In 2015, 154 new businesses were registered to the same address on Sylvan Street in Los Angeles, making it seem like one of the top destinations for new businesses in the city. However, a little bit of probing reveals that apart from eight businesses whose type is not listed, every single one them was a Medical Marijuana Collective with business names ranging from Foshizzle Inc to the very innovative Maria Juanita Group Inc.
In fact, this little nondescript location has 155 registered businesses, with the sole remaining business being a Legal firm specializing in helping other businesses.

Through its Open Data platform, Los Angeles provides a vast amount of data to the general public. This includes a list of every single business currently registered with the city.

It’s clear in the previous case that the collectives are using their legal firm’s address as their registered address. This provides us a handy metric to estimate whether a particular type of business has a physical presence or is registered through an agent. Listed below are the top 20 addresses in terms of number of businesses registered at that location, and also the most common type of business listed there.

A simple search for most of the addresses gives us the name of either a legal firm or CPA located there.

Grouping businesses by their street name though, gives us an interesting insight into the streets with the most business activity. The top 20 streets in Los Angeles in terms of number of businesses registered are

It is notable, that the top two streets, Ventura Blvd and Wilshire Blvd have way more businesses than the rest of the streets in the city, which should be expected, given their history.,

Plotting each business on a map of Los Angeles gives us a nice dot-density map of how business is spread across the city.

The businesses plotted here are only those within Los Angeles city, however any establishment that does business in Los Angeles for more than seven days in a year, must register with the city. So, if the entire data is plotted, we get a map with businesses all over the world (with the majority clustered in the city of course).

Several other interesting details are present in the data, for e.g the top three businesses in terms of number of locations are Redbox, ABM Parking Services and Starbucks, while the oldest running business in Los Angeles City is from 1926, which isn’t really that old if you think about it.
So, whether you’re an aspiring artist looking to register your business through an agent, or simply wondering whether that coffee shop you visited in 1987 is still in business, look it up on Open Data LA, it may just have the information you need.

- List of active businesses from Los Angeles Open Data as of 8th March 2016
- Maps based on data from and