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A Guide to Establish and Conduct a Business in Anaheim, CA
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  •   Business License Application
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This guide is provided as a public service to assist those persons interested in establishing and conducting a business in the City of Anaheim.

Who needs a Business License?

Any individual, corporation, sole proprietor, partnership or any entity that wishes to conduct a business within the City of Anaheim must secure a business license. City law states that no person shall engage in business or transact and carry on a business, trade, profession, calling or occupation in the City without having procured a license from the City to do so or without complying with any and all applicable provision of Title 3 of the City ordinance relating to business license. (A separate license is required for each branch or location of business.)

Are there any exceptions?

Those businesses specifically exempted by State or Federal statute. These exemptions are available under the Anaheim Municipal Code Section 3.04.130. A copy of the Anaheim Municipal Code may be obtained from the City Clerks Office or available on our website at by clicking here.

What should I do before I apply?

Contact our office to discuss the details of your particular business operation. Inquire about city zoning requirements for your type of business and its planned location. This information can be obtained from the Planning Department. In addition to obtaining the business license, you must also comply with all City, County and State regulations for zoning, building, health and safety. You can obtain an application at the Business License Division or contact our office to request an application via mail, fax or e-mail.

How can I contact your offices?

Below are the telephone numbers and addresses for various City departments you may wish to contact:

Business License Division Planning Department
City Hall
200 S. Anaheim Blvd., 1st Floor #136
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 765-5194
City Hall
200 S. Anaheim Blvd., 1st Floor #162
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 765-5139
City Clerk’s Office Community Preservation
City Hall
200 S. Anaheim Blvd, 2nd Floor #217 Anaheim,
CA 92805
(714) 765-5166
City Hall
200 S. Anaheim Blvd., 5th Floor #525
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 765-5158
Fire Department Police Department
Anaheim West Tower
201 S. Anaheim Blvd., 3rd Floor #300
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 765-4040
425 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 765-1900

Where can I get permits and information from other county, state and federal agencies?

  • If you are using a fictitious business name, contact the County Clerk’s Office and your local newspaper with regard to publication of notice, etc. You may wish to contact the clerk by telephone first at (714) 834-2889 or visit their website at www.oc.ca.gov. Fictitious Business Name or DBA (Doing Business As) are one and the same.
  • Your business activity may require a Seller’s Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number) from the State Board of Equalization. To obtain such a permit, you must apply in person at one of the local district offices. You may wish to contact them by telephone first to determine if your business requires such a permit. You may reach them at (800) 400-7115 or visit their website at www.boe.ca.gov.
  • Contact the Internal Revenue Service for a Federal Employer Identification Number. The IRS provides Small Business Tax Workshops for new businesses. Additional information and forms are available on their website at www.irs.gov/smallbiz. The IRS can be reached at (800) 829-1040.
  • Contact the State Employment Development Department – To obtain a State Employer Identification Number if you have employees and withhold State Income Tax, Disability and Unemployment Insurance. You may reach the Anaheim Office at (888) 745-3886 or visit their website at www.edd.ca.gov.
  • Concerning your insurance requirements, such as liability and workers’ compensation, contact your insurance agent for information about your particular kind of business.
  • Contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at (714) 558-4101 or www.abc.ca.gov if you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. You will also need to contact the Planning Department to obtain zoning approval for on sale liquor.
  • Contact the Franchise Tax Board if you intend to have employees or to obtain a Form 540 for estimating State Withholding Tax for yourself. You can reach them at (800) 852-5711 or visit their website at www.FTB.ca.gov.
  • If your establishment intends to prepare and/or sell food of any type, you must complete a Health Permit Application either at the Business License Counter or at the Orange County Health Care Agency. You may contact the Orange County Health Care Agency at (714) 433-6000 or visit their website at www.ocfoodinfo.com, if you should have any questions regarding a Health Permit.
  • If you intend to engage in the sale of firearms or ammunition, contact the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms at (714) 347-9100 or visit their website at www.atf.gov. All necessary and appropriate permits, certificates and licenses must be copied and attached to your Business License Application.

How do I get an application for a City of Anaheim Business License?

Please click here to download a business license application or you may also contact our office at (714) 765-5194 so we can mail, fax or email you an application.

What information is needed in order to complete the application?

Please read the application thoroughly. All sections of the application must be completed. It is important to be specific in your business description. Include the starting date at this location. Indicate whether this is a new business, change in ownership, business name change or business address change. State whether your business is owned solely by you, whether it is a partnership, or a corporation. The names and home addresses of the owners or officers of the corporation are required. The following information must also be included prior to the acceptance of the application:

1.      State Board of Equalization Sales Tax Account Number (Resale Number)
2.      Social Security Number (If no Federal or State ID number provided)
3.      Driver’s License Number
4.      Federal Employer I.D. Number
5.      State Employer I.D. Number
6.      State Contractor’s License Number (if applicable)
7.      State Contractor’s Classification (if applicable)

What do I need to know about zoning?

Contact the Planning Department to confirm that your business is an allowable use at your desire location. You may need additional permits before you are allowed to operate in a specific location. You can reach the Planning Department at (714) 765-5139.

What if my business is home-based?

Every business conducted from a home in the City of Anaheim must have BOTH a city business license and a home occupation permit. Home occupation permits are obtained from the Planning Department. The home occupation permit must be submitted with your business license application. The Planning Department will review the type of business you are conducting to ensure that it is allowed within a residential area and will not impact the surrounding neighborhood.

Is there a processing fee for the business license?

A minimum charge of $32.00 is required for the processing of any initial or renewed license application. This fee shall be in addition to the business license tax, home occupation permit fee, or regulatory permit fee, and will not be prorated. The processing fee is non-refundable.

Are there penalties if I am late paying for my license?

Any business which operates without first obtaining a Business License or which fails to pay a renewal shall pay a penalty of 10% or $10.00, whichever is greater, for each month delinquent, and an additional amount equal to one and one-half percent (1-1/2%) thereof per month calculated from the first day of delinquency to the date of payment.

When do I need to renew my license?

Once you have obtained a license, which is valid for one (1) year, a renewal will automatically be forwarded to you thirty (30) days before your expiration date. If you do not receive a renewal notice, please contact the Business License Office. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of his/her responsibility to renew the business license.

What if I sell my business?

A business license is not transferable. The license is terminated when business ownership changes. Advise the Business License Office should you sell your business for any reason. The new owner will be responsible for obtaining his/her own business license.

What if I move to a new location in Anaheim?

To process a change of business address, advise the Business License Office by calling (714) 765-5194 or visiting the Business License Counter to request an application form to file for an address change. A processing fee of $32.00 is required to process a change of address if the business license is current.

Do I need to reapply if I change my business name?

To process a change of business name, advise the Business License office by calling (714) 765-5194 or visiting the Business License Counter to request an application form to file for a business name change. The completed application must be returned with a $32.00 processing fee if the license is current. If there has been a change to the tax identification number or resale number, then the business is considered to have changed ownership as well as the business name. You will need to contact the Business License office to obtain the application for change in ownership since the license is not transferable.

Do I need to display my business license?

All business licenses must be displayed on the premises. For those businesses not having a fixed address, the license must be physically carried on the person while conducting business and presented upon request.

What type of licenses must be approved by the Police Department?

Applications for the following businesses will be referred to the Police Department for approval: (Licenses are not issued until approval is received from the Police Department and/or other City Departments.)

Pawn Shop Weapons-related businesses
Bingo Adult Book Stores
Fortune Tellers Sex-Oriented Businesses
Peddlers/Solicitors Dating or Escort Services
Arcades Security & Guard Companies
Amusement Devices Alcoholic Beverage Sales
Internet Cafes Ice Cream/Produce Trucks
Pool Rooms Massage Establishments
Entertainment Massage Technicians
Dances Curb Address Services

We want your business to be successful and hope that this information has been helpful.

This guide is provided as a public service and is not warranted to be all-inclusive.

While we believe the information is comprehensive, any errors or omissions herein will not relieve the business owner of his/her responsibility, obligation or liability in fulfilling all legal requirements.

If you require further assistance, you may contact the Business License Center at (714) 765-5194 or visit our website at www.anaheim.net. The City also has the Small Business Assistance Center and may be reached at (714) 765-4323 or visit our website at www.anaheim.net. The Small Business Development Center is also an additional resource that may be helpful to your business. They can be reached at (714) 564-5200 or visit their website at www.ocsbdc.com.

We wish you success and prosperity in your new business venture!