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Business License


The following information is provided as public service to assist persons interested in establishing and conducting business in the City of Orange.

Who needs a Business Tax Certificate?

Any individual, partnership or corporation who wishes to conduct business within the City of Orange must obtain a Business Tax Certificate. 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 Tax Certificate from the City to do so, or without complying with any and all applicable provisions of title."

Owners of non-residential commercial property are required to maintain a Business Tax Certificate and report gross rental receipts. (OMC 5.14.170)

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

Before You Apply...

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.

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

Special attention to businesses such as:

  • amusement games in excess of 3
  • auto repairing
  • auto sales
  • bingo
  • car wash
  • church
  • dancing
  • daycare
  • drive thru window service
  • entertainment/dancing
  • firearms
  • massage
  • sale of alcoholic beverages
  • seasonal -- pumpkin patch, xmas tree lots, etc.
  • special events
  • trade or technical schools.

Seller's Permit
Your business activity may require a Seller's Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number/Resale Number) from the State Board of Equalization (
http://www.boe.ca.gov). You may contact them at (714) 558-4059 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.

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. You may contact the Orange County Clerk's Office at (714) 834-2889 to obtain information on how and where to file.

Federal Employer Identification Number
Contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040 for a Federal Employer Identification Number or visit
. The IRS will provide a Business Kit, seminars for new businesses, additional information and forms.

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

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 (714) 667-3600 to obtain a permit.

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
http://www.dca.ca.gov or by calling (800) 952-5210. The City of Orange requires you to disclose this number on your application.

To obtain a City of Orange Application for Business Tax Certificate:

  1. You may fill in a Business License Application on-line, print it out and mail it with your total due to the address listed below. We also accept VISA and MasterCard. Please contact our office at (714) 744-2270 for assistance.

  2. You may 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.

  3. If you wish to apply in person, our office hours are listed below.

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

City of Orange, Finance Department
Business License Division

300 East Chapman Ave.
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 744-2270
(714) 744-2273 (FAX)

Hours: Monday-Thursday: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Alternating Fridays: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.

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

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

Renewal Processing Fee
Each renewal will have a $23.00 renewal processing 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 within the city limits, a $5.00 move fee and a completed application for a Business Tax Certificate are required.

Termination of Business
Please contact the Business License Division should you terminate your business.

License Renewal
Renewals of your Business Tax Certificates are mailed during the month they expire. You are given a 30-day grace period to renew. 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.

Penalties for Late Renewal
Late penalties are assessed at 10% per month. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of the responsibility for renewing the Business Tax Certificate.

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
  • Massage Establishments
  • Pawnbroker/Used Merchandise Dealers, Auctioneers
  • Processions
  • Sexually Oriented/Adult Business
  • Soliciting
  • Street Banners
  • Tow Truck Drivers
  • Vending Machines

For more information. please call (714) 744-2270 or send an e-mail to lcrouch@cityoforange.org

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