business support

LA Small Business Portal (Spanish and English)

Business Support


Partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, other City Departments, and businesses throughout the City, the Innovation Team led the design and development of the LA Business Portal. The LA Business Portal a design centric, online resource intended to help businesses start, manage, and grow their business and to interact with and learn about doing business in the City of Los Angeles.
The Portal is a landmark for government in several ways. It’s a mobile-first, multilingual educational site that significantly simplifies the opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch or grow a business in Los Angeles. The Portal is also one of the first projects to be published through the U.S. Small Business Administration Startup in a Day GitHub repository, enabling other cities to launch their own portals. Built using agile and iterative methodologies, the first beta version was released after just 3 months. The full site was designed and developed in an additional 4 months, proving that government can innovate with the pace and quality of private sector companies.
Its customer-centric design shifts the experience of interacting with government from one focused on fulfilling compliance requirements to delivering what entrepreneurs need and is also an example of the accelerating trend in the digitization of government services, pointing to a new era of responsiveness, efficiency, and transparency in how government interacts with citizens.


The Portal addressed a complex, opaque process that today can take weeks – understanding how to open, manage and grow a business in the City of Los Angeles as well as how to register a business with the City. The Portal provides detailed information and streamlines the registration process down so that it takes as little as 20 minutes, in which time a user obtains a complete Roadmap for starting a business. Finally, for the first time, business owners can do this online, 24/7 and from the comfort of their own home saving busy business owners time spent on the phone or in City Hall.


The Portal launched in September 2016 and is used by an average of 5,000 people per month, as they look to start, manage, or grow their businesses and contribute to the economy of Los Angeles.


Mayor’s Office of Economic Development
Office of Finance
Economic Workforce and Development Department
Tomorrow Partners
Civic Action