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GENERAL BUSINESS

Riverside County Business License Guide

15-minute read

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Kristin Vegh

Kristin Vegh

28 December 2022

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When looking to start a business, it's important to think of the right location. Not only can it be important to build your small business somewhere with a robust local community, it's also important to consider the power of tourism as well.

Riverside County in California has no shortage on either front. It's part of the Inland Empire, a region of southern California known for its scenic beauty. Home to the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park and popular vacation spot Palm Springs, the county has plenty to explore. On top of all that, when the 2022 Census was conducted, Riverside County had the fourth-largest population in California, with over 12% growth since 2010.

Between the populated cities and its bustling tourist economy, Riverside County has a lot to offer for a small business owner. So how does one begin starting a business there? A business license is a good start. Let's jump in.

What to Know About a Riverside County Business Licenses

The most important thing to know is that Riverside County does not have a business license requirement at the county level. When starting a business in a city within the county, inquire with the city about their business license requirements. Read on to learn more about obtaining a business license in the various cities in Riverside County.

How to Get a Business License in Riverside County

Here’s our city-by-city guide to obtaining a business license in the cities of Riverside County.

City of Banning business license.

To obtain a business license in Banning, you'll need to submit an application for a Business Tax Certificate. Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Your California State Sales Tax Permit Number, if it applies to your business. This can be obtained from the State Board of Equalization.
  • If your business name does not include your last name, you'll need to file a fictitious business name statement. This makes the owner's identity public.
  • A detailed description of the business.
  • If you'll have employees, you'll need a Federal Employer Identification Number, which can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Businesses planning on having employees also will need a State Employer Identification Number from the State Employment Development Department.

You can find the application for in-town businesses here, and for in-home businesses here. Check the application packets for further details on the business licensing process. City contact information is available here.

City of Beaumont business license.

In order to apply for a business license in Beaumont, you’ll need to provide the following:

  1. A completed Administrative Plot Plan application, as well as $516.45 for payment of the APP and license fees, and a site plan showing how the business's location will be set up.
  2. A completed business license application and fees calculated based on the included fee summary.
  3. The Police Department Emergency Contact form — included in the packet cited above — with your business and contact information filled in.
  4. A completed AQMD (Air Quality Management District) form. You can find it in the packet titled “Air Quality Permit Checklist.”
  5. The Industrial Waste Survey and/or Food User Survey, completed and submitted with the $25.82 application fee.
  6. A completed Alarm Permit Application and fee, if applicable. Additional details can be found here.
  7. A completed Trash & Recycling application, as included in the packet.
  8. A Sign Permit Application and fee, if applicable.

You also must contact the Building Department and Fire Department to request an occupancy inspection. Both the building and fire inspections must be completed and approved before your business license can be issued.

City of Blythe business license.

In Blythe, every business transacting within the city limits must hold a business license. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Make sure your business location meets zoning requirements by checking with the Planning & Building Department.
  2. File a Fictitious Name Statement if needed. You’ll file this with the Riverside County Clerk, then have the statement published in the Palo Verde Valley Times.
  3. If your business involves collecting sales tax, you will need to apply for a sales tax number (seller’s permit). This application will be submitted to the State Board of Equalization.
  4. Complete the business license application and submit the appropriate fees. If you have questions about the fees, contact the Finance Department.

Once everything is received and all requirements have been met, the license will likely be issued.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you haven’t ever held a business license in Blythe, your license fee will be prorated, based on the start date of your business.
  • If you wish to install signage, you will need to obtain a permit from the Planning Department.
  • If you’ll be operating your business from your home residence, you’ll need a Home Occupancy Permit from the Planning Department.

City of Calimesa business license.

A business license is required for any business in Calimesa, as well as out-of-town businesses performing work within city limits. There are five primary types of business licenses in Calimesa:

  1. Out of Town Licenses. These apply to businesses working or performing transactions within the city but are located outside of the city limits. The application and additional resources can be found here.
  2. Home Occupation Licenses. These are applicable for businesses operating out of the owner’s home located in the city limits. See the application for further details.
  3. Certificate of Occupancy Licenses. This applies to businesses operating out of locations zoned for commercial use, such as offices, stores, and restaurants. You can find the application here.
  4. Sidewalk Vending Business Licenses and Vending Permits. These are for vendors operating on a public sidewalk, path, or parkway. The Sidewalk Permit application can be found here, and the Sidewalk Vending Business License application is here. Be sure to check out sidewalk vending regulations.
  5. Food Truck Business Licenses. These are for — you guessed it — owners operating food trucks. The application is available here.

Information and requirements for other business types can be found here.

City of Canyon Lake business license.

Generally, businesses are required to obtain a business license in Canyon Lake, but there are a few exemptions. Similar to Calimesa, Canyon Lake has four primary types of business licenses. They are:

  1. Commercial Business License. The instructions and application are available here.
  2. Home Occupation Business License. Complete this application.
  3. Out of City Business License. This is for those based outside the city but working within it. The application and further instructions are here.
  4. Residential Rental Registration. This is required for anyone renting residential property. Find more information and application instructions here.

Cathedral City business license.

Anyone conducting business in Cathedral City is required to have a business license. The primary business licenses are:

Requirements for fictitious business names and additional information can be found here.

City of Coachella business license.

While the city’s website is light on details, a business license application is required in Coachella for licensure. However, if you’re unsure whether or not your business is required to have a business license, you can contact Cesar Lucrecio by phone or email as listed here.

City of Corona business license.

Corona’s business licensing application is fully online and available here. Things to keep in mind:

  • Licenses are renewed every 12 months.
  • Your business start date should reflect the date it began conducting business in Corona. Additional years in other cities are not relevant.
  • Employee Identification Numbers will be required for all businesses. Sole owners and partnerships must be able to provide valid Social Security numbers. Requirements for LLCs, limited partnerships, trusts, and corporations are not listed, so it is recommended to contact their customer service department at 951-736-2275 for more information.
  • No payment will be taken until your application is reviewed and accepted.

City of Desert Hot Springs business license.

Desert Hot Springs business license applications can be submitted online or on paper.

The online business license application can be found here.

You can apply for a Home Occupation Permit here.

You can apply for a Massage Therapist Permit here.

City of Eastvale business license.

All businesses carrying out work in Eastvale, California, are required to have a Business Registration. You will need to provide:

  • Corporations, LLCs, trusts, and partnerships will need to provide an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • If sole proprietorships don’t have an EIN, they may use their Driver’s License number, Identification number, or Social Security number to apply.
  • Corporations, partnerships, and LLCs need to provide their California Secretary of State registration number. More details on registering can be found here.
  • Businesses selling physical products must provide their Seller’s Permit number.
  • Licensed professionals will need to provide their license number.

You can apply for an Eastvale business registration using the printable form or online.

City of Hemet business license.

All businesses operating within Hemet must obtain a business license. The five most common business licenses in the city are for the following industries:

  1. Home-based, service, retail, or industrial businesses. The Hemet business license application can be found here.
  2. Contractors, and the application is here.
  3. Non-profit businesses. You can download the application here.
  4. Rental property management, with an application here.
  5. Massage businesses. Click here for the application.

Here are a couple of additional items to keep in mind:

City of Indian Wells business license.

Any business operating within the city of Indian Wells requires a business license. This includes home-based businesses and businesses based outside the city limits but still provide services in Indian Wells — such as contractors.

You can submit your business license application online or using one of the following downloadable forms.

City of Indio business license.

Businesses operating in Indio should make note of the following:

  1. Every person, organization, company, or partnership conducting business within the city must hold a city of Indio business license.
  2. New businesses with fixed locations must pass inspection by the Planning and Building Department, Fire Department, and the Code Enforcement; and, if the business relates to handling food and beverages, the Riverside County Health Department.
  3. If you will be installing signage, whether permanent or temporary, you will need a permit from the Planning Department.

Businesses with a commercial location should apply, using this application.

Businesses working within Indio but based elsewhere should use this application.

People renting residential properties long-term must use this application. If the rentals are for 30 days or fewer, more information can be found here.

Home occupations can find their business license application here.

In addition to submitting your application, check the following procedure to ensure you’re eligible for licensure:

  • Have the Planning Department verify that your business location meets local zoning requirements.
  • The Building Department must ensure that the location is appropriate for your business’s needs.
  • Businesses operating under names other than of the business owner’s will need to obtain a Fictitious Name Statement from the Riverside County Clerk.
  • Businesses selling goods subject to the state sales tax must apply for a seller’s permit with the State Board of Equalization.
  • Contractors must have a valid and up-to-date contractors license through the Contractor’s State License Board.
  • If the business is owned by a partnership, corporation, trust, or limited liability corporation, you’ll need a Federal ID Number. Sole proprietors can use their Social Security number in lieu of a Federal ID number.
  • Health permits are required for food and beverage handlers.

City of Indio business license renewal.

Indio business licenses are valid for one year from the issuance date. Renewal documentation should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the license expiration date.

The city of Indio business license renewal application can be found online here, and your renewal fee can be submitted here.

City of Jurupa Valley business license.

All businesses working in Jurupa Valley must obtain a Jurupa Valley Business Registration Certificate. Here are the city of Jurupa Valley business license application requirements:

  1. A completed application. There are two different application forms: one for in-city businesses and one for out-of-city businesses.
  2. A $45 registration fee for the initial application, as well as applicable renewal and duplicate certificate fees.
  3. If your business sells taxable goods, you’ll need to obtain a seller’s license.
  4. Home occupations must comply with city regulations for home occupation businesses.
  5. Your business must comply with building codes and stormwater run-off regulations. Contact the Building and Safety Department and Engineering Department to determine what is required for your specific business.

After your application has been approved, you should receive a Business Registration Certificate within 15 to 20 business days.

City of La Quinta business license.

Anyone conducting business or providing a service in La Quinta must obtain a business license. There are three basic types of business licenses available in the city of La Quinta:

  1. Inside city limits. This application is for businesses based within La Quinta.
  2. Outside city limits. This application is for businesses located outside the city but providing services within it.
  3. Contractor. This application is for state-licensed contractors.

Home occupations will also need to obtain a Home Occupation of a Business Permit.

Additional information for different industries can be found here.

City of Lake Elsinore business license.

Businesses located within Lake Elsinore will need to apply for a license using the following application that best applies to their business:

  • Commercial, industrial, retail, or office space. Application and instructions are available here.
  • Home-based businesses. Apply here.

Businesses located outside of the city but working within it must apply for one of the following the Lake Elsinore business license that is most applicable:

  • State licensed contractors. Apply online here.
  • Other businesses outside city limits. The online application is available here.

Mobile vendors and massage technicians must obtain their applications in person from the Lake Elsinore business license department.

City of Menifee business license.

Anyone conducting business within the city of Menifee is required to hold a business license. Further questions for getting a city of Menifee business license should be directed to the Menifee business licensing desk, which can be reached at 951-723-3883.

City of Moreno Valley business license.

Any business operating in Moreno Valley must have a business license. Here are the available business license applications for the city of Moreno Valley:

Further details on the application process can be found in the business license checklist.

City of Murrieta business license.

Every person or entity planning to conduct business in Murrieta must obtain a business license.

City of Murrieta business license application requirements are listed here.

Applications are submitted online.

City of Norco business license.

All businesses intending to operate in Norco must have a business license. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. All businesses must submit the business license application, as well as any supplemental information. This may include state licenses, seller’s permits, proof of a Fictitious Business Name, and Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN).
  2. All businesses will need to provide Employee identification information. Sole proprietors and partnerships will need to provide a government-issued ID for each owner. Trusts, LLCs, Limited Partnerships, and Corporations will need to provide an FEIN or State Employee Identification Number (SEIN).
  3. In-city businesses must pass an annual Fire Inspection and require approval from the Planning Division.
  4. Payment will not be required until the application is approved.

The online application, as well as additional information, can be found here. Check here for fee details.

City of Palm Desert business license.

All businesses working within Palm Desert need a business license. Before applying, make sure to know the following:

  1. Will the business be based within or outside the city?
  2. If located in the city, wIll it be located in a commercial space or at home?
  3. What is the business address?
  4. What type of business is it? What products and services will be provided?

Submit your city of Palm Desert application online or by email. Be sure to check the fee schedule as well.

City of Palm Springs business license.

Business licenses are required for all entities doing business in Palm Springs. Here’s what you’ll need in order to apply:

  • A Fictitious Business Name statement if you’re doing business under a name other than your own.
  • Individual owners and general partnerships will need to provide Social Security numbers or Federal ID numbers for all owners. All other business entities require a Federal ID number.
  • A Seller’s Permit is required for businesses selling or leasing tangible goods.
  • Construction work exceeding $500 will require the business owner to obtain a valid license number from the Contractors State License Board.
  • A Safety Inspection Fee will apply to businesses in commercial locations.
  • Businesses in commercial locations are required to pass a code compliance inspection in order to obtain a Certificate of Inspection.

The business license application can be found here. Additional forms and information are available on the Palm Springs website.

City of Perris business license.

Home-based businesses in Perris are required to obtain a business license. Additional resources are available in this form.

All other businesses will need to apply for a certificate of occupancy, a business license, and you will need to pass Building and Safety, and Fire inspections.

Information about fictitious business names, seller’s permits, and other requirements can be found here.

City of Rancho Mirage business license.

A business license is required for anyone conducting business, or providing services or contract work in Rancho Mirage. Here’s what’s needed:

  1. Any business intending to occupy a physical location must submit a use and occupancy application.

City of Riverside business license.

Entities planning to do business in the city of Riverside are required to obtain a business license. Visit the link for details on other permits and inspections that may be required.

You can apply for a city of Riverside business license online here.

City of San Jacinto business license.

Businesses conducting any business activity within San Jacinto are required to have a business license. There are eight types of business license applications available:

  1. Residential. This is for businesses operating out of a home and includes a home occupancy permit application in addition to the business license application.
  2. Commercial. This includes a license application, as well as an application for a certificate of occupancy.
  3. Transportation services. Several other permit applications that may apply to your business are referenced within the application, so review the checklist on the first page for further details.
  4. Rental property. Please note that you’ll have to list every rental property you own.
  5. Handyman. This includes both the license application and the home occupation permit application.
  6. Ice cream truck. You’ll find the license, home occupancy/certificate of occupancy (whichever best applies to your business), and certificate of compliance applications included. Complete
  7. Non-profit. This includes applications for the business license, statement of intended use, and home occupation/certificate of occupancy (whichever may be needed based on your business location).

City of Temecula business license.

If you’ll be conducting business in Temecula, you’ll need a business license. Here are the city of Temecula business license applications for various types of businesses:

City of Wildomar business license.

Any business working within Wildomar or doing business with the city itself, must be registered.

You can submit your application online her

What to Know about Renewing Business Licenses in Riverside County Cities

As with licensure itself, be sure to check the renewal procedures of the applicable city rather than the county itself. Renewal dates and processes vary from city to city.

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Kristin Vegh

Written by

Kristin Vegh

After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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