We’ve compiled some great local, state, and federal resources that could help your business. Here’s a video where you can watch experts discussing these programs and others at WESTEC 2017.

Getting started

The Los Angeles Works Incentives Finder provides a customized list of incentives for which your business might qualify. Just enter your address and let the algorithm do the rest.

The LA Business Portal gives you all the information you need to plan, start, manage, and grow your business, allowing you to navigate the licensing and registration process in under 24 hours. Try the Startup Guide to quickly map out how to register your new business and be compliant. Explore a rich library of content and resources to help you manage and grow your business.

Real estate permitting and construction

LocateLA helps you easily navigate your site selection process by identifying properties and communities that fit your business needs—whether you’re commercial, retail, or industrial. Just enter your property requirements, and you can compare sites and types of land across LA neighborhoods.

What’s the total investment your company plans to put into your site? If it’s more than $5 million, the mayor’s office can facilitate planning and permitting through its Case Management Program to ensure that you’re meeting code compliance, and that your design and permitting processes are expedient. For smaller projects, they’ll help make connections to ensure your project is on time and the city services departments can fit your needs.

Non-residential new construction in Los Angeles may be eligible for incentives if the project exceeds current building codes and standards and does not have duplicate funding from multiple utility-sponsored energy-efficiency programs for the same measures. Visit “Savings by Design” for more information or call 866-260-3826.

Bonds and loans

Through the Industrial Development Authority, the city can provide Industrial Development Bonds, as well as small business loans and HUD-backed large project financing, for site investments at roughly 20–30% below regular interest rates. Email [email protected] or call 213-744-7111.

Small businesses that are starting or expanding their exporting can apply for export credit insurance through EXIM Bank of the United States.

Tax relief

Moving to California or growing your operations? The California Competes income tax credit is available to businesses that come to the Golden State or stay and grow here. Tax credit agreements will be negotiated by the state, but the Los Angeles mayor’s office can help you navigate this process. (See the bottom of the page.) Email [email protected] or call 916-322-4051.

The Small Business Tax Exemption supports registered small businesses whose taxable and nontaxable gross receipts do not exceed $100,000, and that file annual renewals on time (February 28). Email [email protected] or call 844-663-4411.

Have you developed a new product, or made innovative improvements to an existing product, within the last 10 years? Most manufacturers can take advantage of the state-level R&D Tax Credit tax incentive, but don’t realize they qualify.

Economic Development Zones

Significant tax benefits are available if you locate your business and make investments in certain communities. Note that Federal Empowerment Zones and State Enterprise Zones are no longer operative programs, but several others exist, as explained below.

Qualified employers who have a net increase in the number of employees in California and hire employees in areas formerly designated as Enterprise Zones may be eligible for the New Employment Credit. Email [email protected] or call 916-845-3464.

Investors can defer taxes on capital gains income until 2026 if 90% of their investment remains in low-income communities designated as “Opportunity Zones.” Email [email protected] or call 414-231-2240.

New Market Tax Credit : Incentivizes community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities. Email: [email protected]   Phone: 202-653-0421

Promise Zones : A collaboration of public, private, and nonprofit agencies to focus resources towards creating jobs, increasing safety, improving education, and expanding housing opportunities in underserved areas.

Equipment purchases

Are you buying significant equipment, or have you already done so? The city can help you get a tax credit for these purchases. The state has a Use Tax Rebate, and the city has an additional rebate that builds off of the state program. For a succinct overview, see these links for California and Los Angeles.

If you plan to purchase new equipment or implement energy- or water-saving efforts, your purchases are likely eligible for a rebate through the Commercial Lighting Incentive Program (CLIP), Water Technical Assistance Program (TAP), or Custom Performance Program (CPP) offered by the LADWP. Through the Custom Performance Program, non-residential electric customers may receive a payment for investments that reduce energy (such as chillers, equipment controls, industrial processes, CO-monitoring systems, hotel guest room controls, variable frequency drives, and other high-efficiency technologies). You might also want to check the simplified rebate menu of the Custom Express Program for networked computers and office equipment. Email [email protected] or call (213) 367-3436.

The Food Service Program helps businesses using the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. You might qualify for rebates for new energy-efficient equipment such as ovens, griddles, steam cookers, holding cabinets, glass and solid-door refrigerators/freezers, ice makers, and kitchen demand ventilation. Email [email protected] or call (800) 508-2348.


In addition to the Utility Infrastructure Loan and equipment rebate programs described above, the City of Los Angeles offers numerous incentive programs related to sustainability, energy, and waste management.

If you’re a new commercial or industrial customer with 100kW demand or greater, check out the LADWP’s Business Promotion Bill Credit program.

Business electric customers in good standing, whose average monthly electrical use is 250 kW or less may receive lighting upgrades and other energy and water efficiency benefits, free of charge, by enrolling in the Commercial Direct Install Program. Phone: 877-714-1254

The Feed-in Tariff Program provides long-term contracts to renewable energy producers at lower per-kW prices. Email: [email protected] Phone: 213-367-2100

The Electrical Vehicle Charger Rebate “Charge Up LA!” Program offers rebates to help deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure at businesses, including workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, and public parking lots. Email: [email protected] Phone: 866-484-0433

The AC Optimization Program provides free services by certified, professional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians from approved, licensed contractors to analyze cooling systems and provide basic maintenance and efficiency services. Email: Phone: 833-280-8100

The Demand Response Program is an incentive based, voluntary energy management program for businesses that helps reduce their utility bills during times of peak power demand. Email: [email protected] Phone: 213-367-3319 ; 213-367-2712

Waste management and sustainability

The LA Industry Program provides a forum for manufacturers to actively help identify challenges and opportunities for growth and industrial discharge compliance. As part of LA Industry, the LA Sanitation Department developed the Green Chemistry Guide.

The Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ) program is a collaborative effort for reaching zero waste goals while promoting positive economic growth. Participation means access to attractive loans, technical and/or regulatory assistance, and free product marketing for companies using materials from the waste stream to manufacture products. Los Angeles has provided over $11 million in loan financing since the program was established.

Through the City Plants “Free Tree” Program, DWP businesses are eligible to receive seven (or more) shade trees, which provide energy savings by shading buildings and decreasing ambient temperatures while also removing pollutants from the air, absorbing polluted runoff, and providing aesthetic benefits. Phone: 213-473-9950.

Assistance for green businesses

LA Cleantech Incubator, a city-sponsored incubator, accelerates the green economy by offering office space, consulting, and a network of investors to companies with a demonstrated business model that advance sustainability.

The LA Green Business Program offers free assistance to increase energy and water efficiency, generate cost savings, reduce waste, and create a healthier environment.

Designed to create a healthier, more sustainable city, the Pacoima Beautiful Clean Up Green Up Program connects businesses in Boyle Heights, Pacoima, and Wilmington to environmental compliance assistance and incentives.

Workforce training and incentives

When you’re ready to start hiring, the City of Los Angeles operates 16 WorkSource Centers  that serve as employment agencies, offering free services including job recruitment, candidate screenings, and transition-to-employment assistance for new hires.

If you want to upskill your workers, you might be eligible for California’s Employee Training Panel (ETP) funding, whereby your workers can be trained on your machines for low or no cost. Phone: (818) 755-1313.

The Work Opportunity Credit is a federal income tax credit for hiring employees from nine target groups. Email [email protected] or call 866-593-0173 to learn more.

Designed to help employers mitigate the risk of hiring new employees, On-the-Job Training Grants offer assistance in paying the first six months of a new hire’s wages.

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity can facilitate the development of customized employee training programs at LA community colleges. Visit Community College Training Programs for more information. Also, reach out to the mayor’s office to connect with WorkSource Centers and ETP funding. (See contact below.)

Export planning and assistance

If you’re newly ramping up your exporting, you might find the Trade Compliance Institute’s trade information database and startup kit a helpful first stop.

The state of California has many programs that can help, whether you’re looking to get into exports, are export-ready, or are already exporting. The California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) can help you achieve your international trade goals.

The US Department of Commerce’s US Commercial Service Division has various local and regional partnerships and programs to educate US manufacturers and help them access global markets, including:

  • New to Export 101, a pilot project providing a pathway to success with customized assessments for competitiveness, readiness, and potential to export; workshops and training, market research and entry strategies, and more.
  • EXPORTECH, the only national program that helps companies develop an export plan.
  • Gold Key, a program that helps you find the best international markets for your company with trade counseling, business matchmaking, market intelligence, and commercial diplomacy.

Small businesses that are starting or expanding their exporting can apply for export credit insurance through EXIM Bank of the United States.

City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office

If you’re located in Los Angeles and want help navigating any of these incentives, contact:

Ricardo Vazquez
Economic Policy Specialist
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 213-978-0817



Last updated 3/4/2019