Starting a new business can sometimes be confusing, time consuming, and difficult. The City of West Covina's Community and Economic Development (CED) is here to help you establish your business. We understand that when our business partners succeed, so does the City and our community. Below is a step by step process that serves as an outline to assist new (and existing) businesses throughout the business development process.
- First: Find a location
- Second: Obtain the necessary City permits
- Third: Obtain a business license
- Fourth: Get good business advice along the way
If you would like further guidance through the process, please contact the CED at (626) 939-8417 with any inquiries or requests for assistance. We are here to help your business.
FIRST: Find a location
Location is a key element of a successful business, and the City of West Covina's location is superb. Located in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California, West Covina is centrally located between the major metropolitan areas of San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
The City's four miles of highly accessible and visible freeway frontage along Interstate 10, which carries over 484,000 vehicles daily, is the City's prominent commercial corridor. Businesses within the corridor include a super regional shopping center (Plaza West Covina Mall), a regional power center (Westfield Eastland), professional office buildings, a destination entertainment center and a major auto plaza.
West Covina's distinguishing prime geographic location is not only ideal for businesses seeking a competitive advantage within the region, it is also ideal for residents seeking to work, live and play within their community.
Tools for finding the ideal location for your business:
- Available Property Listing (APL)
One of the tools the City provides businesses is the Available Property Listing (APL). The APL is a listing of retail, office, and vacant properties for sale or lease within the City, allowing for a convenient way to find available space within the City.
- Contact a Local Realtor
Contact a local realtor who can help find a location and help negotiate terms.
- Planning / Zoning Inquiries
Once you have found a location, contact the City's Planning Department at (626) 939-8422 to determine the zoning of the location of your future business. Each address in the City is designated within a specific zone that determines the allowable use. For example, retail stores and restaurants are permitted within a commercial zone. Manufacturing businesses are only permitted within an industrial zone. Planning entitlements may be necessary for certain businesses.
*Note: It is advisable that you contact the City's Planning Department prior to signing leases on any property.
SECOND: Obtain the necessary City permits
After finding the suitable tenant space for your business, you must obtain the necessary planning and/or building permits prior to making various interior and exterior modifications. For a new business, this may include: the installation of new interior walls, building additions, store signs, façade improvements, plumbing or electrical alterations, etc.
Please contact the Planning Department at (626) 939-8422 for assistance to your permitting questions.
THIRD: Obtain a business license
Any individual, corporation, sole proprietor, partnership, or entity operating a business within the City West Covina is required to obtain a Business License. A business license is required within fifteen days of the commencement of business in the City.
To apply for the business license or to renew a business license, please visit the City's Business License webpage.
For further assistance applying for a business license, contact Support@hdlgov.com or by phone Toll-Free at (888) 602-0239. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m."
FOURTH: Get good business advice along the way
In addition to City resources, there are a number of federal, state, and local agencies that are willing to provide valuable resources to ensure your business will grow and prosper. Whether you have a new business or are already established in the City, a number of federal, state and local agencies offer professional business development advice. Below are a number of agencies who offer some type of business assistance at little to no charge.
Visit any of the following resources to find a federal, state, or local agency which can provide you with additional assistance.
For more resources, take a look at our Business Resource Guide.
Disclaimer: This is not an all-inclusive guideline; it only serves as a general reference through the City's permitting process.