Business License

What is a Business License?

Business license

A Business License, also referred to as a “Tax Registration Certificate,” allows you the ability to operate a business in the city (or county) you reside in and is required of most business owners and independent contractors.

Business owners, or independent professionals who are collecting payment for services or products that they are providing, are required to officially register their business with their local City Hall. Once registered the City Hall’s Office of Finance will issue a rectangular license that the business owner will then need to post visibly in their place of business.

Want more info? Scroll down for some FAQ’s



Do I really need a business license if I only have a DBA and don’t do much volume?

If you are conducting business and collecting payment for services performed (or products sold) then yes, you are required to register a city business license. Some professionals (like a truck driver with a CA number for example) have filed other legal registrations that collect business tax already, in those cases you are not required to register a city business license.

How long is a business license good for and do I need to renew it?

A business license will remain open until you close it. Once registered, the business license must be “renewed” annually. The term “renew” is a little misleading as the license will not expire if you do not renew it. If the license is not renewed the city business license account will be considered delinquent and the registered tax payer will be fined penalties for late reporting. When renewing the license, you will be required to report your gross annual earnings for the previous year.

Each city is different, with its own unique fees and taxes. We work closely with the city of Los Angeles Office of Finance and specialize in assisting our clients with setting up and maintaining their tax registration certificate accounts. The city of LA provides great tax incentives for small business owners to operate their businesses in Los Angeles. Feel free to give us a call for more info.


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