Every person who operates a business within the City of Arcadia must obtain a Business License and comply with all provisions of the Arcadia Municipal Code. Only businesses specifically exempted by State or Federal statute are not required to obtain a Business License.

Business Licenses are not transferable and the certificate is terminated when the business ownership changes. Please advise the Business License Office if you move out of town or go out of business.

How to Obtain a Business License

Business License Office
Arcadia City Hall
240 West Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007

  • By Mail: You can request a business license application by writing to:

Business License Office
Post Office Box 60021
Arcadia, CA 91066-6021

All portions of the license application pertaining to your business should be completed.  It is important to state whether your business is owned solely by you, or whether it is a partnership, corporation or other form of ownership.

In addition to an application for a Business License, all businesses located within the City of Arcadia (except those having a Home Occupation Permit) are required to have the approval of the Planning Office for the proposed business location.

Business License Tax/Fee

Most businesses are required to pay a business license tax/fee. The Business License is valid for 12 months commencing on the first day of the month during which the license is issued and terminating on the last day of the twelfth month. Licenses applied for after starting a business are subject to a late payment processing charge.

Revenue received from the Business License is deposited into the City's General Fund and is used to support City services such as police, fire and public works services.

New Business List

Click on the link below to access a list of new businesses that have applied and received a business license. You must click "log in" in order to access the list. A password is unnecessary.

List of new businesses

Change of Business Address

If your business intends to relocate within the City, request an application form from the Business License Office and note on the form that this is for a change of address. There is a fee for this transaction. 

Display of your Business License

All Business License certificates must be displayed on the premises. For businesses not having a fixed address within the City, the license must be carried on the person.

Prohibited Activities

Business activity is not permitted on sidewalks or on improved or unimproved lots within the City without a special permit.

Door-to-door selling in residential neighborhoods is not permitted. You may solicit a residence only at the invitation of the occupant.

Renewal of your Business License

Business Licenses expire 12 months after payment. There is a 30 day grace period following the expiration date in which you can renew your license without a penalty. If you pay 31-60 days after the expiration you will be charged a 20% penalty; if you pay 61-90 days after expiration you will be charged a 60% penalty; and if you are 91 days or more late you will be charged a 100% penalty.

As a courtesy, business license renewal applications are mailed to each registered business in the City approximately one month prior to expiration. However, there is no obligation for the City to advise you that your license must be renewed. It is the responsibility of each business to keep its business license current. If you do not receive a renewal application, contact the Business License Office at (626) 574-5430.

Business Licenses can be renewed online

Activities Requiring a Temporary Permit or "Registration"

The following activities require either a "no fee" permit, "registration" or "rental fee" with the City prior to the commencement of the activity:

  1. A registration for religious solicitation must be filed by all religious organizations desiring to solicit and which, upon City approval, will result in the issuance of a Certificate of Registration for Religious Solicitation. This is not required for Arcadia churches that solicit among their members.
  2. Wedding dances and private party dances held in public locations.
  3. Banners hanging across public streets for non-profit organizations (please note that this is only allowed on certain streets).Contact the Business License Office for the rental fee and application at (626) 574-5430.
  4. A permit is needed for garage or backyard sales. Contact the Business License Office for the regulations and a permit application.

Banner Regulations

If you want to install a temporary outdoor banner, check with the Planning Office for the regulations by calling (626)  574-5423.

Business File Cards

The Emergency Communications section of the Police Department keeps a file card on every business located in the City. The emergency information is for use when the Police need to contact the owner or business manager in the event of break-ins, fires, or other after-hours emergencies affecting the business or building. Please remember to keep the Police Department informed of any new phone numbers, addresses of contact names. You may reach the Police Department by calling (626) 574-5150.

Changes to the Building

In the event you, as the property owner and/or business owner, would like to make structural changes to the building, regardless of how minor it may seem, contact the Building Inspection office.  Most remodeling requires a permit. You may reach Building Inspection by calling (626) 574-5416.

Disaster Preparedness

Businesses are encouraged to prepare their employees and facilities for a disaster. Please remember that in the event of a major disaster local government will be unable to provide assistance for a minimum of 72 hours.

We suggest you secure heavy movable equipment (typewriter, personal computers, file cabinets, bookcases, partitions, heavy wall art, etc.) to prevent personal injury or damage. Your inventory of flammable, toxic, and hazardous materials should also be secured against breakage.

Contact the Fire Department at (626) 574-5100 or the Chamber of Commerce at (626) 447-2159 for a disaster preparedness checklist. 

Economic Development Division

The Economic Development Division can provide information on site and space availability, office lease rates, census data, building permit/valuation, a list of Arcadia's largest employers, redevelopment area maps, information on current properties for sale, information on the Central (Downtown) and general information on Arcadia's economic situation.  You may reach the Economic Development Division in the City Hall by calling (626) 574-5408.

Employee Withholding

If you have no employees, contact the Franchise Tax Board to obtain a Form 540 for estimating the amount of State withholding for yourself by calling (800) 338-0505.

If you have employees, contact the Franchise Tax Board and the State Benefit Payment Department to obtain W2 forms, State Disability, Withholding and Unemployment Insurance, and any other applicable information.

Employer Identification Numbers

Contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for an Employer Identification Number. The IRS will provide you with a Businessman's Kit and information regarding seminars for new businesses. For more information, please call (800) 820-1040.

The local IRS office is located at 9050 Flair Drive in El Monte.

Fictitious Business Names

If you are using a fictitious business name, contact the Arcadia Weekly, the City’s local news publication, with regard to publication requirements at (626) 294-1090.

Fire Inspections

The Fire Department conducts annual fire safety inspections of all businesses located in the City. These inspections are unannounced and include checking fire exits, electrical load, occupancy load and general housekeeping.  Please contact the Arcadia Fire Department at (626) 574-5100 for additional information.

Fire Services

In addition to fire fighting services, the Fire Department also provides emergency water removal and emergency roof covering services during rainstorms, paramedic and ambulance services, and information on fire safety and prevention to individuals, businesses and groups. For additional information, please contact the Arcadia Fire Department at (626) 574-5100.

Generators

If you have acquired a portable generator to be used in the event of a power outage you must, by State Law, inform the Edison Company. Edison cautions that special care be taken when patching the generator into the business' main power system. Improper hook-ups may send current backwards through the Edison Company's lines and become high voltage as it passes through transformers. You can reach Edison by calling (800) 655-4555.

This high voltage would be present in an otherwise downed circuit and may cause electrocution to worker s repairing the circuit. A qualified electrician should perform this work to prevent damage to your electrical system or Edison's transmission facilities.

Hazardous Materials Disclosure

Any business located in the City that handles hazardous materials must disclose such information to the Los Angeles County Fire Department Hazardous Materials Section. Contact them or the Arcadia Fire Marshal for further information by calling (626) 574-5104.

Home Occupation Permit

Home businesses are permitted in certain areas of the City as long as they are compatible with a residential, neighborhood environment.  A Home Occupation Permit is required to operate a home business.  In conjunction with the Home Occupation Business Permit Application, applicants are required to obtain a Business License.  There is a one-time fee for the Home Occupation Permit of $25.00.  The fee for the Business License is $75.15, annually.

Public Right-of-Way

If you want to encroach into the public right-of-way at your place of business (e.g., awning, flagpole, sign, driveway, landscaping, etc.), contact the Development Services Department at (626) 574-5411 for information, requirements and any applicable permits.

Sale of Alcoholic Beverages

Contact the State Alcohol Beverage Control Agency at (626) 927-1060 if you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages.  The agency is located at 3204 North Rosemead Boulevard, Suite 103, El Monte.

Security Check

The Police Department provides courtesy security checks to local businesses upon request. These checks include checking locks, alarm systems windows, and overall building security. Contact the Police Crime Prevention Unit at (626) 574-5174 to arrange for a security check.

Seller's Permit

Your business activity may require a Seller's Permit from the State Board of Equalization.  To obtain information or a permit, contact the district office by calling (562) 908-5280, or visiting 12820 Crossroads Parkway South, City of Industry, CA.

Setting Up Your Business

For retail and wholesale food sales, hotels/motels, hospitals, apartment houses, radioactive materials, etc., contact the Los Angeles County Health Department (800) 427-8700.

Contact your insurance agent regarding your liability and workers compensation needs.

Agencies which may be helpful in setting up your own business by providing financial assistance, educational programs, reference material and various publications are listed below. Please click on the appropriate link, which will take you to the organizations website:

Sign Regulations

The City has specific sign regulations.  If you intend to install a new sign or make changes to an existing one, contact the Planning Office at (626) 574-5423 regarding the applicable regulations.

Parking restriction/tow away zone signs are regulated by the Arcadia Police Department.  In order for the parking restriction to be enforced, the signs must be a certain size, display specific information (including the correct telephone number for the Arcadia Police Department), and be prominently posted at each entrance to the property in order for enforcement action to be taken.  The Arcadia Police Department can provide more information about this kind of sign or you can stop by the Police Department at 250 West Huntington Drive to request a copy of the sign guidelines. 

Advertising Throwaways

Advertising throwaways, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, etc. may be distributed only to those residents whose address does not appear on the "Non-Distribution List" maintained by the City Clerks Office.  Many residents have specifically requested that no advertising literature be placed on their premises, and you must check this list, called the "Refusal Register," prior to starting any activity of this type.  No throwaways, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, etc. may be placed in or on a mail box, slot, or receptacle unless postage is paid and it is delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

Bingo Games

All Bingo Games conducted in the City of Arcadia require a permit approved by the City Council. Applications for bingo can be obtained from the Business License Office at (626) 574-5430.

Christmas Tree Lots/Pumpkin Patches

The sale of Christmas trees requires a Business License and approval of the location of the lot from the Planning Office. Tents used for storage of Christmas trees require approval from the Fire Prevention Department, which can be reached at (626) 574-5104.

Massage Therapists

All massage therapists working in the City of Arcadia must have certification from the California Massage Therapy Council (CMTC).  In addition to this certification, all massage therapists must obtain a business license from the City of Arcadia.  Business owners of new establishments that offer massage must have a Live Scan done through the City of Arcadia Police Department if they do not have certification from CMTC. 

News Racks

The installation of news racks on public property is subject to special regulations as to height, size, placement, etc.  Prospective distributors should contact the Business License Office at (626) 574-5430 for the requirements.

Promotional Parking Lot & Sidewalk Sales

Businesses desiring to hold promotional entertainment events, parking lot sales and sidewalk sales should contact the Business License Office for the requirements at (626) 574-5430 or download the Parking Lot/Sidewalk application. 

Vending Machines, Juke Boxes, Amusement & Game Machines

All vending machines, juke boxes, amusement and video game machines must be licensed before they are installed. The business license, or a copy of it, must be maintained in the possession of the business where the machines are located. All such machines must be labeled as to the owner, business address and business telephone of the owner of the machine.

 

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