Open a Business
Guidelines for Opening a New Business
Thank you for considering Universal City as the ideal location to open you new business. The Mayor, Council and City staff welcomes you and wish you much success in your business endeavor.
To begin the venture of opening your business in Universal City, the City would like to provide you information to questions most often asked by new business owners. If what you need is not provided below, contact the Development Services Department at (210) 659-0333 ext 720, 723, or 725 and the staff will gladly assist you. If this is your first time opening a business in Universal City, we suggest that you download the Open A Business Flow Chart to help guide you through the process. Further, the information and links below should be helpful guides to obtaining the required documentation of other agencies.
Registering a business:
- If your business requires a Tax ID number and or a Sales Tax Permit, you are required to register with the Comptroller of Public Accounts. The northeast division serving this area is located at (210) 646-0399 or visit the Comptroller online.
- All businesses are required to register with the Bexar County Clerk’s Office in the Assumed Business and Professional Names Division at the Bexar County Courthouse, (210) 335-2223 or visit them online. An assumed name is the name by which you will call your business.
- In Universal City, a Building Safety Inspection is required on all commercial buildings as well as a Certificate of Occupancy. If you have not already completed the occupancy application and paid the necessary fee, please contact our offices at (210) 659-0333 ext. 723 for further information.
- If you will be utilizing a sign to advertise your business, a permit is required to change, alter, remove and replace, renovate or install any type of sign, temporary or permanent. Please contact our offices for specific information relative to the type sign you desire. State law requires that all signage must be installed by a State Licensed and City registered sign contractor. Sorry—no exceptions.
- One banner is allowed per business which cannot exceed 50 square feet in size, which cannot advertise the name of the business and which does not require a permit.
- Inflated advertisements are prohibited throughout the City.
- Spotlights are prohibited throughout the City.
- Bandit or springboard type temporary signs are prohibited on commercial or business properties.
- Use of temporary signs such as portable reader boards or A-Frame signs is restricted by the number of days per calendar year and type of sign being used. Please contact our offices for more specific information.
- Portable buildings such as storage buildings or structures are prohibited in commercial districts.
- Some outside storage is allowed and is regulated through Zoning Ordinance 581.
Permits and Inspections:
- Health inspections are required of any facility serving food and/or beverage, whether pre-packaged or prepared on site. Please contact our offices for specifics on permit requirements and scheduling of your inspection. A Food & Beverage permit, Mobile Vendor permit, and a Temporary Food permit are available online. You may search for state rules and regulations at the Department of State Health Services.
- Building renovations, remodel, and repairs. State law requires that all construction work done on a commercial building or suite must be done by a General Contractor and/or the licensed subtrade (mechanical, electrical, plumbing). The contractors must obtain a permit and their work must be inspected.
- Solicitor’s permits are required to go from door to door or place to place, whether residential or commercial offering for sale any product, merchandise or service. Permits may be obtained in the Police Department at City Hall (210) 658-5353.
Setting Up Utilities:
- Water/Sewer/Garbage Service (210) 659-0333, Option 8
- Electricity provided by CPS Energy (210) 353-2222
- Gas provided by CPS Energy (210) 353-2222 or Centerpoint Energy Entex (depending on location) (800) 427-7142
- Health/Food & Beverage Inspections (210) 659-0333