Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact if I want to establish a new business?

Merced County is the point of contact to start your new business when located within unincorporated areas, including: Winton, Planada, Le Grand, Delhi, Hilmar, Santa Nella, and Franklin/Beachwood. If you are ready to start your application, click HERE to download the form. Once completed, submit the form to:


Community and Economic Development Department
2222 M St. Merced, CA 95340

How can I find a location for my business?

You can take advantage of our economic development GIS tool which allows for searching available buildings and land parcels around the County, including all communities. You are able to search by several property attributes including, size, location, and price among others. Click HERE to access our GIS tool.

How can I find out which licenses/permits I need?

Your first stop can be to contact the Development Services Department. Here, you will find information to establish, expand or relocate your business.

Who can help me recruit qualified employees?

Merced County’s Workforce Investment Board developed the Worknet One-Stop system, a service to employers looking to find qualified potential employees. Services offered include, but are not limited to, recruitment, applicant pre-screening, referrals, customized training for businesses, and testing of job applicants.

Which services does the economic development department offer?

Merced County Economic Development InvestMerced program informs, assists and guides entities seeking to grow. Services include:


  • Providing data and information about the region
  • Identifying sites and building for new companies
  • Information about available incentives and assistance during the application process
  • Assistance in navigating permit processes
  • Hosting client visits to the county and communities

What incentives are available to businesses?

There is a vast array of incentives available to businesses that locate within Merced County. The incentives range from financing programs, hiring and training, facility improvements, start-ups and entrepreneurship, and research and development, among others. To learn more details about the available incentives, visit our Incentive Webpage by clicking HERE.

Which partners can I leverage to better establish my business operation?

InvestMerced has a vast network of institutions and agencies assisting the County’s economic development efforts. When it comes to utility availability and information, PG&E and the Merced Irrigation District are ready to work with businesses to provide access and affordable energy rates. UC Merced, Merced College, and Worknet are able to provide information and support about available workforce, future workforce, and training programs. Additionally, the County’s City partners are ready assist. Here is a LINK to their offices.

How do I get county business news?

To get the most current business news, the InvestMerced website is the place to go. The News Section of the site is regularly updated with the latest business news. Additionally, the Blog Section speaks to the changing business environment that affects Merced County and its communities. For the latest business news and articles click HERE.

I have a business license from the City do I need a Merced County business license?

You will need a Merced County business license if either you operate your business within the County limits or are doing business and/or servicing customers within the County.

How often does a Merced County annual business license need to be renewed?

All Merced County Business Licenses shall be renewed annually. The renewal date will be a year from the date issued. Please contact the Business License Department (209) 385-7686 if you have any questions regarding Business License fees.

Who is exempt from business license fees?

Businesses that are exempt from paying a business license fee are Non-profits (with proof of 501c status), businesses owned by military veterans (proof of active status or honorable discharge required), and businesses owned by persons under 18 years old.