I Want to Start a Business

The City of Seaside is eager to assist new businesses to assure their successful location in Seaside. Starting a new business requires a major commitment of time, energy, and capital. You will also be required to obtain a business license, and other required zoning, planning, and building permits, depending on the nature of your business. Most important to your success is the development of a business plan, which describes how your business will be managed and operated. A business plan is also essential if you are seeking financing for your business.

Commercial Spaces Available in Seaside

Seaside, CA Commercial Real Estate for Lease

Prospective Business Tools


City of Seaside Profile

Establishing a Business in Seaside


We are pleased that you have selected the City of Seaside to establish your business. The City of Seaside is dedicated to helping businesses thrive. We understand and appreciate the positive impact that successful growing businesses have on our community.


The following information is provided to assist you with the process of establishing your business in Seaside. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the process outlined below. Please note that this process varies depending on your business type.


The Economic Development staff is available to answer questions, provide assistance and guide you through the permitting assistance process. We encourage you to check in regularly regarding your progress.


Economic Development Department

656 Broadway Ave.

Seaside, CA 93955

(831) 899-6775


1. Create a Business Plan

The following resource partners can walk you through the process:

Cal Coast SBDC

SCORE Central Coast


2. Check City of Seaside Zoning Regulations

Before you sign a lease or apply for any business permit, it is important that you check with the Seaside Planning Department to ensure that the proposed use is allowed on the property. Some uses may require additional permits, while some may not be allowed at all. 

If the proposed business is allowed in the zone district where the property is located. The planner will inform you of any land use approvals that may be required for your business. If so, you will be given application submittal requirements and process information. The Building Division will help identify potential building code issues that may apply to your business. The City's Building, Public Works/Engineering, and Finance Divisions are located in City Hall, 440 Harcourt Avenue, Seaside, CA 93955. The Planning Division is available at City Hall Monday through Friday from 12:30-4:30 PM.

3. Decide on a Business Structure

If you will be establishing a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company, you must register with the Secretary of State.


California Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, Sacramento, CA 950814
(916) 657-5448

Business Entities :: California Secretary of State


4. Register a Fictitious Business Name

If you intend to name your firm anything other than your own name, you must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County Clerk.


Monterey County Recorder-County Clerk
168 W Alisal Street

Salinas, CA 93901
 (831) 755-5450 or from Monterey Peninsula 831-647-7850

County Clerk | Monterey County, CA

5. Obtain a Business License 

The City of Seaside requires that any person who transacts and carries on any business, trade, profession, calling or occupation in the City, or who provides a service within the city, procure a Business License with the Finance Department and pay the appropriate fees. 

* A business license must be renewed every fiscal year. The fiscal year runs from July 1st - June 30th.

Please visit the Business License page for additional information.

6. Obtain Important Permits

In addition to City of Seaside permits, you may need permits or licenses from regional, state, and federal agencies.

Regional and County Permits

*The CalGold website assists you in finding appropriate permit information for your business. It also provides contact information for the various agencies that administer & issue these permits.

*Certain businesses which handle food (sale, preparation) need approval by the Monterey County Health Department. This approval is designed to ensure compliance with County sanitation codes. 

Monterey County Health Department

1200 Aguajito Road, Suite 007

Monterey, CA 93940

(831) 647-7654

County of Monterey Health Department

*If you would like to sell alcoholic beverages from your business, you will need to obtain an Alcoholic Beverage License.

 Alcoholic Beverage Control 

1137 Westridge Pkwy, Salinas, CA 93907

(831) 755-1990

 Alcoholic Beverage Control

*If your business discharges matter into the air, a permit from the Monterey Bay Air Resources District may be required.

Monterey Bay Air Resources District
 24580 Silver Cloud Court, Monterey, CA 93940
 (831) 647-9411
Monterey Bay Air Resources District 

State Permits

Wholesale and Retail Businesses: If your business will involve sales, you will need to obtain a Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization

California State Board of Equalization
950 E. Blanco Rd., Suite 202

Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 754-4500

 California State Board of Equalization

7. Workforce Compliance (if you plan to have employees)

Federal Identification Numbers
Internal Revenue Service An Employee Identification Number (EIN) is also known  as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity.
Internal Revenue Service 

Pay Employee Taxes
For employment regarding employee withholdings, self-employment tax and other business tax withholdings contact the Internal Revenue Service. You can also contact EDD (Employment Development Department) to assist you with questions you may have regarding payroll taxes.

Workers Compensation 

Workers compensation insurance is required for all California employers. Premiums are based on the job each employee performs and their total wages. In California most small employers are insured by the State Compensation Insurance Fund (State Fund). 

Salinas District Office

1880 N. Main St., Suite 100 

Salinas, CA 93906


Division of Workers Compensation

8. Taxes

The CA Department of Tax and Fee Administration website has specific information about the programs they administer, how to register for permits and licenses and how to file and report correctly. The department administers many programs which include: sales & use tax, alcoholic beverage tax, cannabis taxes, hazardous waste facility fee, etc.

~ Seaside Plastics Reduction Information ~

Seaside is dedicated to our community and the natural resources upon which we all rely. Single-use items litter our streets and make their way to waterways, harming ecosystems. Their production and disposal contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, which disproportionately harm communities of color.

In response to these concerns the City of Seaside approved the Priority Impact Plastic Pollution Prevention Ordinance (PIP4) on August 5, 2021. The new law applies to all retail and service establishments, care providers doing business in the City of Seaside, and all events and activities in public spaces including beaches and parks.

This ordinance is a vital component in the City’s efforts to reduce waste and litter. It is consistent with storm water pollution prevention actions and State’s CalRecycle recycling and waste disposal regulations. The City of Seaside is here to help you make the transition from single-use to reusables and to reduce waste in our community! We also encourage our public to join and play an important role in this effort.

Additional information can be found here.