Frequently Asked Questions
What is a business license?
A business license is an annual license that allows a business to operate within the City of Long Beach. A business license is issued after the business complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations and once the annual business license taxes and fees have been paid.
Who is required to get a business license?
Any person or entity that transacts or carries on any business, occupation, profession, or trade in the City of Long Beach is required to obtain a business license. A business license is not required for those businesses that are exempt through State or federal laws.
How do I apply for a business license?
You may apply for a business license in person, online, or by mail. More information can be found at Apply for a Business License.
What do I need to bring/provide when I apply for a business license?
When you apply for a business license, you should provide any documentation and permits issued to your business for that particular activity (see Required Forms and Permits).
Please ensure all documents provided are issued to the same entity that is applying for the business license.
For businesses applying online, please submit the additional documents to email@example.com after applying and please provide your business license account number with the email.
I have several locations in Long Beach. Do I need a business license for each location?
Yes. Pursuant to the Long Beach Municipal Code, a business license is required for each separate location in the City.
Do I need to re-apply for a business license if I move locations?
Yes. If you move your business to another location in the City, you must re-apply for a business license at the new location. On the application you will mark "Change of Address" as the application reason.
If you are moving your business to another city, please submit an Out of Business Notification Form to our office prior to the expiration date of your license.
Do I need to submit an application to renew my license?
No. An application is only required for the initial business license unless the business is changing ownership or changing locations. Each year, the business will receive a bill for the business license taxes and fees. Once the bill is paid, the business license is renewed for the upcoming year.
Why do I need to come into City Hall to apply for a change of location?
Changing locations requires many different departments at the Permit Center to review the application. In an effort to save your time and have all departments review the application the same day, we require that you come in to submit an application.
Taxes & Fees
How much is the business license tax?
The business license tax rate depends on the type of business you have. In most instances, the City charges an annual flat taxe and a tax per employee. For more information, see Taxes & Fees.
How do I know how much I have to pay?
Almost every business in Long Beach must pay a business license tax. However, there may be other fees that apply to your application.
Businesses located within a Business Improvement District (BID) will have to pay an additional annual fee.
More information can be found on our Taxes & Fees page or you may call us at(562) 570-6211 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the $4 State-mandated fee that I have to pay each year?
On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1186 which added a state fee of $1 to any application or renewal for a local business. The purpose of this fee is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop education resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws.
On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1379. The new bill accomplished the following:
- Removed the sunset provision for the CASp fee, establishing it as a permanent fee.
- Increased the fee to $4 for six years from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2023. The fee then reverts back to $1 beginning January 1, 2024.
- During the six-year period of the increased fee, the municipality will retain 90% of the fees collected, remitting 10% to the State. When the fee reverts back to $1, the municipality portion will also revert to 70%, with 30% remitted to the State.
Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access 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 obligation to comply with the disability access laws at the following agencies:
How Much Is A Business License For An Out Of City Contractor Coming Into Long Beach To Conduct Business?
Because you are based outside of Long Beach you will have the option of obtaining a 3, 6, 9, or 12 month license.
Below are the breakdown of rates:
3 months: $97.67 base tax + $5.06 per employee coming into Long Beach + a $4 state mandated ADA fee.
6 months: $195.35 base tax + $10.13 per employee coming into Long Beach + a $4 state mandated ADA fee.
9 months: $293.02 base tax + $15.22 per employee coming into Long Beach + a $4 state mandated ADA fee.
12 months: $390.69 base tax + $20.29 per employee coming into Long Beach + a $4 state mandated ADA fee.