Welcome to the City of Simi Valley’s Business Resource Center. Come explore the many reasons why Simi Valley is an ideal location for your business to flourish!
The City of Simi Valley welcomes the opportunity to help your business succeed, whether small, large, or somewhere in between. Here you will find our one-stop, easy-to-access reference center providing business owners with all types of business information. City staff is here to assist in any manner, whether you are in the initial phase of starting up a business, expanding, or looking to relocate. Thinking about moving your business? See why so many businesses call Simi Valley home.
Take a look at the many links below to start, grow, or simply gather information to assist you in the daily operations of your business.
- Simi Valley - A Place Businesses Call Home
- Awards & Accolades
- How Do We Compare?
- Industry Overview
- Business Incentives
- Buildings & Property
- Business Partners
- City Resources
- Finding & Training Employees
- Marketing & Creative
- Sales/Finding Customers
- Financing & Money
- Taxes, Licenses, Permits
Simi Valley – A Place Businesses Call Home
The more you learn about Simi Valley, the more you will appreciate our friendly atmosphere and enviable lifestyle. Simi Valley's 125,000-plus residents know the benefits of living in a community "so close and yet so far" from Los Angeles - close enough to take advantage of the big city amenities, while enjoying the peace, security, and calm of suburban living.
Companies have chosen to locate in Simi Valley for many reasons: attractive facility cost, diversified housing stock, productive and educated labor force, and an outstanding quality of life. These benefits, combined with the commitment of the City Council and the community, have created an environment for businesses to succeed. As a primary gateway between Los Angeles and Ventura County, Simi Valley offers low property, sales, and business taxes, and the City of Simi Valley does not assess any utility tax.
The City Council is fully committed to quality industrial and commercial development within the community, and the City is dedicated to assisting companies locating in Simi Valley. To this end, the City will assemble staff project teams, coordinated by the Office of Economic Development, to assist an applicant from development permit processing through construction inspection and obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy. Whether a tenant improvement, a building remodel, or a new building, the City is your partner to see that deadlines are met.
If transportation is critical, the City is served by the 118 Freeway, which connects to all freeways servicing California and the nation. Additionally, Port Hueneme, the only deep-water port of entry between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is located 30 minutes away. Los Angeles International Airport is 45 minutes away, and Burbank Airport is 30 minutes away. For rail commuters, you can hop on or off Metrolink commuter trains or Amtrak's regional trains at the Simi Valley Rail Station.
Your employees will also want to live in Simi Valley, perennially ranked by the FBI as one of the nation's safest cities. Our low crime rate, award-winning schools, dozens of parks, ample open space, and suburban atmosphere enticed national publications to name Simi Valley one of their Best Places to Live.
Awards & Accolades
Los Angeles Daily News
- 2015 - Voted Best City to Work in
San Fernando Valley Business Journal
- Business Friendly Cities -15 Years of Business Excellence - 1996-2011
California Association for Local Economic Development
- 2003 Award of Excellence - Tapo Street Facade Renovation Program
Graphic Design USA
- 2009 Award of Excellence
- Shop Simi Valley First Newsletter
- Shop Simi Valley First TV Campaign
- Shop Simi Valley First Logo
University of Vermont
- 2011 University of Vermont Geography of Happiness Study
- Simi Valley is the Eighth Happiest City in the Country
- 2004 Great Deals on Great Towns - Top 10
- 2011 Lower Crime Rating - Cities with population between 100,000 - 499,999
- Simi Valley #6
- 2011 Top 50 Safest Cities in California - Cities with population over 20,000
- Simi Valley #25
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- 2012 Safest Cities - Cities with population over 100,000
- Simi Valley #3 in California
- Simi Valley #7 United States
California Office of Traffic Safety and California Highway Patrol
- 2015 Ranked #1 Safest City for Driver's in California - Cities with population over 100,000
How Do We Compare?
Businesses located in the San Fernando Valley and other areas of the City of Los Angeles have a higher cost doing business than in Simi Valley. Here is just an example of the bottom line savings that a business can achieve:
City of Los Angeles
City of Simi Valley
Utility Tax on Electrical Use
12.5% of Total Bill
Utility Tax on Natural Gas Use
10% of Total Bill
Communications Tax on Internet, Cellphones, Telephones, Text Messages, and Toll-Free Numbers
9% on Total Bill
Sales Tax Rate
Electrical Rate (Average rate)*
(15.42 with Utility Tax)
PACE Program Eligible
*Actual rate may vary depending on usage
The City of Simi Valley prides itself on a very diverse employment base. And while the diversity of employers is great, a business never needs to feel like an island in a sea of business. Here is a sampling of businesses in Simi Valley in various business industries:
Aerospace, Commercial Aircraft, and Defense Manufacturing
- Meggitt Safety Systems
- RSA Engineered Products
- Alcoa Fastening Systems
- L3 Communications
- Specialty Fabrications, Inc.
- Creative Digital Systems Integrated
- Pharmaceutic Litho & Label
- Milgard Manufacturing
- Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting
- Freedom Designs
- Entech Instruments
- Scientific Cutting Tools
- Puroflux Corporation
- Computer Metal Products
- McBain Instruments
Software and Technology
- Tangerine Global
- California Lasers
- Hotel Internet Services
- Titan LED
- Intermetro Communications
- Pure Aire Corporation
- SeeSmart + LED
- ITS Communications
- Boregyde Inc.
Warehouse & Distribution
- Kingsbridge International
- Entertainment Earth
- Port-to-Port Imports
- Sienna Accent Floral
- Sierra Pads & Umbrellas
- American Warehouse Equipment
- All American Containers
- Eurow & O'Reilly
Auto & Transporation
- Garrett Custom Trailers
- Enderle Fuel Injection
- O'Neal Racing
- Currie Technologies
There are incentive programs available for businesses looking to operate in the City of Simi Valley. To gather information regarding these programs, view the narratives below:
Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ)
The State of California has designated areas as Recycling Market Development Zones (RMDZs), and Simi Valley is included in the Ventura County Zone. The Zone encourages the use of recycled products in manufacturing to reduce waste and increase job opportunities.
In addition to assisting companies in obtaining low-interest, long-term, fixed-rate loans offered through the RMDZ program, Ventura County RMDZ staff can assist companies with financing strategies that include loans and grants. RMDZ staff can also provide assistance with obtaining permits, siting, and acquisition of materials for manufacturing. The program is available primarily to businesses using recycled material to make new products and also provides "source reduction" assistance to companies facilitating reuse or altering manufacturing processes to use less material.
Additionally, through Ventura County’s Workforce Investment Board, employers are offered free personnel services, including employee recruitment and screening, on-the-job training, and customized training. Up to half the salary of eligible employees can be reimbursed to employers during an agreed-upon training period. There are also sheltered workshops, job coaching programs, and other opportunities for subsidized labor in Ventura County.
For more information, visit the RMDZ website at (805) 658-4312.
Simi Valley Industrial Authority
The City of Simi Valley established the Simi Valley Industrial Development Authority to assist business in financing their capital projects. Through the Authority, businesses can access tax-exempt municipal bonds to finance capital projects such as land acquisition, construction, purchase of equipment, or rehabilitation of manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit the Office of Economic Development website or contact us at (805) 583-6701.
The State of California
There are many programs and opportunities that the State of California has to offer businesses. For a complete list of California incentives, visit the State of California's website .
Buildings & Property
Finding a Location
Selecting the right location for your business is an important step. A great location will help you attract a strong customer base and good employees. There are several resources to help you find a business location in Simi Valley, including City staff and various organizations.
Assistance from the City of Simi Valley
The City’s Economic Development Office can provide you with several resources to help you find an appropriate location for your business. The City is a subscriber to proprietary software, which gives staff the ability to provide custom reports of available properties and vacant spaces. Our services include the following:
- Lists of building and tenant spaces available for lease or for sale
- Asking rents and sales prices
- Comparable data for lease rates
- Demographic data
- Analytical property data
- Property ownership information
- Ideas and introductions to brokers and property managers
The City also offers the Business Visitation Program. The Program allows the Economic Development staff to spend a brief amount of time learning about the particular challenges and opportunities of Simi Valley's businesses and their operations. With the knowledge gained, the City will be better equipped to represent the interests of Simi Valley businesses.
To utilize these resources, please contact Brian Gabler at (805) 583-6701, or submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for Negotiating a Lease
When negotiating a lease agreement, business owners need to inquire about several items, such as potential Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) with the property manager, whether the site is adequate for anticipated growth during the lease term, and if the agreement limits liability for compliance with future laws. Below are articles from various business and legal sources to help guide you through a lease negotiation for your business location.
Leasing Information and Checklist
The Small Business Administration - SBA will help you discover how to obtain the best commercial lease and a checklist of necessary elements that should be included in your lease agreement.
Important Issues to Identify in Evaluating a Lease Agreement
Need to find out which type of lease is best for your business, and identify and evaluate the critical issues in a lease agreement, visit SCORE-Ventura County's website to help you obtain the best lease.
Commercial Leases: Negotiate the Best Terms
Nolo has great suggestions on how you can save money when negotiating a commercial lease agreement. Visit the Nolo website for more information.
The economic development community is built upon partnerships wherein expertise is disbursed to various organizations and persons. Through partnerships, the City is able to call upon persons and organizations with expertise in each field. The City has established partnerships with the following organizations to help businesses in our community succeed:
Economic Development Collaborative - Ventura County (EDC-VC)
The Economic Development Collaborative - Ventura County (EDC-VC) is the business resource for companies of all sizes doing business in Ventura County. The EDC-VC promotes job growth to maintain the County's economic vitality through these key programs and services:
- Business Consulting and Workshops
- Manufacturing Outreach Programs
- International Trade
All services are FREE to business owners! Contact the Economic Development Collaborative - Ventura County at (805) 384-1800.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The SBDC provides management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. The SBDC is designed to provide up to date counseling, training, and technical assistance in all aspects of small business management.
The SBDC services include assisting businesses with Business Plans, sources of capital, contracting and procurement, financing, human resources, legal issues, start up help, and marketing and sales. Special SBDC services include assistance with international trade and manufacturer assistance.
All services are FREE to business owners! Contact the Small Business Development Center at (805) 384-1800.
Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDB)
With an ever-changing world economy and its significant impact on local economies, workforce development and employer support are imperative for the economic vitality of a community. The Workforce Development Board (WDB) of Ventura County offers a valuable resource for employers and job seekers to get help when they need it.
What is unique about WDB programs and services is that they are offered at no cost to employers and job seekers alike. Through the effective use of federal funds and strong partnerships with private and public sector providers, the WDB is able to offer quality support that otherwise would be costly for individuals or businesses to receive from other sources.
For more information regarding the WDB, call (805) 477-5306.
America's Jobs Center of Ventura County (AJC)
America's Jobs Center of Ventura County, located in Simi Valley, provides a variety of no cost, high value employment and training services to employers and job seekers. The AJC offers a variety of services to business owners to help them find employees that are a perfect fit for their company. Services offered include employee recruitment, employee development and training, information on industry trends and data, and business consulting services. And, all services are FREE to business owners!
For job seekers, a wide variety of services are available including resume and interview skills assistance, job listings, and employer information, customized training, and other resources to prepare individuals to enter or re-enter the workforce.
For more information regarding America's Jobs Center of Ventura County, call (805) 955-2282.
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
SCORE is a non-profit association sponsored by the Small Business Administration that provides counseling to help individuals start and operate successful small businesses. The counselors of SCORE Ventura County are active and retired business owners and managers that volunteer their experience and knowledge to help both established and potential businesses achieve success. SCORE offers one-on-one counseling and a variety of workshops to guide business owners to success. For a list of upcoming workshops, access the SCORE calendar of upcoming courses taught by business professionals .classes or contact the Ventura County SCORE chapter at (805) 204-6022.
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of every facet of the business community and works with government officials and the public to make Simi Valley a friendly place to do business. The Chamber has many resources for information, networking, and publicity available to its members including a newsletter, business directory, workshops, economic profiles, and a member referral service.
Contact the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce at (805) 526-3900.
The City of Simi Valley is participant in the CaliforniaFIRST finance program. CaliforniaFIRST is a financing program that uses an innovative framework called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) which solves many of the financial hurdles facing property owners wanting to install energy and water improvements. PACE connects property owners to low cost capital to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on commercial, industrial, or multi-family (over 5 units) buildings. The cost of the expenditures is paid back as a line item on their property tax bill with repayment periods ranging from 5 – 20 years. The CaliforniaFIRST Program allows property owners to form their own installation team and may work with any licensed contractor and any qualified financing partner. Eligible projects include solar photovoltaic, solar water, HVAC units, cool roofs, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy efficient windows, doors, and lighting. For more information about PACE, to download the Program Handbook, and to apply on-line, visit the California First website.
Guide to Opening a Small Business in Simi Valley
The City of Simi Valley is an ideal place to start a new business. A supportive City government and an active and vibrant Chamber of Commerce have created an environment for success. The City has prepared a Guide to help you understand the process to open a small business in Simi Valley. Please download the Guide to Opening a Small Business in Simi Valley.
Over-the-Counter Plan Review
The City of Simi Valley offers over-the-counter plan check services for tenant improvement projects. This service is available for retail and office uses (M or B occupancies) where the total area is less than 3,000 square feet. Over-the-counter plan check services are also available for food establishments without cooking facilities (like juice bars, coffee bars, sandwich shops, etc.) where the total area is less than 3,000 square feet and the dining area is less than 750 square feet (non-assembly occupancy of fewer than 50 occupants). For new business owners undergoing construction for a building project, to view a step-by-step flow chart and other pertinent information about the tenant improvement process.
To make an appointment for over-the-counter plan review, please call (805) 583-6723. Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
One Stop Permit Counter
The City values your time. To provide the best service possible and to maximize your time, the City has developed a One Stop Permit Counter. Within our Development Services Building, we've established a single convenient location for residents and business owners to start any building project. The Building & Safety Division, Planning Division, Public Works Department (including Environmental Compliance and Sanitation Services Divisions), and representatives from the Ventura County Fire Department are available at the City's Permit Counter, easing interdepartmental coordination. The One Stop Permit Counter saves you time and streamlines the permit process.
Small Business Resource Guide
The Small Business Resource Guide is a compilation of resources intended to serve as a source of information for existing and new business. The Guide provides residents with a where-to-go while starting a business and serves as a resource for existing business owners on where to find information, data, and materials to strengthen their businesses. Please click here to download the Small Business Resource Guide.
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
For over 50 years, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce has been welcoming visitors and new residents and providing new forums for business to flourish. The Chamber represents the interests of every facet of the business community and works with government officials and the public to make Simi Valley business friendly. The Chamber has many resources for information, networking, and publicity available to its members including a newsletter, business directory, workshops, economic profiles, and a member referral service.
Contact the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce at (805) 526-3900 or visit the Chamber's website for more information.
Finding & Training Employees
There are several organizations, government agencies, and online materials to help you acquire, hire, and manage your employees. Here some organizations that assist business in the hiring and training process:
Employment Development Department
The State of California's Employment Development Department (EDD) serves as a lead employment service agency, assisting California employers with their labor needs. In addition, EDD offers educational seminars regarding payroll taxes and reporting for employee and/or contracted help. For information about how EDD can help you, call them at (888) 745-3866 or visit the EDD website.
America's Jobs Center of Ventura County (AJC)
America's Jobs Center of Ventura County (AJC), located in Simi Valley, provides a variety of no cost, high value employment and training services to employers and job seekers. Through the effective use of federal funds and strong partnerships with prviate and public sector providers, the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County (WDB), through the America's Jobs Center of Ventura County (AJC), is able to offer quality support that otherwise would be costly for individuals or businesses to receive from other sources.
The AJC provides free services that connect job seekers and employers. Here is a sampling of services offered:
- Employer-site and on-the-job training for employees with the training to be either customized to meet the employer's needs and specialized equipment or basic skills training (i.e. computer and software skills)
- Employers may be eligible for subsidized wages for new employees involved in the WDB training programs
- Labor market information
- Industry-specific education programs for new and current employees
- Employee recruitment services
In the event of a potential workforce reduction, employers can call upon the WDB to provide direct services to employees including consultation regarding business and workforce transition planning along with alternatives that may help avoid or reduce workforce reductions.
America's Jobs Center of Ventura County is located at:
2900 Madera Road
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Workforce Development Board (WDB)
The Workforce Development Board is a leading workforce development organization that specializes in assisting adults in job transition, teens, and youths exploring career options, or employers simply seeking support in recrutiment and training efforts. In order to help educate and provide options to the younger population looking for the jobs of tomorrow, the WDB has created a comprehensive career resource center. For more information regarding the WDB, call (805) 477-5306 or visit the WDB website.
The WDB also sponsors the On-the-Job Training program (OJT), which reimburses employers up to 50% of gross wages affiliated with training WDB job seekers in skills necessary to perform work in their organization for a negotiated period of time. This program is available through the Ventura County's Job & Career Centers. For more information regarding the OJT program, call Raul Ornelas at (805) 204-5168 or Raul.Ornelas@ventura.org.
Ventura County Community College District
The Ventura Community College District's (VCCCD) three colleges (Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura Colleges) not only offer transfer opportunities to four-year colleges but also provide occupational and technical courses/programs. The VCCCD's Division of Economic Development is committed to helping California businesses and organizations stay strong and competitive. Their purpose is to actively support the growth of the State's economy by providing employers with consultations and customized training that allows them to maintain a capable workforce. The Division of Economic Development provides local employers with customized training support that will enable them to maintain a skilled and competitive workforce. For more information regarding their services, visit the VCCCD website.
Other Beneficial Sites for Employer Services
Simi Valley Youth Employment Service (YES) - Post open positions at no cost through the City's YES program.
Small Business Administration (SBA) - The SBA website provides tips to employers on hiring and managing employees. Explore the training resources that are available to your business by visiting the SBA website.
Marketing & Creative
Marketing is an important element of business success. Effective marketing allows the business owner to gain attention, build product demand, and develop a strong customer base. To that end, there are several local organizations and services that can assist a business owner to build an effective marketing strategy and provide avenues for businesses to market locally.
Shop Simi Valley First
The City's award-winning Shop Simi Valley First marketing campaign encourages residents to make the choice to shop in Simi Valley first. City staff will list your Simi Valley business on the site so that residents will be made aware of your product or service. Come join restaurant owners, realtors, mechanics, gyms, contractors, and auto dealers who list their business information on the Shop Simi Valley First site.
Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce
For over 50 years, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce has been providing forums for businesses to flourish. The Chamber has many resources for information, networking, and publicity available to its members including a newsletter, business directory, workshops, economic profiles, and member referral service. See how the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce can promote your business.
Workshops & Marketing Plan Consultants
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides assistance to both current and prospective small business owners. Their services include up-to-date counseling and courses on marketing and sales. Special SBDC services also include assistance with international trade. If you are looking for information on social meida, best mobile business applications, and/or marketing strategies, visit the SBDC website to check out upcoming workshops.
Service Corps of Retired Executives of Ventura County (SCORE), a non-profit association sponsored by the Small Business Administration, is here to help your business succeed. If you need to develop or implement a marketing strategy, why not see what the seasoned professionals at SCORE have to provide? Access the SCORE website to gather more information about their marketing curriculum.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) was established in 1937 and has over 30,000 members who work, teach, and study in the field of marketing. If you are interested in hiring a marketing consultant to assist you with the promotion of your business, visit the AMA website and gain insight as to what they have to offer.
Sales & Finding Customers
For business owners, finding customers is a top priority. Here are some sources that will help you attract new customers, whether it takes that old-fashioned approach of knocking on doors to utilizing the latest technology to increase your bottom line.
The Shop Simi Valley First campaign was designed to encourage residents to support locally based businesses when they shop. Simi Valley businesses can list their business on the Shop Simi Valley First website and benefit from this no cost advertising vehicle. Visit the Shop Simi Valley First website for more information.
In today's business climate, more and more businesses are utilizing technology to market their businesses and sell products online. Incorporating an E-commerce website into a Business Plan can be beneficial, so knowing where to begin is crucial. If it is time for you to get connected to the latest business frontier, please view the list of resources below:
- From the Small Business Administration, access a valuable database of information on E-commerce.
- From the Small Business Development Center, access a variety of consultants who can initiate or energize your marketing program.
- From SCORE of Ventura County, access their E-Business Now templates under the Technology & Computers section.
- From SalesVantage.com, review an article on how to grow your sales via E-commerce from N. Merens, Managing Director of NM Marketing Communications.
Selling to Governmental Agencies
Cities and other governmental agencies all need to purchase supplies and services just like any other business. As such, they represent an excellent potential market for many small businesses. To capture this market, business owners need to understand governmental processes and requirements for contracting with both suppliers and service providers. There are several agencies that provide resources to help businesses gain a better understanding of how to secure government contracts. To learn more about selling to governmental agencies, please view the list of resources below:
- SCORE of Ventura County provides counseling and various types of workshops that guide business owners to success.
- The Small Business Administration has many resources to help businesses gain access to secure government contracts.
- The City of Simi Valley has a vested interest in promoting the efforts of local businesses while also securing reliable vendors who can meet City needs economically, and in the desired quality and quantities. Visit the City's "Doing Business with the City of Simi Valley" to obtain more information on how you can be placed on the City's vendor list.
If you are looking to contract with other governmental agencies, please visit these sites for procurement information:
- Simi Valley Unified School District
- State of California
- Ventura County
- Ventura County Community College District
- Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District
Financing & Money
Accounting, Budget, and Financial Planning
There are several organizations that provide businesses with financial planning consulting and classes related to financial software. Below is a list of organizations that educate business owners about accounting and financial planning:
- SCORE of Ventura County offers classes on financial statements and cash management, QuickBooks, and Business Plans. Visit the SCORE website to view a schedule of upcoming workshops.
- The Small Business Development Center of Ventura County (SBDC) offers workshops on Business Plans, financing, and capital sourcing. For more information regarding upcoming workshops, visit the SBDC website.
- The Simi Valley Adult School and Career Institute offers a computer technology program for those business owners who are looking to work independently. Check out the Career Institute's program today.
Consumer Credit Counseling Services
To obtain any type of financing, having good credit is a must. If you are in need of repairing personal credit, do not despair! There are resources to help you improve your credit rating and get the business loan that you need. Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) works directly with business owners by phone, online, and in person to help repair credit, pay down debt, and manage money. Visit the CCCS website and to learn more about their counseling services.
Loans for Small Business Owners
There are financial resources available to business owners looking for financing. Below is a list of agencies that help small businesses obtain financing:
- The California Economic Development Lending Initiative (CEDLI) is a statewide for-profit loan fund sponsored by California financial institutions. CEDLI creates jobs by providing financing to small business and community economic development activities that fall outside of normal bank lending practices.
- The Economic Development Collaborative - Ventura County (EDC-VC) provides access to capital with competitive rates through several innovative loan programs. Loans range from $5,000 to $200,000 and are geared to help businesses that have been declined by conventional lenders grow and add jobs.
- The California Statewide Certified Development Corporation is licensed by the Small Business Administration to provide second mortgage financing to expanding small businesses through the SBA 504 Loan Program. California Statewide has been helping successful small businesses in California purchase their own real estate since 1987. Unfortunately, startups are generally not eligible. .
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) assists small businesses obtain federal financial assistance and contracts. The SBA can also help business owners acquire funding by guaranteeing loans through various banks. When you apply for an SBA-backed loan at your local bank or credit union, the SBA provides a guarantee to the lending institution that you will repay the loan as promised.
- The California Capital Access Program (CalCAP) encourages banks and other financial institutions to make loans to small businesses that fall just outside of most banks' conventional underwriting standards. CalCAP insures bank loans made to small businesses to assist them in growing their business. Loans may be used to finance the acquisition of land, construction, renovation of buildings, purchase of equipment, capital projects, and working capital.
- Women's Economic Ventures (WEV) helps small businesses succeed by providing a nationally recognized training program, access to start-up and growth capital, and ongoing assistance as a business grows. WEV provides micro-loans of $1,000 to $25,000 for start-ups and loans of up to $50,000 to existing businesses. WEV is a Women's Business Center funded by the Small Business Administration. However, they provide funding to both male and female business owners.
- CaliforniaFIRST- The City of Simi Valley is a participant in CaliforniaFIRST, a financing program that uses an innovative framework called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), which solves many of financial hurdles facing property owners wanting to install energy and water improvements. PACE connects property owners to low cost capital to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on commercial, industrial, or multi-family (over 5 units) buildings. The cost of the expenditures is paid back as a line item on their property tax bill with repayment periods ranging from 5 – 20 years. The CaliforniaFIRST Program allows property owners to form their own installation team and may work with any licensed contractor and any qualified financing partner. Eligible projects include solar photovoltaic, solar water, HVAC units, cool roofs, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy efficient windows, doors, and lighting.
Taxes, Licenses, Permits
For a business to legally operate, business owners will need to obtain several permits, pay certain fees, and meet other requirements.
City of Simi Valley Requirements:
- Business Tax Certificate - Every new business is required to obtain a Business Tax Certificate prior to conducting business in the City. The tax for most businesses is based on annual gross receipts for the previous year. Currently, businesses with annual gross receipts of $300,000 or less do not pay any Business Tax, but a Business Tax Certificate must still be obtained. A flat rate schedule exists for specific types of business (including amusement activities, studio filming, swap meet vendors, and delivery trucks for businesses outside the City), For more information regarding the City's Business Tax requirements, visit our Business Tax Certificate section of the City's website.
- Business Permits - Certain types of businesses also need to obtain a Business Permit through the City of Simi Valley. These include billiard rooms, Bingo halls, carnivals, dance halls, firearm dealers, massage therapists, parades and shows, pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers, solicitors, and taxicabs.
- Environmental Compliance Permits - Some businesses will be required to obtain an Industrial Wastewater Discharge Permit through the Public Works Department's Environmental Compliance Division. These businesses include food service establishments, auto related businesses, some medical facilities, manufacturing, and laundries to name a few. Visit the City's Environmental Compliance Division for more information regarding permits.
- Building Permits - The Building & Safety Division provides construction plan reviews and inspections of all developments and projects to ensure that the requirements of the California Building, Electrical, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Energy Codes are met. If opening your business involves new construction or a modification to an existing building, it is likely that one or more of the four building permits (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and energy) will be required. Visit the Building & Safety Division on the City's website for more details related to plan check services and building permits, as well as the Building Construction Overview and Tenant Improvement Process sections.
- Zoning Clearance - Prior to signing a lease agreement or moving into a location, contact the Planning Division to ensure that the proposed land use is allowed in your location's zoning district. The City's Planning staff is happy to assist you, or you may view the City's Zoning Maps to identify how a proposed location is zoned. Once zoning is identified, click here to view the Allowed Uses and Permit Requirements for Commercial and Industrial Zoning Districts in the City's Development Code (Chapter 9-26) to determine if the proposed use is allowed. If the location is not zoned for the intended use, you may have to apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and should speak with Planning staff at (805) 583-6769.
Other Government Requirements
- Fictitious Business Name - The California Business and Professions Code requires every person who operates a for-profit business in California under a fictitious business name to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement 40 days before the first business transaction. To confirm a proposed name is not being used by someone else, visit the Ventura County Clerk & Recorder's Office website.
- Alcohol Consumption or Sales - The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will require a liquor license if your business sells alcohol or allows consumption of alcohol. Visit the ABC website for applications and more information.
- Retail or Wholesale Sales - If your business involves the sale or lease of merchandise, vehicles, or other tangible personal property in California, the State requires a Seller's Permit. This permit allows you to sell items at the wholesale or retail level. Visit the California State Board of Equalization's website for more information about permit requirements.
Ventura County Health Licenses & Permits
- Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) - The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District works with businesses and industry to reduce emissions from both new and existing sources. If your business utilizes combustion equipment, uses equipment/processes that emit solvents or other reactive organic compounds, and/or emits any toxins that may cause a nuisance, you will be required to obtain a permit from VC APCD. The VCAPCD website will provide you with more information regarding their requirements.
- Ventura County Environmental Health Division (VCEHD) - If your business involves the handling of food, hazardous materials and waste, medical waste, and/or other contaminants, you will need a permit from the Ventura County Environmental Health Division. Visit the VCEHD website for more additional information about the County's requirements.
- Ventura County Fire Protection District - If the opening or expansion of your business involves construction or the storage and/or manufacturing of various items, you will need approval of the Ventura County Fire Protection District.
To determine if your business requires additional permits and/or licenses, please visit the State of California website for a list of required permits and licenses.