Retail businesses of all sorts including toy stores, clothing shops, photography businesses and general merchandisers need licenses and permits. In most cases, retail businesses take relatively few licenses – however being registered for all state and local taxes is important as is having any needed general business licenses.
Being one of California and the nation’s major cities means San Diego is home to many businesses. However, the city’s licensing systems are fairly decentralized requiring business owners to apply to numerous departments including the city treasurer, planning and development and the police. Additionally, licenses from San Diego County, the state and sometimes the federal government are required in certain industries. San Diego's major industries include defense, international trade, shipping, tourism, manufacturing, research and real estate. The city's close proximity to Mexico and large natural harbor make it a gateway to commerce with Asia and Latin America.