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Six Simple Steps To Obtaining A Business License

How To Choose A Franchise And Build A Successful Business

TIM,Money,Sherice L. Bellamy, Educator & Entrepreneur

Sherice new photo copyTo whom much is given, much is required. The prospect of starting a new business is exciting and can be quite lucrative. With the privilege of owning your own business, however, comes the responsibility of paying taxes. The following instructions will guide you through the process of obtaining a business license in the city and county of Los Angeles. You may also use these steps when applying for a business license in a different state or county by contacting the appropriate authority in the town in which your business is or will be located.



Six Simple Steps to Obtaining a Business License:

1.          Contact the city and county in which your business is or will be located to determine the type of business license or registration certificate required for your type of business. These organizations provide a list of the types of businesses for which a business license, also known as a Business Tax Registration Certificate, is required. For a list of some of the types of businesses in Los Angeles County that require a license, visit the following website:

2.          Complete the Business Tax Application located at
Applications may be filed in person (over the counter) at the appropriate Business License Office:
To complete the application, you must have a social security number or a federal employer identification number and a California state I.D.
At the point of application, inquire about any New Business or Small Business tax exemptions.

3.          Obtain a Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization:

4.          Proof of insurance and other documents or special forms may be required, depending on the type of business. Contact the Business License Office in advance and gather all of the forms and additional information that will be required at the time of filing the application.

5.          Be prepared to pay a nonrefundable application fee upon submission of your application. An annual fee is also required to renew your license each year. Fees vary based upon the type of business.

6.          If English is not your primary language, consider hiring an interpreter to accompany you to the Business License Office to assist you in completing the application and answering any questions. Under normal circumstances, a license or tax registration certificate will be issued to you on the same day.

For more information on the Los Angeles Treasurer and County Tax Collector, visit the website at
For the City of Los Angeles Information on Business and Other Taxes, refer to
For a list of State Business License offices visit


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