I often meet people at various stages in their business endeavor and get a number of questions ranging from “Do I need to get a permit?” to “How much will it cost to make tenant improvements?” Before getting started, you may want to consider putting together a check-list to ensure you stay on track (you can find one online here). Once you’ve completed your business plan and have a good understanding of your business idea—what’s next? I recently sat down with Kimberly Jordan, Associate Planner with the Town of Windsor who provided some valuable information on next steps for any potential business owner looking for a physical space to conduct their business.
Step 1: Contact the Planning Division to determine locations where your business may be allowed. The Town has designated areas where particular types of businesses are allowed and checking with them first can save you money and a headache. Staff from Planning can provide you with a zoning map that highlights the various type of potential areas where you can conduct your business. The Planning team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (707) 838-1021, or you can come down to the office at 9291 Old Redwood Highway, Building 400 from 2pm-6pm on Monday through Thursday.
Step 2: Once you’ve identified possible areas for your business, visit the locations to determine if there are any spaces available that may fit your business requirements. Often you may be able to identify an available space by signage that includes details about the space and broker information. If it’s a shopping center or business park, you can also contact the Town’s Economic Development Division (707-838-1000) who has contact information for most of them. Going online can also be useful. Websites such as Loopnet can help you identify “for lease” or “for sale” properties in Town and can help you narrow down your search to specific categories such as price and size.
Step 3: If you feel you’ve identified the right space, negotiated a good deal, and are ready to sign a lease—we recommend you wait before signing a lease! There may still be some potential unanswered questions you may need to consider before moving forward. We recommend that you contact the Town’s Planning Division for further guidance. Staff will want to know the specific address to confirm that the location does allow for the proposed business use. Staff may also want to know the existing use of the space, the types of tenant improvements you’re proposing, etc. The Planning team can walk you through the process.
Step 4: Once you’ve gone down your checklist and everything pencils out, you’ll then need to apply for a business license by either stopping by our offices in person at 9291 Old Redwood Highway, Building 300 or by visiting us online here. You’ll be required to input specific information regarding your business such as location, and a description of your type of business. This information will help identify any additional departments that you may need to contact and consult with that may have information relevant to your business.
For additional questions you may have regarding opening a business in Windsor, you can contact Robert Ramirez, Economic Development Manager, at (707) 838-5339, email@example.com.