Step 5. Obtain Permits and Licenses
Prior to purchasing property, entering into any lease, or purchasing equipment, you should investigate what permits and inspections your business may require and consider the time and cost to obtain any necessary permits. Depending on the type of business, you may be required to obtain special licenses or permits from other local, state or federal agencies.
CalGOLD provides you with information on local, state and federal permits and licenses you may need for a particular business or contact the North Bay Permit Assistance Center, 2550 Ventura Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (707) 527-2481.
The Town highly suggests hiring an architect with experience in your business to advise you on compliance with building and fire codes, disabled access requirements, and to assist you with the permit process. The initial cost spent for this assistance may pay off in the long run. To obtain permits as quickly as possible, you should submit complete applications and quickly respond to staff requests for any additional information.
To help you to prepare for issues that may arise, and to improve coordination among Town departments, the Town offers a pre-application project review meeting where representatives of Planning, Building, Public Works and the Ross Valley Fire Department will meet with you to discuss your proposed business and to provide you with information on codes and inspections.
Meetings are typically held Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. Appointments can be made through the Building Department. There is a $400 fee for the service (which may be updated from time to time, see current fee schedule or contact Town staff for information). You may always contact each department individually for information, typically at no charge.