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Can entrepreneurs succeed in Porterville? Yes! Just look at Young's Commercial Transfer, Inc., the 2013 inductee in the Tulare County Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Young's Commercial Transfer has been a family run business since 1935. The trucking company is located in Porterville with satellite locations throughout California and Arizona.

Here are some local, state, and national resources for entrepreneurs.

Getting Started:


If you are going to conduct any type of business within the city limits of Porterville, you must have a business license.
If you live inside the city limits of Porterville and are going to conduct your business out of your home, you are required to have a Home Occupation Permit.
Applications for a Porterville Business License are available through the City of Porterville Finance Department, located at 291 N. Main Street, Porterville, CA 93257, (559) 782-7457.
Following are steps to apply for a City of Porterville Business License:

  • Complete the full application.
  • Note an opening date (or estimated date).
  • List all that apply: social security number, Federal Tax ID number, Resale Permit number.
  • Last six months gross receipts – estimate the gross receipts for the business from the opening date to the expiration date. This amount will determine your license fee.
  • Sign the application.
  • Enclose a check for that appropriate fee. (If you are unsure about the fee, contact the Finance Department at (559) 784-7457.
  • Read and sign the information sheet. Return the white copy to the Finance Department. A copy of the completed form will be returned to you with your license.


The City's Business Assistance Program provides funding of $35,000 per every NEW job created by the project that is funded by the City. These funds may be provided to the Business by a low-interest loan. Determination of the loan is made by a project basis, utilizing a variety of criteria to determine the level of assistance that may be provided to the business.

At least 51% of the full-time equivalent permanent jobs created must be made available to moderate-income individuals. A Non-Financial Employment Plan will be made a part of the Assistance packet. New jobs mus be listed with the California Employment Development Department and/or Tulare County Workforce Investment Department.

The City's Revolving Loan Fund Program is funded by Community Development Block Grants (CDBG funds are federal dollars; therefore, construction projects using CDBG funds are subject to prevailing wage.

Limited funding is available and priority will be given to projects creating employment opportunities and/or benefits to the community. Approval for the use of these funds is subject to the Community Development Financial Review Committee.


You will need to verify that your proposed site is zoned for your intended use and the appropriate entitlement application submitted by calling or visiting the City Planning Division.  Please do this before you sign a lease or purchase land or a building! You must do this before you purchase your Business License.  If the proposed site is on or near a State right of way, you may need an encroachment permit.

For more information on Zoning, contact the City of Porterville Planning Division at (559) 782-7460.


Building permits are required in most cases when you plan to make physical changes to the interior or exterior of the building you plan to occupy. For more information contact the City of Porterville Building Division at (559) 782-7460.


If you are erecting or painting a sign or awning, you'll need a full site review and approval before a permit is issued.  For more information, contact the City of Porterville Planning Division at (559) 782-7460.


To assist you in finding the appropriate permitting information for your business, the CalGOLD database provides links and contact information that direct you to agencies that administer and issue business permits, licenses and registration requirements from all levels of government.

The CalGOLD listings include descriptions of the requirements, the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the agencies that administer those requirements and issue the permits and licenses, and in most cases a direct link to the agencies' Internet web pages.


Some project types are required to pay a variety of development fees. These fees are associated with new commercial and residential developing. The cost are associated with added public infrastructure (roads, parks, library, etc.) needs to serve the development. The City of Porterville offers a deferred payment that allows the development fees to be paid over a period up to ten years without interest. Contact Economic Development Department, Jason Ridenour, for more information at (559) 782-7460.

Opportunity Zones were established by the ratification of the Tax Cuts and jobs Act of 2017, in conjuction with the U.S. Investing in Opportunities Act which created tax incentives for investment in designated census tracts called Opportunity Zones. These were designed to spur growth into low-income communities by encouraging reinvestment of capital gains into certified Opportunity Funds.

The State of California offers a variety of incentive programs to encourage business development in California. To learn more about incentive programs that your business may be eligible for, click on one of the categories below or complete the incentives section of the California Business Navigator.

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