Business License FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I already have a business license from the County of Los Angeles and it hasn’t expired, do I need to apply for a new business license?
A: No. However, you must apply at City Hall within 30 days of the expiration of your County of Los Angeles business license.

Q: Where can I obtain a license?
A:
All applications and renewals are processed at City Hall.

Q: What are the fees?
A: The basic business license fee is $11 per year. Licenses requiring a one-time zoning clearance are $43.34, and an additional fee of $300 per individual requiring a background check as described below. All fees are due when the application(s) are submitted, and are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Businesses that require background checks include: Acupressure and non-CAMTC certified massage technicians, alarm companies, and sales of alcoholic beverages for offsite consumption.

Q: How long does it take to process?
A: 
Once you have provided your completed application with appropriate payment, it takes an average of five (5) working days to process and issue a basic business license, and may take up to thirty (30) days for those requiring a zoning clearance. Licenses requiring background check(s), the process may take up to ninety (90) days. If for any reason your application is not approved, you will be notified within these time frames.

Q: What information is required when applying?
A: The following information may be required:
    • Business owner’s information
    • Emergency contact person and phone number
    • Resale permit number, if applicable
    • Driver’s license number for individuals requiring a background check

Q: Do I need additional permits or approvals?
A:
Applications may need to be reviewed by other departments and government agencies including, but not limited to: Planning, Building and Safety, Fire, Health, and Sheriff.  You will be notified if additional permits, approvals, or fees are required.

Q: Where do I file a Fictitious Business Statement?
A: This may be filed with any local newspaper, such as the Daily Bulletin, Highlander or San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Q: Do I need a new license if my business changes its location, ownership, or name?
A:
Yes. Licenses are not transferable. Relocation, expansion, change in owner, change in name, change in type of business, all require a new business license application and fee(s).

Q: How do I obtain a duplicate license?
A: To request a duplicate, send a written statement to the Planning Division indicating that your business license has been lost or destroyed, along with a replacement fee of $5. In approximately 15 working days, a duplicate business license will be issued.

Q: When do I need to renew my license?
A:
Business licenses are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. Any person who fails to renew their license on or before the renewal date shall be deemed to be operating without a license, and will be subject to delinquent fees that double each thirty-day period. Renewal fees are $11 for basic licenses. Additional fees may apply for those applications requiring substantial changes and/or background check.

Q: Who do I call for business closure notification?
A: It is the business owner’s responsibility to notify the Planning Division if you have closed your business. Your account will remain active until notification is received and you will be responsible for all accrued penalties.