifornia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

3220 S. Higuera Street, Ste. 233

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 543-7183


If you intend to engage in the construction industry, contact the State License Board to determine what special permits/license may be required.

CSLBContractors State License Board

9821 Business Park Drive

Sacramento, CA 95827

(800) 321-2752



Department of Industrial Relations

455 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94102

(866) 924-9757

Forming a Corporation

If forming a corporation, you must file articles of incorporation with the California Secretary of State.

Secretary of State

1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814


Business Programs Division 

(916) 657-5448

Trademark Division 

(916) 653-3984

Insurance/Workers' Compensation

Any business should consider insurance coverage for general liability, product liability, fire and similar disasters, robbery and theft.  Fidelity bonding should be considered for employees who handle cash receipts or other funds. If you have employees, Worker's Compensation insurance is mandatory under California law.


                 Division of Workers' Compensation

                 4740 Allene Way, Ste. 100

                 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

                 (805) 596-4153


Safety and Health Regulations

If you have employees, there are laws that set safety standards designed to prevent injuries arising out of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions. Small employers (less than 10 employees) may be exempt from some of the CAL-OSHA requirements.


6150 Van Nuys Blvd, Suite 307

Van Nuys, CA 91401

(800) 963-9424

Seller's Permit / Resale Number

Every business that will sell or lease tangible personal property (merchandise) to customers must obtain a seller's permit from the State Board of Equalization.

State Board of Equalization

P.O. Box 942879

San Francisco, CA 94279

(800) 400-7115

State Licenses

The State of California imposes license requirements and fees on more than 100 businesses and professions. The Department of Consumer Affairs grants most licenses.

Department of Consumer Affairs

1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N 112

Sacramento, CA 95834

(800) 952-5210

State Taxes - Withholding

If you have employees, you must register with the state Employment Development Department.

Employment Development Department (EDD)

P.O. Box 826880, MIC 83

Sacramento, CA 94280-0001

(888) 745-3886

Vehicle Registration

Commercial vehicles for a business must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

3190 S. Higuera Street

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(800) 777-0133

Wages, Hours and Child Labor

If you have employees, you should contact the Department of Industrial Relations with regard to minimum wages, overtime pay, employee dismissal requirements, hiring of minors, and fair employment practices.

State Labor Commissioner Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE)
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 703-5300





Employee I.D. Number/Taxes

Most small businesses are unlikely to require any type of federal permit to operate, unless they are engaged in rendering investment advice, making alcohol or tobacco products, preparing meat products, or making or dealing in firearms. However, if you have formed a corporation or a partnership, you should apply for a federal employer identification number (Form SS-4) even if the business has no employees. Request from the IRS the Employers Tax Guide, a publication that explains federal income tax, unemployment tax, and social security tax withholding requirements for employers.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

450 Golden Gate Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 522-4061


Tax Center

This site contains many useful topics for small business and the self-employed, including links to information on starting a business, IRS forms and publications, small business events and the IRS video portal.


                    Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

                611 West Sixth Street

                Suite 400-MS 4032

                Los Angeles, CA 90017

                (213) 833-1226



Ready Business

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Advertising Council's site is designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, focusing specifically on business preparedness.


                Ready Campaign
                500 C St, SW Suite 714
                Washington, DC 20472



Small Business Administration

Looking to start a business or improve the way your business is managed? Visit this site to find out how the U.S. Small Business Administration can help.


                U.S. Small Business Administration
                409 3rd St, SW
                Washington DC 20416





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