Business Licenses



The City of Tustin (City) Municipal Code provides that every business operating in the city is required to obtain a Business License 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 obtain a Business License


A business license is required to both start a business and conduct business in the City of Tustin. We want the process to be as smooth as possible. Depending upon the type of business and/or location of the business, a Business Tax Certificate is typically issued within 2 weeks of the submittal of a completed application.

We recommend contacting the Planning Department prior to signing any lease or purchase agreements to be certain that the proposed business activities at the property is acceptable for the business zone in which it falls.  The Planning Department can be reached at (714) 573-3140 to answer questions regarding zoning, tenant improvements, and signage.

All businesses located within the City of Tustin are required to complete a Zoning Questionnaire. Businesses operating from a home residence within the City of Tustin must also complete the Home Occupation Questionnaire. Complete and save both documents as they must be uploaded during the online application process.  

Depending upon the business activity, some businesses may require a Business Permit in addition to a Business License. Learn more about the questionnaires and Business Permit forms.

You may apply for a business license online at any time. Prior to starting an Online Application, please refer to the Business License Application Checklist.

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AB1607: Gender Discrimination

Starting January 1, 2021, Assembly Bill 1607 requires the prevention of gender-based discrimination of business establishments. Read the full notice is available in English or other languages.          

AB3002: Disability Access Requirements

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws.

AB 783: Single User-Restrooms

Starting January 1, 2024, Assembly Bill 783 requires that single-user toilet facilities in your business be identified as all-gender toilet facilities with compliant signage.  A full notice is available in English by going to California Legislative Information.