Small Business Resource Guide

Carson Makes Sense
The purpose of this guide is to provide resources to small businesses. As you begin your business venture, you may find it necessary to take additional actions before you can be "up and running". This guide is to serve only as a resource for Carson agencies and partners that provide small business assistance and is accurate as of the date of publication.

FIRST: Decide what type of business you would like to operate.

Once the type of business has been decided, a business plan should be formed. In the event that the business name is different from the owner's name, the owner should register his/her name with the county registrar in Norwalk, California under a "Fictitious Name Statement."

Los Angeles County Registrar
12400 Imperial Hwy
Norwalk, Ca 90650
(562) 462-2177
SECOND: Find a location.

Carson is a wonderful place for a small business because it is between four major freeways, has a diverse population with a median family income 18% greater than L.A. County's average and does not have a city property tax, parking tax or gross receipt tax. Carson also has a business-friendly city government; professional business guidance, growth potential and can sometimes provide financial assistance. To start a small business in Carson, contact the Carson Development Services Work Group's Planning Division to ensure your business is in compliance with current zoning laws. Through the promotion of efficient land use, zoning laws maintain Carson's integrity.

City of Carson ‐ Development Services Work Group

Carson City Hall
701 E. Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745
Planning Division:   (310) 952-1761
Engineering Division:  (310) 952-1795
Building and Safety Division:  (310) 952-1766

In the event that food products will be sold as part of your business, the Health Department must be contacted for a Health Permit.

County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services

769 West 3rd Street Rm.205 B
San Pedro, Ca 90731
(310) 519-6086
Contact: Mr. Malay between 7am-9am

If products or services are going to be sold that require state sales tax is to be charged to the customer and collected by the seller, a Seller's Permit must obtained from the State Board of Equalization.

State Board of Equalization/ Department of Business Taxes

680 W. Knox Street, Suite 500
Torrance, CA 90502
(800) 400-7115
(310) 516-4300 fax: (310) 516-4139

If vehicles are going to be sold or serviced, additional state permits as well as city permits may need to be obtained. For example:

  • Auto Repair Permit = $50.
  • Second Hand Dealers Permit (for refurbished parts) = $150.
  • Auto Body/Fender Permit = $50.
  • Auto Painting Permit = $50.
  • Vehicle Rental Permit = $25.

And additional permits may be required for vending machines, food or shoeshine stand, burglar alarms, etc.

Note: City of Carson does NOT allow used car sales ‐ unless it is in conjunction with new cars sales.

Bureau of Automotive Repair/ Department of Consumer Affairs

6035 Bristol Parkway
Culver City, Ca 90230
(800) 952-5210 (310) 410-0025
(916) 255-3145 fax: (310) 410-0159

The City of Carson's Economic Development Work Group's Business Development Division can assist with business attraction, retention and expansion. They are a first resource for information on locations, possible business assistance, planning, permitting, licensing and development.

THIRD: Get good business advice.

For new business owners, getting good advice can be priceless. That is why the City of Carson has a relationship with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC offers services ranging from one-on-one professional counseling to seminars on business plans, financing, marketing, accounting, record keeping and SBA pre-qualification loan programs. Seeking professional advice early can help businesses avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Small Business Development Center
13430 Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 973-3177 Fax: (310) 973-3132
FOURTH: Find quality employees.

In a small business, having excellent employees is imperative. The employee's link consumers and the business owner, and can heavily influence the atmosphere of a small business. A warming, welcoming and comfortable environment can be the key to increasing, stabilizing and boosting a small business' profit. There are two major resources located in Carson that can help employers find employees. The first is the City of Carson's Employment Development Division. All of their prescreened clientele are Carson residents, and their services are completely free to both parties. Second, the Carson/Lomita/Torrance Work Investment Network is a resource for recruiting, training, hiring and coordinating employer incentives such as job placement, business assistance workshops and many other business services. They are open to all clients, and their services are free of charge as well.
Carson Career Center (formerly known as the Job Clearinghouse)
South Bay Workforce Investment Board
Carson Chamber of Commerce Members of the Carson business community get involved to improve the immediate economy and build a better community. 530 E. Del Amo Ste. 101B Carson, CA 90746 (310) 217-4590 fax: (310) 217-4591


City Hall Contact

701 E Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745
(310) 830-7600, 7 AM - 6 PM
Monday - Thursday
24-hour automated: (310) 952-1700


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