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Welcome Businesses

Finance/ Business License
Phone: (714) 744-2270
Business License

The City of Orange welcomes your business to our city.

For information on becoming a member of the Orange Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau, please visit their website by clicking this link. The Chamber enables people to accomplish collectively what no one of them could do individually. They strive to meet the changing needs of the business community and create a working partnership with all the local components of business, government and the community.

Business Search

To search for businesses operating in the City of Orange, click here.

A Guide to Opening a Business in Orange

The information provided below is to assist persons interested in establishing and conducting business in the City of Orange.

New State Fee

On September 19,2 012, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1186, adding a State 
Fee of $1.00 to any application or renewal for a business license/permit, effective January 1, 2013.  This fee will provide a funding source for increased education on disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements according to federal and state disability laws.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws 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 obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
The Division of the State Architect at
The Department of Rehabilitation at www.rehab.cahwnet.gov
The California Commission on Disability Access at www.ccda.ca.gov

To apply for a City of Orange Business License:

  • Print the Business License Application for businesses based INSIDE the City of Orange (such as commercial or home based businesses), or businesses based OUTSIDE the City of Orange. Mail the completed form with your payment to the address listed below.
  • General Contractors or Sub Contractors - please use the CONTRACTORS Application.
  • Apartment Owners should use the RESIDENTIAL RENTAL application.
  • Vacational Rental Operators should use the VACATION RENTAL application.
  • Commercial Property Owners should use the COMMERCIAL PROPERTY RENTAL application.
  • We accept VISA and MasterCard, so you may fax your application to (714) 288-2170 after filling out the credit card authorization.
  • If needed, contact our office at (714) 744-2270 for assistance or email us using the link at the top of this page.
  • If needed, click this button for a free download of the latest Acrobat Reader. Download Acrobat Reader
  • You may also contact our office at (714) 744-2270, press 1 and leave your business name, address, and type of business. An application will be mailed or faxed to you.
    You may also use the email link at the top of the page to send in your application.
  • If you wish to apply in person, our office hours are listed below.

City of Orange, Finance Department
Business License Division
300 East Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866
Phone: (714) 744-2270
Fax: (714) 288-2170

Hours: Monday to Thursday and alternate Fridays: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. See Available Fridays for a list of the days City Hall is open.

The application for a Business License must be completed in its entirety to be accepted. It is important to be specific in your business description, ownership information, and to provide a legible signature.

To renew your Business License on-line, click here.

Who Needs A Business Tax Certificate Fictitious Name Statement
Before You Apply Food
Special Attention To Businesses Such As License Renewal
Regulatory Permits Penalties For Late Renewal
Alcoholic Beverages Renewal Fee
Application Processing Fee Seller's Permit
Change in Location State of California Consumer Affairs License
Change in Ownership Termination of Business
Federal Employer Identification Number State Franchise Tax Board Information

Who Needs A Business Tax Certificate?

Any individual, partnership, corporation, or other organization that wishes to conduct business within the City of Orange must obtain a Business License. Orange Municipal Code Section 5.02.040 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 Business License Certificate from the City to do so, or without complying with any and all applicable provisions of title."

Owners of non-residential commercial property (OMC 5.14.170), and owners of apartment complexes (OMC 5.02.040), are required to maintain a Business License and report gross rental receipts.

A separate Business License is required for each branch establishment or location of the business. (OMC 5.06.050)

Any business based outside the City but operating in the City of Orange must obtain a Business License and carry it with them.

Other Business License Issues

Application Fee
Each new application for a Business License must include an application fee of $46.00 and the minimum tax as listed on the back of the application for the specific type of business. The application fee is non-refundable.

License Renewal
Renewals of your Business License are mailed during the month they expire. You are given a 30-day grace period to renew. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of the responsibility for renewing the license before the Penalty Date.
Retail, Wholesale/Manufacturing and Service business taxes are based on gross receipts in arrears. Therefore, your renewal must indicate your business's gross receipts for the last 12 months prior to the expiration date. To renew your Business License on-line, click on the Business License Renewal button on the home page.

Renewal Fee
Each renewal will have a $23.00 renewal fee shown on the form. This amount needs to be added to the total tax and any other applicable fees due in order to renew your license.

Change in Location
If you change your business location, a $5.00 Move Fee and a completed application for a Business License are required.

Change in Ownership or Federal Tax Identification
Business Licenses are not transferable. A change in ownership requires a new application.

Penalties for Late Renewal
Late penalties are assessed at 25% per month. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of the responsibility for renewing the Business License. If  3 months or more delinquent, a $50 Non-Compliance Fee is added to your account.

Termination of Business
Please contact the Business License Division should you terminate your business, or cease doing business in the City of Orange.

State Franchise Tax Board Information

Business License Tax Audit Program The City of Orange has initiated an audit program utilizing information from the Franchise Tax Board to identify businesses that may not be reporting and paying their annual business taxes. Businesses that engage in business in the City must have a valid City of Orange Business License and pay the appropriate business taxes. This includes self-employed people, independent contractors, business entities, home-based businesses, and others. If you received a letter about this program or need additional information, we encourage you to click on the links below or call (714) 744-2239.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Business Tax Review Form (for Corporations, LLC, Partnerships etc)

Business Tax Review Form (for Retail Businesses)

Business Tax Review Form

Employee Certification

Business License Application

Calculate Your Tax for this Program (Service Businesses only)

Additional Regulatory Permits are Required for the Following Types of Operations:

  • Amusement Games
  • Antique Shops
  • Billiards
  • Bingo
  • Circus
  • Coin Shops
  • Concealed Weapons
  • Dance/Entertainment
  • Dating/Escort Services
  • Fortunetelling
  • Going Out of Business Sale
  • Ice Cream and Catering Trucks
  • Massage Establishments
  • Pawnbroker/Used Merchandise Dealers, Auctioneers
  • Processions
  • Sexually Oriented/Adult Business
  • Soliciting
  • Tow Truck Drivers
  • Vending Machines

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Planning and Zoning Issues

Contact the City of Orange Planning and Zoning Department at (714) 744-7220 to inquire about zoning banners and sign requirements for your type of business at its planned location. In addition, you must comply with all City, County, and State regulations for zoning, building, health, and safety.

The following types of business activities generally require additional review, a Conditional Use Permit, or some other form of discretionary action through the Planning Division. If you are proposing to establish any of these types of business activities, please check with the Planning Division before proceeding with your plans. Please note that this list may not encompass all the uses that may require Planning approval, and is subject to change.

  • Automobile Repair/Rental/Installation/Sales/Service Station
  • Wireless Facilities
  • Banquet/Festival Halls (Events)
  • Billiard Parlors
  • Bingo
  • Car Wash
  • Chemical Production
  • Church
  • Child Care Center (in church)
  • Cyber Café/Internet Café
  • Dance Studios, Dance Halls
  • Drive thru service windows (i.e. restaurants)
  • Dry Cleaning (AQMD compliance)
  • Firearms
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Kennels
  • Live Entertainment (DJ, Singers, Dancers, Musicians)
  • Mobile Auto Detailing/Car Wash
  • Mobile Home Park
  • Music Instruction
  • Recycling Facilities
  • RV Sales/Services
  • Sale of Alcoholic Beverages
  • Schools
  • Seasonal – Pumpkin Patch, Xmas Tree Lots etc
  • Special Events
  • Stables Trade or technical schools
  • Valet Parking
  • Vending Carts/machines
  • Video games, amusement devices (4 or more)

The following types of business activities are allowed in some commercial and industrial zoning districts, either as a permitted use, or a use allowed subject to issuance of a Conditional Use Permit.

  • 25% Increase in Office w/Industrial
  • District Metallurgy
  • Amusement Arcade
  • Mini-Mart
  • Convenience Store
  • Bed & Breakfast Inns (R2, R3, R4)
  • Movie Theatre
  • Day Care, Senior Housing
  • Plant Nursery
  • Educational Institutions
  • Petroleum Products
  • Explosives
  • Recycling/Waste Reduction
  • Fortune Telling
  • Restaurant
  • Heliports
  • Storage Facility
  • Massage Establishments/Spa
  • Warehouse

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Other Permits and Licenses

Alcoholic Beverages
If you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages, contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at (714) 558-4101 for further information.

Federal Employer Identification Number
Contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 for a Federal Employer Identification Number or visit http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98350,00.html. The IRS will provide a Business Kit, seminars for new businesses, additional information and forms.

Fictitious Name Statement
If your business name does not include your surname or if the business name suggests that there is the existence of additional owners, you must file a fictitious name statement at the County Clerk's Office. You may contact the Orange County Clerk's Office at (714) 834-2889 to obtain information on how and where to file.

If your business intends to prepare and/or sell food of any type, even pre-wrapped, you must complete an application for a Health Permit. Contact the Orange County Health Care Agency at 1241 E. Dyer Road, Ste. 120, Santa Ana, CA 92705 or call (714) 433-6000 to obtain a permit.

Seller's Permit
Your business activity may require a Seller's Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number/Resale Number) from the State Board of Equalization. You may contact them at (949) 440-3473 to confirm the need for such a permit. Please provide a copy of the Seller's permit showing an Orange address with your application for a Business Tax Certificate.

State of California Consumer Affairs License
You may be required to obtain a State of California Consumer Affairs License for your specific type of business. Information can be obtained at State of California Consumer Affairs or by calling (800) 952-5210. The City of Orange requires you to disclose this number on your application.

Click here for "one-stop" state, local, regional, and federal permit, licensing and tax requirements.

For more information. please call (714) 744-2270.

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