Business License | Colton, CA (2023)

Colton On-Line Business License

Business License Renewal Cycle for June

The business license cycle for June are for businesses located outside the City of Colton conducting business in the City of Colton.

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If your business license has an expiration date of June 30, then the grace period to renew without late charges or penalties is by September 1.

Business License Renewal Cycle for December

The business license cycle for December are for businesses located in the City of Colton conducting business in the City of Colton.

If your business license has an expiration date ofDecember 31, then the grace period to renew without late charges or penalties is by March 1.

Discovery & Audit Program

If you have received a letter from HdL Companies, please read the following:

To operate any business within the City of Colton you must first obtain a business license. The purpose of the review is to make certain that all businesses operating in the City have a current business license as required by the City's Municipal Code.

If you received a letter with an application from HdL Companies we ask that you extend your cooperation to their staff during the review process. You may email the HdL Business Support Center or call 888-602-0239.

Please click here to see an example of the letter you may have already received from HdL Companies. View a sample of notification letter (PDF).

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Thank you, Business License Officer

Who Needs a Business License

  • Any individual or sole owner
  • Corporation
  • Partnership
  • Limited liability company
  • Owners of commercial rental property(ies) are considered a business that generates income for an individual/corporation/other
  • Owners of residential rental property(ies) are considered a business that generates income for an individual/corporation/other

If you are on the list above or wish to conduct business within the City of Colton a zoning clearance and business license must be secured.

City of Colton Municipal Code, Chapter 5.02.030 License-Required, states, It is unlawful for any person to transact and carry on any business, trade, profession, calling, or occupation in the city without first having procured a license to do so and without complying with any and all applicable provisions of this chapter.

A separate license may be required for each branch or location of the business.

  • Rental Property: Rental Housing Business License Application (PDF)
  • General Business: General Business License Application (PDF)
  • Contractor Business: Contractor's Business License Application (PDF)
  • Contractor and Owner Builders Sublist: License Sublist (PDF)
  • Daily Business: Daily Business License Application (PDF)

Business License Requirements

We want your business to start successfully. Before applying for your business license or making significant business commitments, you may want to contact one of our Business License Division personnel or Planning Division personnel in the Development Services Department. A City planner can tell you about City zoning requirements for your type of business and any other requirements you need to follow in order to conduct business in the City of Colton. You may pick up applications at the Development Services Department office, 659 N. La Cadena Drive, between the hours of 7:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Thursday. Some businesses may need more than a business license. All businesses must comply with all applicable City, County, State, and Federal laws and regulations. To find out if your business needs further licensing from State or Federal agencies, please contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

Business Occupancy Permit

All businesses which will be operating from a commercial or industrial property location is required to obtain a Business Occupancy Permit from the Planning Division before a business License will be issued. Please contact the Planning Division at 909-370-5079 for further information, or visit the Applications and Information page.

Home Occupation Permit

All businesses which will be operating a business from a residence is required to obtain a Home Occupation Permit from the Planning Division before a business license will be issued. Please contact the Planning Division at 909-370-5079 for further information.

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Business License Application Process

Upon completion of your occupancy permit process you will apply for your City Business License (Business License Application). A deposit of $65 which is equal to our minimum business license tax, a $35 application fee, as well as a $4 mandatory state fee (SB 1186), for a total amount due of $104 is due at the time of filing your business license application. The $65 deposit will show up as a credit on your renewal notice at the end of the calendar year. At the time of application, a copy of your Fictitious Business Name Filing or Articles of Incorporation, Resale Permit from the State Board of Equalization, San Bernardino County Health Permit, shall be submitted if required for your business.

Business License Fee Schedule

All licenses with the City of Colton situs address will expire on December 31 of the current calendar year regardless of when you obtained it. All license with an out of the City situs address will expire on June 30 of the current fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) regardless of when you obtained it. Your actual business license tax is determined by your actual gross receipts during the calendar year. The first year you obtain your license, your gross receipts will be ascertained from the date your business opened through the last day of the calendar year. For each subsequent year your business license tax will be determined by the previous year's total gross receipts. The business license tax is collected in arrears as it is based on actual gross receipts per the Business License Fee Schedule (PDF).

Renewing A Business License

A renewal statement will be mailed out two weeks prior to the expiration date of your license.

Business License FAQ

1. How do I get an application for a City of Colton Business License?

Business License Applications (PDF) are available online or at the Development Services Department, 659 North La Cadena Drive. Please call 909-370-5079 to request an application by mail or fax.

2. How much does a Business License cost?

General/Out of City/Rental is $104 per year, depending on application type a Zoning Fee is required for the following: Home Occupation is $44 is a one time fee

  • Business Occupancy Permit (BOP) is a one time fee set at $250
  • Business Occupancy Waver (BOW) is a one time fee set at $21

3. What if my business is home-based?

Every business conducted from a home in the City of Colton must have a Business License and a Home Occupation Permit. Both applications must be submitted together, along with payment, to the Development Services Department at 659 North La Cadena Drive

4. Where do I get the application for a Home Occupation Permit?

Home Occupation Permits (PDF) are available online or at the Development Services Department, 659 North La Cadena Drive. Please call 909-370-5079 to request an application by mail or fax.

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5. How long does it take to receive a Business License?

Business Licenses are mailed out approximately 2 to 3 weeks after an application has been submitted and the $104 fee.

6. What if I sell my business?

A Business License is not transferable. The License is terminated when business ownership changes. The new owner will be responsible for obtaining his/her own Business License.

7. When do I need to renew my Business License?

Once you have obtained a Business License, which is valid for 1 year, a renewal will automatically be sent to the mailing address of record approximately two weeks before the expiration date. If you do not receive a renewal notice before the expiration date of the Business License, please contact the Business License Division. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of his/her responsibility to renew the Business License nor is it grounds for waiving any penalties/late fees due.

8. How do I obtain a Fictitious Business Name?

Fictitious Business Names are filed with the County of San Bernardino Recorder-Clerk's Office. To contact the Recorder-Clerk's Office, call 909-387-8306 or visit the San Bernardino Recorder-Clerk website.

Inland Empire Community Newspaper will file the Fictitious Business Name with the County Recorder and publish your Fictitious Business Name statement. Contact Inland Empire Community Newspaper at 909-381-9898.

9. How do I obtain a Resale, Seller's, or Sales Tax Permit?

To obtain a Seller's Permit, contact the State Board of Equalization at 800-400-7115, or visit the State Board of Equalization website.

10. If I hire someone to do work at my home, such as gardening or housekeeping services, do they need to have a City of Colton Business License?

Yes. All persons or businesses doing work within the City limits are required to obtain a City of Colton Business License. To verify if the person you hired has a Business License, please call 909-370-5079.

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11. What if I have a complaint about a contractor that I hired to do work at my home?

All complaints against contractors are handled through the Contractors State License Board. They can be reached at 800-321-2752, or visit the California Contractors State License Board website.

12. What if I have a complaint about a business located in the City of Colton?

The City does not handle complaints about unfair business practice or poor service. If the complaint is regarding unfair business practice or poor service, contact the Better Business Bureau at 800-675-8118 or visit the Better Business Bureau website.


How long does it take to get a business license in CA? ›

Review and investigation of a completed license application may take up to 45 days for a General Business License. An application is considered completed when all required information and fees have been submitted.

What happens if you don't have a business license in California? ›

Failure to obtain a Business License is a violation of Title 7 of the County of Los Angeles Code and a misdemeanor. Continued failure to comply with the requirements of Title 7 will result in fines and possible legal action.

Can you do business in California without a business license? ›

Virtually all businesses will need at least one type of license or permit to legally operate in the state of California.

Can I sell things online without a business license? ›

In the US, online sellers are usually required to obtain a business licence. However, platforms like Amazon and eBay won't ask you for a license when you register. US-based sellers may be required to obtain other licenses and permits in addition to a general business license, but the rules differ by state.

How much does a CA business license cost? ›

In general, most CA small businesses will pay between $50 and $100 for a general business license. Larger corporations may be subject to charges based on their projected revenue.

What can happen if you operate a business without a license? ›

Operating a business without a license can be considered to be fraudulent activity, so some jurisdictions might decide to arrest the parties responsible. Additionally, if you're in a field like medicine or law, practicing without a license is illegal and can result in arrest.

Can I run a small business without registering? ›

You are allowed to operate a sole proprietorship without registering, but you are required to register with your local government to collect and file state taxes. There is nothing wrong with running an unregistered business as long as your business is legal and meets all licensing and tax requirements.

Can I operate without business permit? ›

The Business Permit is an important compliance document for businesses in the Philippines. Registered businesses should not be operating without having an up-to-date Business Permit or else they will face potential sanctions including fines, penalties and business closure.

Do I need business license? ›

Anyone thinking of opening a business in Dubai will need to get a Dubai trade license. This is one of the most important steps new businesses take when starting a company in the area.

Does a sole proprietor need a business license in California? ›

In California, you don't have to take special steps to register your business with the California Secretary of State if you operate as a sole proprietorship. You're simply a sole proprietor once you begin doing business – and earning business income. California doesn't require a statewide business operating license.

Does every city need a California business license? ›

Business licenses (often referred to as “Business Tax Certificates”) are generally obtained from each city in which you plan to operate your business in, however, not all cities require business licenses. You would need to contact each city/county to determine their requirements.

Do freelancers need a business license in California? ›

No, freelance writers do not need a business license in California. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on doing business as a freelance writer in the state. First, all businesses are required to register with the Secretary of State's office. This can be done online at their website.

Do I have to pay taxes on items I sell online? ›

If your business has a physical presence, or “nexus”, in a state, you are typically required to collect applicable sales taxes from online customers in that state. If you do not have a physical presence, you generally do not have to collect sales tax for online sales.

Can I sell products without registering? ›

Before you can start selling your services/products, it is mandatory for you to legally register your business. You may choose to register your brand under any of the following categories.

Can I sell on Shopify without a business license? ›

There is no requirement for having a business license to sell on Shopify. However, there are certain circumstances where a license is essential. For example, you might need one if the country/city/state or type of your business requires one. Keep in mind that licenses are issued at the local, county, or state level.

How do I avoid $800 LLC Fees in California? ›

Short form cancellation. If you cancel your LLC within one year of organizing, you can file Short form cancellation (SOS Form LLC-4/8) with the SOS. Your LLC will not be subject to the annual $800 tax for its first tax year.

How long does a CA business license last? ›

License Expirations

Active licenses expire every two years. Inactive licenses expire every four years.

Can you get a CA business license online? ›

You can obtain a California business license online. We provide the information and resources you'll need to get federal, state, and local licenses and permits for your small business, including the seller's permit.

Can you run a business without a business name? ›

A business name is a name that you use to identify your business (as opposed to your products or services). When do I need a business name? The legal entity that owns a business can identify the business under the legal entity's own name, without the need to have a registered business name.

Who is exempt business permit? ›

Professionals who are employed exclusively by the government are exempted from paying professional tax “unless he or she has been duly authorized to practice the profession outside of one's official functions”.

Why do you need a business permit? ›

All businesses are required to get a business permit or mayor's permit from the Local Government Unit (LGU) in the Philippines. This is required as you will be setting up a business in the LGU's area of governance. Having a business permit proves that you have a legitimate business recognized by the local government.

Can I run a business from my garage? ›

There isn't necessarily anything stopping you from running a business from your garage, but you'll need to ask permission depending on your type of property, as we've outlined above.

Can I run a business by myself? ›

Running a business on your own is doable, but it's important to remain patient when building it. Entrepreneurs often say they “wear a lot of hats.” This is true for most people starting their own business, and many business advisers suggest delegating certain tasks when possible.

What are the minimum requirements to start a business? ›

There may be other legal requirements you must adhere to along the way, but these are the basic requirements for starting a small business.
  • Create a Business Structure. ...
  • Register Your Business Name. ...
  • Get an EIN from the IRS. ...
  • Obtain Required Business Permits and Licenses. ...
  • Prepare to Pay State and Local Taxes.

How much is the penalty for business permit? ›

For extremely delinquent accounts, the penalty is closure and/or seizure of properties and assets. As for BIR, the penalty for non-renewal of business permit is a fine of not less than P5,000.00 but not more than P20,000.00 and imprisonment of not less than 6 months but not more than 2 years.

How much is the penalty for non registering of business? ›

Failure to register will cost you at least P20,000.00. Failure to display these documents inside your business establishment will cost you at least P1,000.00. Issue receipts/invoices for your sale of goods or services.

How much is the penalty for late business permit? ›

a fine of not less than Five thousand pesos (P5,000) but not more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) Imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than two (2) years.

Do I need a business license to sell online in California? ›

Yes, all companies are required to obtain a California business license, no matter whether they have a physical storefront or just sell online. All businesses are required to get a business license as it helps the government keep track of active businesses in the area and ensure taxes are being filed and paid.

Why do we need license? ›

It serves as your official personal I.D. You may be required to prove that you are who you say you are for a variety of reasons: writing a check, opening an account, using a debt or credit card, enrolling in school, applying for government benefits, applying for loans, etc.

Can I use my personal bank account for sole proprietorship? ›

Can I use a personal bank account for a sole proprietorship? Technically the answer is yes. There is no legal requirement for a sole proprietor to have a separate account for business. That being said, we highly recommend not using your personal account for your business.

Do I need a business license in every county California? ›

26 out of 58 counties in California require a basic business license. Before opening your doors to do business you must first obtain this business license along with any professional licenses required by the county.

What qualifies as business in California? ›

We consider you to be “doing business” if you meet any of the following: Engage in any transaction for the purpose of financial gain within California. Are organized or commercially domiciled in California.

Do you need a business license to sell on Etsy in California? ›

Etsy doesn't require sellers to have a business license to sell products via its platform.

What businesses can't be an LLC in California? ›

In most states, licensed professionals (architects, accountants, doctors, lawyers, therapists, etc.) offering professional services cannot form a “regular” California LLC, but instead must form a Professional LLC (PLLC).

Can I live in California and register my business in another state? ›

Can California residents register an LLC for an online business in a state they don't live in? As a California resident, you are free to register the LLC for your online business in any state.

Do I need a business license to sell clothes in California? ›

You must obtain a seller's permit if you: Are engaged in business in California and. Intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.

Is it legal to run a business from home in California? ›

Anyone can start a home-based business in California but it is always important to check local zoning laws and regulations first. It is important because if you start a home business without checking zoning regulations then your business can be red flagged by zoning officials and this can even lead to penalties.

Do I need a business license to be a 1099 employee California? ›

Do I need a business license? Yes, if you are not paid as an employee, you are considered an independent contractor and are required to have a business license.

How much money can a business make without paying taxes? ›

If you operate your business as a pass-through, meaning the income is taxed as part of your personal income, then the tax-free threshold (also called the standard itemized deduction) for 2021 income is $12,550 for individuals and $25,100 for married couples filing jointly.

How much can I sell without paying taxes? ›

There are ways to reduce what you owe or avoid taxes on the sale of your property. If you own and have lived in your home for two of the last five years, you can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married people filing jointly) of the gain from taxes.

Is selling personal items considered income? ›

Whether you sell items only online or not, the IRS and most states see any income you earn from these sales as taxable. Whether or not you will owe taxes for selling personal items, goods, or services online will depend on several factors, including whether you made a profit.

Can I sell online without a business? ›

The short answer to whether a business license is a requirement for online selling: yes. A business license is a requirement for online selling and it's a crucial part of establishing your business as legitimate and legal.

Can you sell officially licensed products? ›

To sell a licensed product you must have the blessing of the person holding the product's rights. This is legally non-negotiable territory. Failing to secure permission to license a product will almost certainly result in costly legal action.

Can you sell something you don't own? ›

It is not legal to sell someone's property because you claim he/she owes you money – but you don't have any legitimate claim to that property. Anyone who sells someone else's property without the owner's consent and without legal authority can be charged with theft, depending on how they acquired the property.

Do I need a business license to dropship in California? ›

The short answer is no. Technically, you do not need a business license to start selling or dropshipping on Shopify. Getting started with a selling site like Shopify is easy. You just go in, create an account, upload your bank account information and social security number, and start selling.

Does Shopify report to IRS? ›

Yes, Shopify reports most account owners' business transactions to the IRS every year, in a form called the 1099-K.

Do you need an LLC to start dropshipping? ›

Do you need an LLC for dropshipping? The answer is simply yes. If you want to do business while protecting your dropshipping company and personal assets, you'll need an LLC. It's such a system to lawfully build your online store.

How long does it take to licensing business? ›

The license approval process can take from one month to six months, but this will also depend on the type of industry license.

How fast can you set up a business? ›

Typically it takes a startup business 6 months to one year from initial idea to product launch and their first paying customers. Service businesses can be launched in 3 months, online businesses in 30 days and retail stores, restaurants, and clothing lines commonly take one year from conception to launch.

What are the 3 phases of licensing process? ›

There are three phases in a GDL system: (1) a supervised learner's permit; (2) an intermediate/provisional license; and (3) and a full unrestricted license. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of a GDL law for those younger than 18.

Do you need a license to start a business at home? ›

1. General Business License. Any business, including home-based businesses, must obtain a local city or county business license.

Do I need to pay $800 for an LLC in California? ›

Every LLC that is doing business or organized in California must pay an annual tax of $800. This yearly tax will be due, even if you are not conducting business, until you cancel your LLC. You have until the 15th day of the 4th month from the date you file with the SOS to pay your first-year annual tax.

Do I need a sellers permit if I have a business license in California? ›

California Seller's Permit: If you are doing business in California and intend to sell or lease tangible personal property subject to sales tax sold at retail, you are required to have a seller's permit and prominently display it at your place of business.

What type of business license do I need? ›

A general license is required for you to run your business in almost every state. They're often issued by the Department of Revenues and Secretary of States—whichever office is in charge of business registrations.

Does an LLC need a business license in California? ›

LLCs, Corporations, LPs, LLPs, or GPs operating in California need to register and form their legal entity with the California Secretary of State's Office, file appropriate taxes, register as an employer, and obtain business licenses and other permits from appropriate cities or counties.

How often do you have to renew a business license in California? ›

New businesses must apply for a business license and pay all relevant fees within thirty (30) days of starting a business in Santa Monica. Existing businesses must renew their business license and pay all relevant fees by August 31st of each year to remain eligible for the Small Business Exemption.

Can you start a business in a day? ›

No business is built overnight -- but your business can easily be established in a day. If you've been dreaming about starting a business for a long time but haven't been able to pull the trigger, you probably fall into one of two camps: You're still waiting for the perfect idea, or.

How long does it take to get Llc approved in California? ›

California LLC Approval Times

Mail filings: In total, mail filing approvals for California LLCs take 2-3 weeks. This accounts for the 3-5 business day processing time, plus the time your documents are in the mail. Online filings: In total, online filing approvals for California LLCs take 3-5 business days.

How many hours a day do you need to start a business? ›

Some successful entrepreneurs believe that in the beginning, it is important to work 14-18 hours per day on your business or startup.


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