Starting a Business

Business License

The Business License Office is open Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 5:15 pm and is located at City Hall (100 N. Garfield) in Room N106.
To apply for a Business License, click here.


To access the citywide zoning map, click here. To view the zoning code and a list of zoning designations, click here.
If you have zoning related questions please contact the Planner of the Day (626) 744-6777.


In recent years, the City of Pasadena has increased efforts to encourage the growth of local companies. Part of this effort has included changes in local polices that can result in savings to both entrepreneurs and those improve commercial space.

Business License Starter Rates

Pasadena has competitive business license rates when compared to other California cities and does not charge any gross receipts tax. Many businesses choose to locate in Pasadena because customers are here while others enjoy the entrepreneurial spirit and access to skilled labor. For certain small start-up businesses with the option of locating in any city, Pasadena has an incentive or “ $1 starter rate” in place for these certain new businesses with less than 5 employees. This is a small first year incentive to encourage and thank businesses that start here in the Crown City. Call Economic Development or ask the Business License staff members when you apply. Have your business type (NAICS code) ready.

Fiber Services for Business

The City owns and operates over 50 miles of fiber network within Pasadena. CityFiber services for businesses include:

  • Support during the development process to plan for high speed connectivity
  • Dark fiber links – leased fiber strands – for campuses and businesses that want to manage their own connections between multiple Pasadena locations
  • Fiber Service, including 1 and 10 Gb transport and Internet services
  • Consulting with local businesses regarding their telecommunications options

Power Incentive

Pasadena has a range of facility options for the business community. Large “Class A” office buildings, warehouses, creative space, and storefronts are available for lease. Certain improvements that are initiated for a new business trigger state/federal accessibility, building, and fire requirements. To support long term improvements into existing buildings, the City has limited power incentives. Some incentives relate to conservation and others relate to infrastructure upgrades for services over 50Kw. For the later, these criteria apply:

• Must be eligible type of business ( use NAICS codes)
• Customer must have new or incremental electric service minimum of 50 kW or 10% of existing demand, whichever is greater.
• Customer must pay all electrical interconnection costs prior to electrical work.
• Discounts are limited to a maximum of $100,000 for each customer.
• Customer is required to enter into a contract with the City to take service under this rate schedule.

For more information in regard to these incentives, contact Eric Duyshart or Ruth Martinez at 626 -744-4660.

Site Selection

We can assist you with a property search for your future business location in Pasadena.
For customized site selection assistance, please contact
the City of Pasadena Economic Development Office at (626) 744-4660.