Business License FAQs

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What are the hours of the Business License Desk?
Business License Desk hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Alternate Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

What are business license taxes used for?
Business license taxes become part of the City general fund which helps to pay for police services, community service programs, street maintenance, infrastructure projects as well as several other programs offered throughout the City.

Why do I have to pay a $1.00 CASp Fee?
On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law SB-1186 which adds a state fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license or similar instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. The purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws, as specified.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:

Division of the State Architect at www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/home.aspx 

Department of Rehabilitation at www.rehab.cahwnet.gov 

California Commission of Disability Access at www.ccda.ca.gov

Can I apply for a Business License online?
Yes. To proceed with your online application please visit Business License Online ApplicationNote- if applying online, the Zoning Clearance/Plan check application and Home Occupation Regulation (if applicable) will need to be downloaded and completed.

Can I have a home based business?
Yes. Businesses conducted from a home in the City are required to have a business license as well as approval from our Planning Division.

Before starting a home-based business, please contact the Planning Office at (562) 943-0131.

How much will my business license tax be?
The business license tax is based on gross receipts, building size, commissions or fees depending on the business type. View the Business License Tax Worksheet to calculate the amount.

What are the hours when I can reach the building inspector?
A Building Inspector is available to respond to questions and review plans Monday through Thursday and alternate Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Inspections for permitted work may be requested Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and alternate Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling (562) 943-0131. Requests for inspections must be made a minimum of one day in advance. Inspections are conducted Monday through Thursday.

What happens if I renew my business license late?
Every person failing to pay the business license fee on the date due will be subject to a penalty of 10% of the amount of the license fee for each thirty days thereafter up to a maximum of 100% of the business license fee due and owing.

What information is required on a business license application?
The requirements depend upon the type of business, but the basic requirements are as follows:
• Business name and address (P.O. Box is not accepted)
• Mailing address (if different from business address)
• Description of business
• State license number (contractors only - license will be verified)
• Federal ID Number (if applicable)
• Owner information - name, address, social security number, date of birth, driver's license number, etc.
• Owner signature

When will my business license expire?
The business license will expire one year from the quarter in which it was applied for.

Why did I receive a citation?
Citations are issued when all business license taxes or balance due statements are not paid. If a citation is received, this is a separate charge from the business license tax or balance due statements.

Will I receive a notice when my business license expires?
A renewal notice will be sent to the mailing address the City has on file. However, since timely tax payments are the owner’s responsibility, you are encouraged to calendar the expiration date of the license.