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. 

Opening a Business

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)

Map application to find your zoning

More information about planning applications

Home Occupation

If you will be operating your business out of your home, you will need a Home Occupation Permit. 

View the Home Occupation Permit How to Guide(PDF) to learn more about Home Occupations. 

 Business Licensing

General Information
Where to Go
How to Apply
Cost and Requirements
Online Renewal

Environmental Health

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.

Hazardous Materials

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 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