How to Start a Business In Westlake Village
Starting a Business
Westlake Village is known as a very business friendly City, and has been noted as being one of the easier jurisdictions in the area for businesses to work with. As part of its commitment to being business friendly, the City of Westlake Village does not require a City Business License, business registration, or business tax to operate. However, there are several steps that a potential business owner must take when deciding to open a business in the City of Westlake Village. If you follow these steps, this should be a relatively simple process.
Step One: Call the Planning Department
Contact the Planning Department at 818-706-1613 to determine whether or not the location you have in mind is zoned for the business you wish to operate. Do this before signing any lease or purchase agreement.
Step Two: Fill out and file a Landlord-Tenant Zoning Acknowledgement form (Optional)
In order to protect landlords from penalty arising from un-permitted uses in the city, and to disclose a new business' use with the landlord and city, a Landlord-Tenant Zoning Acknowledgement may be required by your landlord prior to occupancy. This form discloses the nature of the business to the landlord and the City, to ensure that the use is allowed and does not require additional permits to operate. A Landlord-Tenant Zoning Acknowledgement form can be downloaded from the City's website, and requires both the Tenant and Landlord's signatures prior to submission to the City Planning Department. This form has no City fees, and can typically be approved over the counter by Planning staff.
Step Three: Obtain a Conditional Use Permit (If Needed)
While most businesses will not require this, some businesses in certain locations will require the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) prior to opening. In Westlake Village, this is typically a two month process, with an application fee of $1,081. The decision to approve or deny the permit application will be made by the City Council at a noticed public hearing. Important note: Any business requiring a Conditional Use Permit which if found to be operating without such a permit will be subject to a fee penalty of twice the application fee (total: $2162). This fee penalty will be in addition to any other enforcement penalties which may be imposed.
Step Four: Obtain a County Business License (If Needed)
Although the City of Westlake Village does not have a Business License Department, the City contracts with Los Angeles County's Treasurer and Tax Collector to issue Business Licenses. A small number of business types will require a business license under the County of Los Angeles regulations. The list of activities which require a business license is located on the Los Angeles County website. Any questions regarding this list, or the business licensing process, should be directed to the Los Angeles County Treasurer / Tax Collector’s office at 213-974-2011. Find additional information regarding Business Licenses.
Step Five: Comply With County, State, and Federal Regulations
A Federal Tax ID number, State Resellers Permit, a Fictitious Business Name (DBA) registration with the County may be required. Additionally various other permits and licenses issued by the State and County may be required for businesses to open in Westlake Village. It is the business owner’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary permits and other requirements are met.
For additional information, please contact the Westlake Village Planning Department at 818-706-1613.