Opening a Business
Congratulations on making the decision to open a business in Contra Costa County! We welcome your business and look forward to seeing you open your doors.
Preparing for Success
When starting a new business, there are many important decisions to make along with the requirements that must be addressed. This page is provided to assist you in the local permitting components of starting your business in the unincorporated communities of Contra Costa County.
Land Use and Zoning Requirements
All businesses must be consistent with the allowed uses in their zoning districts. The Department of Conservation and Development can determine if a business will be allowed in a given location, or if not, guide you through the process to obtain approval. Call the Application & Permit Center at 925-655-2700, or stop by 30 Muir Road, Martinez, during business hours to meet with a staff person on a drop-in basis (wait times vary). If you don’t have a specific location yet, contact Economic Development at 925-655-2783 to get a list of available properties for your consideration..
In order to apply for a Business License, you must have a signed Use Verification Form that states your proposed use is consistent with the County's Zoning Code.
Property Use Verification Form (PDF)
If you will be operating your business out of your home, you will need a Home Occupation Permit (PDF)
The Environmental Health Division is a regulatory agency that provides oversight for businesses and property owners to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Contra Costa County and our environment. Find out more about Environmental Health permits and licensing programs.
Businesses that generate any amount of hazardous waste or handle hazardous materials equal to, or greater than, program threshold quantities are required to obtain a Hazardous Materials (CUPA) Permit.
If your business is regulated, you are required to create an account and submit your business information online using the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). The CERS website address is https://cers.calepa.ca.gov. For more information call 925-655-3200.
Financing and Other Resources
The Contra Costa Small Business Development Center provides free training opportunities to business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
See a calendar of training and networking events
The Economic Development Office in the Department of Conservation and Development can provide for customized recommendations for business resources.
Find out more about Economic Development in Contra Costa County
- Government Agency Directory - A list of agencies to contact for your business compliance
- Starting a Business Brochure by State of California (PDF)