Commercial Business Checklist


If you’ve found a desirable commercial location to conduct your business from in the City of Grass Valley, there are several things you’ll want to confirm and/or complete Before you Sign a Lease.

New Business Resource Guide

SIC Code Information

Mandatory Commercial Recycling

Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling

Waste Management (Garbage & Recycling Services)

1) Zoning 

There are a couple ways to confirm your proposed business is an allowed use in a zone:

  1. Search by Address 

    • Select the Report Link 
    • Zoning is listed in the bottom left corner 
    • Use this Zoning Doc to view the allowed uses in each zone
  2. Contact the Planning Department: Email or Call (530) 274-4330

2) Building, City, & Fire Codes 

If you discover that your proposed business is an allowed use in the zone, the next step is to confirm the location you’re interested in occupying meets current Disability Access Laws and Building & Fire Code Regulations. 

If you intend to alter the interior/exterior of a building (e.g. add/move/remove walls, windows, doors) or change the type of use and/or occupancy (e.g. convert an office building to a restaurant), there could be significant building upgrade costs including:

  • Required Accessibility Upgrades
  • Installation of additional emergency exits 
  • City Water, Sewer, and Traffic Development Impact Fees (contact the City for current fees)
  • Installation of a Sewer Backflow Device per Ordinance 698
  • Commercial kitchens require installation of a mechanical grease trap or interceptor      

The City is here to help you interpret local, state, and federal building regulations!

If you intend to make changes to a commercial building, we highly encourage scheduling a predesign meeting with the Community Development Department prior to committing to a lease agreement: Email or Call (530) 274-4340

3) Apply for a Business License 

After you’ve confirmed the commercial location that you’re interested in is approved by the city, you are ready to apply for your business license! 

Prior to applying for a City of Grass Valley business license, you may need to apply for permits and/or licenses through Nevada County or the State of California (Click Here to learn more)  

Commercial businesses in the City of Grass Valley may be subject to the special fees and taxes listed below:

Business Improvement District Fees

The Downtown Parking and Business Improvement District (BID) is comprised of properties located in the downtown core area of Grass Valley. The BID is divided into two (2) zones, Zone 1 and Zone 2 (BID Map), wherein there is an annual charge on each business computed based on the rates listed in the self-computation forms below:  

The city revenue from the assessments levied within Zone 1 and 2 are used to provide the following improvements or activities downtown: 

  • The acquisition, construction or maintenance of parking facilities for the benefit of the
  • To fund or participate in studies of traffic flow within the area and to pay for certain improvements made or recommended pursuant to such studies;
  • Decoration, restoration and general improvement of any public place in the area;
  • Promotion of public events which are to take place on or in public places in the area;
  • Furnishing of music in any public place in the area;
  • The general promotion of business activities in the area.

For more information contact the Grass Valley Downtown Association 

Fire Tax

The Emergency Medical and Fire Response Special Tax is collected annually for all commercial business locations in the city. This special tax is used specifically for paying the salaries and benefits to firefighting personnel. 

Business License