In some areas of the United States, opening a new business is as simple as getting a Federal Tax ID number and offering your goods or services to the public. However, when starting a business in California, or more specifically, in Long Beach, California, there are a few more steps involved. If you’re selling goods, you’ll also need to get a Seller’s Permit from the State of California and/or any state licenses that pertain to your specific industry.
Once you have these things in place, it’s time to get your business license from the City of Long Beach. There is an application you’ll need to fill out, which will require a lot of the information you expect to give (business name, owner(s)’ name(s), a description of business activities, and the business location). However, before a business license is granted, the City of Long Beach will also want some additional information about your business location.
This is the part that usually trips up business owners—especially those who are new business owners or new to California. The City of Long Beach typically requires that those requesting a business license produce a set of site plans and floor plans for their commercial location. This seems fairly straightforward, and you may think you can just draw something up yourself on some grid paper, but you’d be wrong. The City of Long Beach is looking for detailed plans that they can then use to determine if your commercial site is up to current building codes. If it isn’t, the City will require that repairs and upgrades be made before issuing a business license.
For business owners who know this going in, they can negotiate with their landlord to have these changes completed on the landlord’s dime as part of the lease agreement. Typically, a landlord will provide tenants with some sort of allowance for Long Beach tenant improvements that covers needed and desired changes and improvements.
Before signing a lease, prospective business owners would be wise to bring in a local architect and/or general contractor to look over the space with them and see what changes need to be made for the space to be brought up to the City of Long Beach’s current building standards. At the same time, they can go over what tenant improvements the business owner wants to make in order to make the space suitable for their specific business operations. The architect and general contractor can then give the business owner an estimate on what it will cost to make the suggested changes. Armed with this information, the business owner can go to the landlord and negotiate the tenant improvement allowance.
A landlord should definitely cover any repairs or upgrades that are needed to bring the space into compliance with current building codes. After all, it is their building, and they have an obligation to provide lessees with safe space that is up to code. Any other changes will likely be negotiable. If a change will add value to the building, a landlord will probably be open to providing the funding for it. If it doesn’t, the tenant may have to make some concessions, such as signing a longer lease term or increasing their monthly lease amount. Some landlords are more reasonable than others, and your success in your negotiations will also depend on the commercial rental market at the time. If there are lot of vacant commercial spaces in Long Beach at the time, you will be in a much better position to negotiate a favorable tenant improvement allowance than you would be if rental spaces are in high demand.
Opening a new business in Long Beach is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of steps, but if you know what they are going in, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the process.short url: