City of Vernon California

Starting A Business

Step By Step Guide to Doing Business in Vernon

Anyone moving into the City of Vernon is required by the City to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy and a Business License before moving employees or equipment into the building.

Certificate of Occupancy

1. When applying for occupancy, the proposed tenant is required to provide a complete application, which shall include a description of the proposed use.

2. Before occupancy can be approved an inspection must be performed. A fee, based upon the square footage of building area to be occupied, is paid at the time the application is filed.

3. The inspection is scheduled and then performed by Building, Electrical, Plumbing/Mechanical, Fire Prevention, and Health Inspectors to determine the building's compliance with the Building, Zoning and City Codes. A few examples of some of the things the inspector's will be checking for are; adequate egress, damages to the structure, frontage improvements, unsafe electrical, adequate restroom facilities, fire protection, proper ventilation and adequate parking and loading areas.

  • Please note that if you fail to have a representative present or the City is unable to access the building on the scheduled date, the applicant is subject to a re-inspection fee equivalent to the original inspection fee. You may cancel or reschedule an inspection with 24 hours notice. An applicant, upon written request, may receive a refund in the amount of 80% of the application fee if cancelled 24 hours prior to the scheduled inspection. To cancel or reschedule an occupancy inspection, please contact the Building Department at (323) 583-8811.

4. Upon completion of the inspection, the applicant will receive copies of the inspection reports. These reports list any corrections that are required to meet the current Building, Zoning and City Codes. The occupant shall make all required corrections and request a re-inspection.

5. If all of the corrective work has been approved by the City, and an application for a Business License has been filed, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

6. If for some reason it is imperative for the applicant to take occupancy immediately and the corrections have not yet been made, there is a possibility that the applicant might be allowed to move in with a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. This Temporary Certificate is an agreement between the applicant and the City to perform the corrections within a limited time span.

  • Any applicant is subject to a double fee if they occupy a structure prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. Payment of the double fee will be due prior to a Certificate or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy being issued.

To obtain additional information on the Certificate of Occupancy process, obtain an application form or schedule an inspection, please contact the Community Services Department.

Business License

  1. When applying for a business license, you must provide a complete application.
  2. Business License Tax Calculation Worksheet:

Note: Your business may not have to use the calculation worksheets provided if you are one of the businesses listed under Vernon Code Chapter 5, Article II, Section 5.23 through 5.29. Please refer to the code to see if you are one of those businesses. For contractors, you may obtain a quarterly business license if you do not maintain a fixed place of business within Vernon. Please refer to the code or contact our Business License Clerk at (323) 583-8811 Ext. 320 for additional information.

Storm Water Program

Storm Water Industrial  Permit (SB205) Notice

Effective January 1, 2020, Senate Bill (SB) 205 requires a person or entity who conducts a business operation that is a "regulated industry" to demonstrate enrollment with the NPDES permit program when applying for an initial business license or business license renewal. The goal of the program is to address the health and safety of drinking water sources statewide. Business operations subject to the IGP can be found here. Enrollment under the IGP is demonstrated by providing the State Permit Number (WDID, WDID Application, NEC, or NONA).

For guidance on how to apply for coverage under the Stormwater Industrial General Permit, contact the State Water Board or local Regional Board.

State Water Board Contact:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 1-866-563-3107

Region 4 Los Angeles Regional Water Board
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Phone: 1-213-576-6600

Other considerations:

  • The City of Vernon has a Special Parcel Tax assessment which is levied on non-refrigerated warehouses, truck terminals, freight terminals, and distribution facilities. The Tax is collected through the property tax bill. Please check with the City for the current rate.
  • If your operation emits air pollutants, you may be required to obtain an air quality permit from SCAQMD. You may contact them at (909) 396-2000 for further information.
  • If your business has the potential to degrade the quality of rainwater, which is then allowed to enter the street or storm drain system, you may be required to obtain a NPDES permit from the State Water Resources Control Board. You may contact the Regional Water Quality Control Board at (213) 576-6600 for further information on this subject.
  • If your business discharges any industrial wastes into the sewer system, you may be required to obtain an industrial waste permit from the Sanitation District of Los Angeles County. You may contact them at (562) 699-7411 for further information.