Frequently Asked Questions - Building Division

Do I need a permit for a new swimming pool?

Yes.  Please contact the Building Division of the Community Development Department at (714) 548-3254 for information regarding swimming pool permits.

How can I find out if the paint in my house has lead in it?

For information regarding lead, call (714) 433-6079.

How do I obtain or renew a contractor’s license?

This is done through the State of California Contractors Licensing Board. Their telephone number is (800) 321-2752.

I am remodeling my house; what permits do I need?

You should contact the Building Division of the Community Development Department at (714) 548-3254.

I need information about construction permits.

Please contact Community Development - Building Division at (714) 548-3254.

What is a "Certificate of Occupancy" permit?

A "Certificate of Occupancy" permit is a document that is produced by the Building Official after completion of most new construction, or if there is a change in occupancy type (as defined in the Building Code) within an existing structure.  Exempt from this permit are new single family homes, residential garages, and storage buildings.

Do I need a business license if I lease out the property I own?

Yes! If you lease commercial property, you must have a business license. If you lease more than 3 residential units, you must also have a business license. See the business license page for more information.

I am starting a new business; what licenses do I need?

There are numerous types of licenses available.  The type of license you will need is based upon the type of business you are going to conduct.  Further information is available on the City Home Page under Business Licenses, or you may contact the Business License Division at: (714) 548-3258.

The State provides information on different permit, license, and filing requirements on their CalGold page, found here: http://www.calgold.ca.gov/.

I operate a business on property I own. Why am I receiving a letter saying I need to have a business license to lease my property?

You don't need a "landlord" business license if you operate the only business that exists on your property. Unfortunately, it may be difficult in our records to tell that you are an owner-operator, particularly if the name you use for your business license doesn't exactly match the name the property is recorded under. We apologize for the inconvenience, but please contact us to let us know so that we may update our records. If you've received notification from HdL, please contact them at (657) 622-0222 to inform them.

I want to transfer my business to a new owner.

City-issued business licenses are not transferable. You would have to close your account and the new owner would have to purchase his/her own license. You may contact the Business License Dept. at: (714) 548-3258.

Where can I apply for a business license?

An application for a  business license may be obtained at City Hall's  customer service counter (Building Division). Applications are also available online under Work>Apply for> Business License.

Where can I get a business license?

An application for a  business license can be obtained from the customer service counter of  City Hall, Building Division.  More information and applications are also available here.

I received a letter from HdL saying I need a business license to lease my property. Is this true?

Yes, pursuant to our Municipal Code (Sections 5.12.150 & 5.12.162), leasing of property is a business, and it requires a license as follows:

  • If you lease a commercial property (retail, office, industrial) to even a single tenant, you need to have a business license.
  • If you lease 3 or more residential units, even if they are not on the same property, you need to have a business license.

I've received a letter from HdL regarding a business license. Is this legitimate? What should I do?

The City contracts with HdL to assist in business license enforcement. If you have received a letter from HdL, please follow the instructions in it. HdL can be reached at (657) 622-0222.