Registration and Taxes
On this page, you will find information about registering or renewing your business license with the City of Los Angeles, registering a business name with Los Angeles County, and assessing local, state, and federal tax requirements and exemptions.
Local Business Registration Requirements
- Business Tax Registration Certificate (Business License)
- Nearly all businesses doing business in the City of Los Angeles must register with the Office of Finance. Most new businesses are exempt from paying business taxes for the first three years of operation (although the business owner still must register with the Office of Finance). Registration information can be found here.
- Office of Finance Customer Service Center:
- Renew Your Business Tax Registration Certificate / Change of Address If your business is already registered with the City of Los Angeles, then you can renew online.
- FREE Business License Reports Take advantage of Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti's free business license information reports today. Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti has put together a website where you can access business certificate information for free. This service is paid for by Eric Garcetti to help Los Angeles become a more business friendly environment.
- Look for Business Tax Exemptions
- Certain businesses are exempt from paying business taxes over a specified period (although the business owner still must register with the Office of Finance). Exemptions include most new businesses, many small businesses, and creative artists.
- Form a Non-Profit Organization
- If you want to form a non-profit organization in the City of Los Angeles, you must file an exempt Business Tax Registration Certificate with the Office of Finance.
- Please keep in mind that in addition to the application, you will need to provide an IRS tax exemption letter and/or a State of California Franchise Tax Board exemption letter (pdf).
California Business Tax Resources
- Visit the California Tax Service Center to see which state taxes apply to your businessBusiness Tax Registration Certificate.
- Franchise Tax Board
- Administers personal and corporate income and franchise taxes in California.
- Board of Equalization
- Issues seller's permits and administers and collects state sales taxes on fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and other special taxes and fees.
- Employment Development Department
- Issues employer account numbers and administers Californiaâ€™s payroll taxes.
Federal Business Tax Resources
- Visit the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource Center for assistance in filing Federal taxes for your business.
- Taxpayer Advocate Service
- An independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommend changes that will prevent the problems.
- Note: The IRS requires that all businesses with the exception of qualified non-profit organizations file federal income taxes.
Filing a Doing-Business As (DBA)
- If you plan to do business under a different name than your own (e.g., Joe's Diner), you must file a "Doing Business As" with the Los Angeles County Clerk.
- For more information on DBA, click here
Registration with the California Department of Industrial Relations
- Certain businesses-including car washes, garment manufacturers, talent agents, and studio teachers must register or license with the State Department of Industrial Relations. Click here for a list of businesses and requirements.