Bars and Nightclubs are both highly regulated and highly profitable. Because of alcohol sales and their high potential for assorted vice crimes, state and local governments monitor bars and nightclubs carefully. In some cities such as Philadelphia, a bar or nightclub may need up to 12 licenses and permits. Navigating the maze of applications and processes required to start such a business can be daunting.
Although most of Malibu is an independent, incorporated city, it leaves most of its licensing and regulation to the County of Los Angeles. The county does not have a general business license, but requires special licenses for more than 110 different lines of business. Entrepreneurs must comply with all applicable county regulations which may require several licenses and a combination of fees. Although Malibu is largely a very pretty bedroom community, it is home to HRL Laboratories, the research arm of the former Hughes Aircraft Company. Additionally, Pepperdine University's main campus adjacent to Malibu Canyon overlooks the ocean. Most of Maibu's business community is composed of small, independent retail businesses.