Tools for Starting or Expanding a Business

Got a solid business plan? How about a half-baked idea? Scope your project and estimate permit costs, 24×7, with our online, interactive permit tool — Open Counter.

Learn about City permits and land use policies. Find out what factors to consider when choosing a commercial space.

Download a .pdf version of our award-winning Business Toolkit–or request a printed version.

Follow this list of “big picture” steps to avoid common pitfalls and costly mistakes.

Tips and resources for finding capital to move your business forward.

Our Development Review Committee meets weekly to help businesses understand City permit requirements and fees.

A list of local, state, and federal licenses you might need to run your business.

The City of Petaluma is Here to Help!

Planning Division

The Planning Division answers questions about zoning, permits, and land/building use. These factors come into play when you move into a new building or propose the construction or renovation of a building. Contact Planning before you sign a lease or purchase agreement to ensure the building is zoned for your intended business use.

Development Review Committee

The Development Review Committee (DRC) is a group of City staff representing multiple departments. The group meets weekly with business owners, property owners, architects, engineers and other relevant parties to discuss how specific business plans and development projects address City requirements.

The DRC will review projects at all stages of development, including the “idea” stage. The goal is to help business owners identify and address areas of concern early in a project. Contact Planning to see if this meeting is right for you.

Economic Development Division

The Economic Development Division helps companies start, connect, and grow in Petaluma. This includes assisting companies as they navigate the City’s development review process. The Division provides a wide range of services and communications for companies of all sizes and business owners of all experience levels. Contact Ingrid Alverde, Economic Division Manager, by email or tel: 707-778-4549.

Petaluma Success Stories
Starting or Expanding a Business

Griffo Distillery

“City staff show a genuine interest in what we do and take actions to help us grow.”

— Mike Griffo & Jenny Griffo, Owners, Griffo Distillery

Labcon President Jim Happ

“The city has been very supportive, and our employees appreciate our commitment to keeping the company in Sonoma County.”

— Jim Happ, President, Labcon