Starting a Business

City Requirements

Both the city of Ridgecrest and Kern County have planning departments, building departments, and licensing departments. If your business will be inside the city limits, the city will control most of your requirements and the county will control some of them. In that case, the city would be the best place to start.

County Requirements

If your business will be in an unincorporated area (outside the city limits), you will be subject to county requirements and may have city requirements as well. Typically, the county controls health and food permits. If you will deliver goods or services to people inside the city limits, you will need a city business license, regardless of where your business will be.

Permits & Licenses

Usually, businesses located outside the city limits need licenses only for activities that could be hazardous or disruptive to the public. Check with Kern County Sheriff to find out if your business requires any special permit or license by calling 661-391-7690.

Finding out What County Your Business Is in

Since our valley is located near the intersections of three counties (Kern, Inyo, and San Bernardino), knowing which county to deal with can sometimes be confusing. Businesses located on County Line Road, for example, need to deal with Kern County if they’re on the west side of the road and with San Bernardino County if they’re on the east side.