Business In Upland


Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions on where I do business?

Every business operating from a location inside the City of Upland must meet zoning requirements to ensure that the business activity and site are compatible. All new businesses located in the City must complete and submit a Zoning Clearance Application. Please submit all zoning related documentation to the Business Support Center with your Business License Application. If you plan to conduct your business from a residence (home based business) located in the City of Upland you will also need to complete a Home Occupation Application.

The first thing you need to do is make sure you are Zoned properly. Apply for Zoning Clearance here.

What is a business license?

A business license is an annual fee for doing business within the City limits of Upland. The City of Upland Municipal Code requires that you obtain a license when you conduct any business activity within the City, even if your business is located OUTSIDE the City limits or you have a business license from another City. Any business based in the City must have a license as well. This includes home based businesses, building contractors, independent contractors, and non-profit businesses.

Conducting business in the City without a license can result in citations and fines.

Business license fees help pay for City services like roads, fire, police and other community services. These services benefit businesses, business owners, and the general public.

City of Upland Business License Page

How do I get a Business License?

The City of Upland requires all businesses operating within the City limits, including property owners and independent contractors, to obtain a business license and to pay the business license tax prior to commencing business operations.

You can download a Business License Handbook to help you get started. The handbook is intended to guide you through the business approval process and includes a list of other agencies you may need to contact when starting your business.

City of Upland Business License Page

What are some often-overlooked costs?

A new business should construct a business plan with the aid of an advisor. You need a realistic budget to meet the variety of expenses the business will incur. New business owners often overlook the following: real estate taxes, personal property taxes, workers compensation insurance premiums, sales taxes, payroll taxes, estimated tax payments, utilities (including time for hookup and installation), professional fees, and insurance.

Most businesses need premises, personal, and liability insurance. Home-based business owners need to check their homeowner’s policy to be sure they cover damages arising from business use and damage to business assets. Most homeowner policies will require a business rider.

How do we spread the news?

Every business wants people to know about its products and services. When you put together your marketing plan, you will consider conventional methods such as advertising in the newspaper, shopping guide, radio, television, direct mail, and other paid media for marketing communications.

There are other ways to “get the word out” that involve less money, but are more hands on:

  • Hold a grand opening to show off your new business. The Upland Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting for you upon joining the Chamber.
  • Volunteer for local community projects or join a service club. These are great ways to increase awareness of your business.
  • Network with fellow business owners and managers. Attend the Chamber’s First Friday Breakfast or Monthly Membership Luncheon meetings, golf outings, mixers, and other events. Meet new people and stay in contact with others in an informal setting.
  • Business cards and name badges are great. Also, consider producing a capabilities brochure to describe what you can do for others.
  • Advertise your products and services through the Upland Chamber of Commerce Social Media and on the Chamber Website.
  • Sponsor and participate in community events and programs.

What are regulations regarding Upland signage?

For sign regulations in the Municipal Code, here is the link to the City’s Municipal Code from the City’s Website, under Development Services. Once on the page, please click on the link to view the “Complete Zoning Code”:

Zoning code and Map

Once on the Main Page of the Municipal Code, click on “Title 17 Zoning Ordinance”, then click “Part 3 General Regulations”, then click “Chapter 17.15 Signs”. “Chapter 17.15 Signs” is the section on signage, you can click “Show All”. You may also access the Municipal Code from the City’s home page, go to “How Do I”, then under “View”, click on “Municipal Code”.  

For sign regulations in the Downtown Specific Plan area, please see the link below for access to the Historic Downtown Specific Plan. Page 5-71 addresses signage within the Downtown Specific Plan.

Specific PLan

Do I need a parking permit if my business is in Downtown Upland?

Downtown Parking Permits Are Now Required to park in the Downtown area.

To receive a downtown parking permit, please contact Jennifer Calderon at the City of Upland
909-931-4100 ext. 7
You can also stop by:
City Hall
Public Works – Development Services Department
460 N. Euclid Ave. Upland

You will need:
Your business license number
Employee names, Year, Make & Model of car plus the vehicle license plate number.
Permits can be completed same day

What are some local and online business resources?

​SCORE(Service Corps of Retired Executives) links veteran business people with start-up business owners seeking advice. This is a free service offered by the U.S. Small Business Association. Check out their website.

SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) offers loan guarantee programs for collateral-shy small businesses. Their programs include long-term, fixed-rate financing for public-private partnerships; a Guaranty Program made by private lenders guaranteed up to 80 percent by the SBA; a Micro Loan Program for short-term loans of up to $25,000; and the Low Documentation Loan Program designed to speed approvals on requests under $100,000. Call the Small Business Administration at their Santa Ana office at (714) 550-7420 or check out their

bizfile California is the Secretary of State’s new online portal to help businesses file, search, and order business records. Whether you are filing a financing statement pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), searching for a corporation (Corp), limited liability company (LLC), limited partnership (LP) filing or looking for an immigration consultant, this hub consolidates all your online filing and search needs. To access their “Starting a Business in California” guide, go to their website

San Bernardino County Economic Development Agency provides economic development services to businesses and communities, and provides linkages to other federal, state, and regional agencies that offer related services. Services for businesses include, but are not limited to, facility and site location, business expansion, consultation for new enterprise development, financial assistance, information, technology transfer, worker employment and training resources, and much more. The EDC acts as a provider and coordinator of services that can tap resources across the private, public, and educational sectors. Doing Business Here : ​

What are some other helpful websites?