Starting a Business in Tustin


The City of Tustin welcomes your business to our city.

The City of Tustin (City) Municipal Code provides that every business operating in the city is required to obtain a Business License Tax application prior to the start of business and pay the annual tax each year thereafter. 

This ordinance applies to:

  • Businesses operating at a commercial or residential location within the city
  • Any business using an address in Tustin or a Post Office box for receiving mail 
  • Businesses based outside of Tustin who are conducting activity in the city (for example, contractors, consultants, and landscape maintenance companies) must also file an application

Applying for a Business License in Tustin

You need a business license to both start a business and conduct business in the City of Tustin. We want the process to be as smooth as possible. 

Anyone who is planning to conduct business in Tustin, CA will need to obtain a business license from the Finance Department. Our website has an application for a business license available online to be printed, or you may also pick one up in person by visiting the Finance Department at 300 Centennial Way. 

You will need to contact the Planning Department to determine whether your proposed business activities are accepted in the property that you wish to use. You will want to contact the Planning Department prior to signing any lease or purchase agreements to be certain that the property that you wish to use is acceptable for the zone in which it falls. The Planning Department can be reached at (714) 573-3140.

You can apply for a business license online or you can download and print the application, and bring it to the Cashier Counter in City Hall during regular business hours for processing.

Additional information / permit may be required in addition to a business license, depending upon the business activity. Please refer to Special Permits for more information.


contact us

Phone: 714-573-3144


Business Hours

Day Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Friday 8:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday - Sunday CLOSED

The process for obtaining your City of Tustin business license is as follows:

Step 1: zoning compliance

Planning staff will assist you at the Planning Counter in determining if the location you are considering for your business is zoned for that particular use. A planner will also advise you of any approvals that you are required to obtain prior to starting your business (for example, a Conditional Use Permit). Planning staff are also available by telephone during regular business hours at (714) 573-3140. 

Step 2: Business License Application

Once you have determined that the location you have selected for your business complies with the city’s zoning requirements, and you have obtained all necessary approvals,  you can apply for a business license either online or at the Cashier Counter at City Hall, 300 Centennial Way Tustin, California 92780. Business license questions may also be answered by calling (714) 573-3144.

Step 3: Tenant Improvements

If you are processing interior or exterior construction improvements, you or your contractor can apply for building permits at the Building Counter at City Hall. Exterior construction improvements, including painting, usually require Design Review Board approval. (An Information Guide that describes the Design Review Board review and approval process is available at the Planning Counter). If you have any questions about building permits, please call (714) 573-3131, or visit our Community Development page for more information.

Step 4: Signs

Planning Department Staff will advise you of the sign standards applicable to your business location. Most signs require Design Review Board approval.