City of Los Angeles

Helping grow small businesses in California

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LA Business Portal

Tech Specs

  • Headless Drupal 7
  • Underscore.js
  • Responsive & mobile-friendly


Too much red tape for aspiring entrepreneurs

Launching a new small business in Los Angeles can be intimidating. There are numerous — sometimes complex — requirements for registering, but also many helpful resources available. The City of Los Angeles wanted to support small business growth by streamlining assistance, resources, and guidance in a one-stop portal.

Los Angeles collaborated with the City of San Francisco to model the portal on their successful open source business platform. Los Angeles’ version would be tailored to meet the unique needs of the local business community, and the city sought new features, such as a “Startup in a Day” wizard. CivicActions collaborated with the design firm Tomorrow Partners to develop the site’s Drupal 7 distribution with new features and a component-driven content management system.

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User-focused development

Following agile development practices helped ensure our work was relevant to LA’s business community. We incorporated user testing throughout the project, and prioritized our work to fit their needs.

Open source for sharing

We rebuilt the code base as an open source Drupal distribution. The site now supports new features and can be used as a template by others who want to start a business portal in their community.

Flexible content management

The site’s content administrators needed a content management tool that was beautiful, consistent, and easy to use. We took a component-based approach so administrators could select from a flexible library of design elements to use on any page.

Access for everyone

The City of Los Angeles had a lot of information to share. We built the site with robust search and content translation features so people can easily find information in their preferred language. The portal is also mobile-friendly, with built-in accessibility for users across a range of abilities.

Beauty in simplicity

Using a decoupled front-end allowed us to combine sophisticated back-end content management with a simple, intuitive user interface. Responsive design ensures the site displays well on any device.

The L.A. Business Portal will provide an open-source model for communities across America. Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles


  • Aspiring entrepreneurs acquire a complete roadmap to getting started
  • Small business owners easily access the city’s business resources
  • Anyone can file registration forms quickly
  • The site’s administrators can manage content with a simple tool
  • The open source platform serves as a blueprint for other communities to use


See our work

City of Los Angeles Business Portal

Check out the open source repository

GitHub: Startup in a Day: Los Angeles, CA

See how other agencies can benefit

New Jersey builds business portal using open source code from LA County project


GCN: LA launches open source business portal


Minutes to start a new LA business


New Los Angeles businesses registered annually

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