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Turn your business into a reality.

1. Zoning Check

Certain business types are permitted in designated parts of the city and it is prohibited to run a business in a building that is not permitted or zoned for that type of activity.

Step 1

Review Table 21.16.200 of the City’s Municipal Code to find your business type (referred to as ‘Land Use’). Note which Zoning Districts your business type is permitted in.  

Step 2

2. Site Selection

Location! Location! Location! Find the right spot for your business by using our interactive web-based property search, called OppSites. This tool shows some of the commercial properties available for sale in Paso Robles. Looking for a location in downtown Paso Robles? The Paso Robles Downtown Main Street Association offers a list of available properties. If you plan to make tenant improvements, renovations, or install equipment, call the Building Division at the City of Paso Robles to determine if you need to submit plans and/or obtain building permits (805) 237-3850.

3. Negotiate a Lease

Do not sign a lease until you’ve checked with the city to make sure the building can be used for your type of business. You’ll most like choose to retain a commercial broker to help find a space and negotiate lease terms like rent and other important items. Have the broker prepare a Letter Of Intent (LOI) memorializing the deal terms. Search our business directory that includes a number of commercial brokers.

4. Register Your Business

Most new businesses will need to create a Fictitious Business Name or DBA (Doing Business As). This can be completed at the County Clerk’s Office in person or online at A north county office is located within the Atascadero Library on the 2nd floor at 6555 Capistrano Avenue, Atascadero. If you are considering becoming a corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership, you must file with the California Secretary of State’s Office: (916) 657-5448,

5. Apply for a Business License

Licenses are the city’s way of keeping track of businesses. They establish a legal connection between businesses and their owners, and regulate certain types of commerce. Business licenses can be obtained from the City’s Administrative Services Department: (805) 237-3999 or online at

6. Site Plan

Navigating construction rules and city code can be complicated. A professional architect, civil engineer, or contractor may be able to offer helpful advice and planning assistance, as well as create necessary plans which include site plan drawings and construction documents (CDs). For large projects, you may need a licensed architect to “draw and stamp” your plans before showing them to city staff.

7. Permits

Permits are proof that your building and facilities follow city regulations and are safe for you, your employees, and your customers. If you are starting a new business, the permitting process takes a minimum of 30 days to get through.

We have created Quick Start Permit Guides to help you acquire the proper permit for some of the most popular business types.

8. Inspections

As you complete each phase of construction, you’ll need to have city inspectors visit to ensure the work meets the safety standards in the Paso Robles city code.

Common items to be inspected are foundation excavations, concrete work, wood framing, ventilation equipment, plumbing, electrical, shear wall nailing, and roof nailing. You may need several inspections from each category as construction proceeds.

Any work which requires a permit will require inspections. When a permit is received, an Inspection Card will be issued. This card must be posted on the job site. The plans which were approved by the Building Division must also be available during each inspection.

To schedule an inspection, visit the City’s website at or call (805) 227-7222

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