Sunday, February 23, 2020
Starting a Business in the County

Starting a Business in Riverside County

Welcome to Riverside County!  We appreciate your choice in selecting Riverside County as a home for your new business.  Here is some important information that might help as you establish your new business.

Business Registration

In November 2006 the Board of Supervisors for the County of Riverside approved Ordinance No. 857 creating a Business Registration Program within the unincorporated area of Riverside County.

The fee is $45 for initial registration and $30 for annual renewal. Fee exemptions are granted for various agricultural activities, certain residential businesses, places of worship, specific non-profit, and any business exempt by virtue of constitution law, however exempted business will be required to register.

Businesses have the ability to access the County of Riverside's website for an on-line registration and automated payment system option. Once the information has been collected and payment received each business will receive a Business Registration Certificate.

Planning & Zoning Requirements

Before any new business is established, the business owner needs to check with the Planning Department. It is important that the category listed in the county general plan and existing zoning on a parcel be verified to determine whether the proposed business use is suitable on the particular parcel before the business owner commits to any long-term lease or property purchase. This information may be obtained at any of the two office locations shown below or from the Planning Department’s website at

Riverside Permit Assistance Center
County Administrative Center (Riverside)
4080 Lemon Street, 9th Floor
Riverside, CA 92502-1629

Desert Permit Assistance Center (Desert)
77588 El Duna Ct Suite H
Palm Desert, CA 92211

Fictitious Business Names

The County Clerk should be contacted in order to file a fictitious business name. The telephone number is (951) 486-7000. Office locations and the on-line name search are available through the clerk’s web site at

Proof of Publication

State law requires that within 30 days after a Fictitious Business Name Statement has been filed, the registrant shall publish a copy of the statement in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the principal place of business is located. A list is available as a courtesy on the clerk's website at

Business Personal Property Taxes

Businesses with equipment should contact the Assessor's Business Division by phone at (951) 955-6210 or through e-mail at to report your location and mailing address for property tax purposes.

Specialty licenses and permits are needed for the following:

Sheriff’s Information Bureau

  • Massage Services (County Ordinances #596, 596.1).
  • Fortune Telling Services (County Ordinance #508).
  • Sex Oriented Businesses (County Ordinance #743).
  • Contact the sheriff's department at (951) 955-1700.

Department of Environmental Health

  • Restaurants and markets, food carts, temporary food events, or any retail food operation – yearly operation permits, and permits for new construction or remodeling (951) 358-5172.
  • Public or semi-public pools, spas, or water parks – yearly operating permits and permits for new construction and remodeling (951) 358-5172.
  • Hazardous materials generator or handler – yearly operating permits (951) 358-5055.
  • Underground storage tanks containing hazardous materials or waste – yearly operating permits and permits for new construction or remodeling (951) 358-5055.
  • Medical-waste generators and liquid-waste haulers – yearly operating permits (951) 955-8982.
  • Installation of septic systems - permits for new construction or remodeling (951) 955-8980.
  • Backflow testers – Annual certification (951) 955-8980.
  • Wells (drinking water, monitoring, etc.) – yearly operating permits and permits for new construction or remodeling (951) 955-8903.
  • For information on permits listed above, or for other permits or activities and programs, please access Environmental Health’s web site at

New businesses are expected to meet any state and federal licensing requirements.

The following is a list of web sites where additional information can be found: