Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Economic Opportunity

National trends show that immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses as non-immigrants. Los Angeles has one of the largest population of immigrants in the country, and local statistics show that immigrant entrepreneurs are significant contributors to the city’s entrepreneurial activity. 43.7% of all business owners in the metro Los Angeles area are immigrants, yet trends and statistics reveal that immigrant businesses are less successful and hire fewer employees. The possible barriers facing immigrant entrepreneurs include lower levels of English proficiency, a lack of understanding of government processes, limited access to capital, and lower levels of educational attainment. MOIA is working to ensure that Los Angeles becomes a national leader in integrating immigrant entrepreneurs into the city’s local business ecosystem by connecting immigrant entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed.

Entrepreneurs & Small Business Services


LA Business Portal

Los Angeles will soon launch the city’s first-ever small business portal to help entrepreneurial Angelenos plan, start, and grow businesses.

The Business Portal is an interactive Startup Guide to help business owners navigate the process of registering their business with the City, County, State and Federal Government. The portal includes the following features.

  • A permit and license locator to identify building/zoning permits and licenses
  • Starter Kits that provide an instructional roadmap for the most frequently opened business types in the City of Los Angeles
  • A resources and incentive finder and events calendar to increase the number of small business owners who are aware of and utilize the city’s broad range of tools and resources at little to no-cost.

Visit the Los Angeles Small Business Portal, here.


Los Angeles BusinessSource Centers

City of Los Angeles BusinessSourceBusiness Source LogoThe LA Business Source Centers offer free training and technical assistance to potential and small business owners seeking to improve their operations and profitability. They also offer training to startup entrepreneurs wanting to learn how to open and operate their own small business. Business owners seeking to improve their operations and profitability receive free consultation, assessment and counseling sessions, as well as assistance with completing a loan application package and submitting it to a financial institution.

Los Angeles BusinessSource Centers are funded by the City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) and operated by nine community partners in strategic locations throughout the City. Most services are provided at NO COST to City of Los Angeles business owners and resident entrepreneurs. Classes are offered in different languages and taught by culturally competent individuals. Please note that some workshops might charge a nominal fee to attend.


BusinessSource Provided Services

  • One-on-One business counseling, training, and technical assistance
  • Step-by-step procedures for starting your own business
  • Assistance in researching permit and licensing needs including how to obtain “Doing Business As” (DBA) certificate
  • Business planning and business plan development
  • Financial planning, inventory, and cash-flow analysis
  • Access to capital and assistance in obtaining a business loans
  • Employee Hiring/Work Force Development
  • Identifying tax incentives and credits
  • Business Courses, training, workshops, including Entrepreneurial Training; E-Commerce and Marketing

To find the center nearest you visit our BusinessSource Locations Map.


Employment Services


WorkSource Centers

The EWDD currently operates 17 WorkSource Centers and 2 portal offices located throughout Los Angeles. These centers act as personal employment agencies and services are always free.
WorkSource Centers Provided Services

  • Free job listings, referral information, phone banks, computer access and workshops
  • No-cost advertising of open positions
  • Customized training for staff, interview rooms, and information for businesses affected by plant closures or layoffs
  • Customized recruitment to help quickly fill multiple positions
  • Candidate screening and/or testing to assure only qualified workers apply for positions
  • Facilities for conducting both one-on-one and group interviews
  • On-the-job and pre-employment training to provide workers with the skills necessary for employment

To find the center nearest you visit our WorkSource Locations Map.


Day Labor Program & Resource Centers

The Day Labor program provides fixed hiring centers in selected areas of the City where persons participating in the casual labor force can safely congregate to solicit employment from residents and businesses seeking day labor. A Day Labor Center provides a safe space away from traffic and busy streets, decreasing the potential for accidents and provides basic amenities to day laborers such as water, coffee, bread, lavatories, waste disposal, benches and shade. There are no fees to employers or day laborers to utilize the services at any site.

To find the center nearest you visit Day Labor Centers List.