Apply for a Business License

with the City

Differences Between Licenses, Permits, and Inspections

Licenses: Licenses are the city’s way of keeping track of businesses. They establish a legal connection between businesses and their owners, and regulate certain types of commerce. The license fee helps cover the cost of services like police, fire.

Permits: Permits are proof that your building and facilities follow city rules ("code") and are safe for you, your employees, and your customers.

Inspections: As you complete each phase of construction, you'll need to have city inspectors visit to ensure that the work meets Long Beach's health and safety standards. Most inspections are performed before approval of a business license.

Applying for a Business License

  • Business Type
  • Business Location Address
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone number
  • State licenses related to your business type

You can also apply by printing out this form below and submitting it to the city in-person or by mail. Visiting the Development Services Department on the 4th floor will ensure that you're able to ask and answer any questions that may come up as city staff review.

Submit in-person or by mail:

Annual City Business License Types

You are required to obtain an additional license for each business activity even if it is in the same location. For example, if you have a restaurant with a pool table you need two business license: Retailing (I classification) and Unique (M classification)

How long will it take to process my business license?

The time it takes depends on the complexity of your business. If it is a simple home based business it should take a day or so. But if your business type requires permits that will take longer. Could take weeks and months. You would need to speak with Development Services, Health, or Fire depending on what would be required based on your business location and the type of business you would like to conduct. Those are the departments that will take time with plans, inspections, corrections, permits etc. The Business License Department would not be able to answer on a timeline for those departments since it is not their area of expertise.

Costs by license type

If you have more than one business license at the same location, you may choose to pay for all employees on one license. If so, you will pay for the employees on the license with the higher employee rate. (L.B.M.C 3.80.420.6)

License Class License Type Base Tax Additional info
A Construction Contractors $348.68 + $18.11 / employee
B Manufacturing $348.68 + $9.06/ employee
C Miscellaneous Mobile $232.48 per vehicle
E Professionals $348.68 + $27.15/ employee
F Recreation and Entertainment $348.68 + $18.11/ employee
G Rental Residential Property (Apt house / Bed and Breakfast $75.35 + $33.07 per Unit
H Rental Non-Residential Property $0.037 / sq ft _
I Retail $348.68 + $8.97/ employee
J Services (salons, etc.) $348.68 + $18.11/ employee
K ** Vending Machines / Operations $4.93 / $1,000 gross receipts Minimum $104.10 Annually
L Wholesale $348.68 + $9.06/ employee
N Banking / Insurance no license tax + BID fee if in one
_ Home-based Business $213.84 + $9.06 / employee
_ Independent Contractors $213.84 + $18.11 / employee

### Unique Businesses Types = M License Classification

License Type Base Tax Per item / service Additional Info
Amusement Games / Machines $581.17 per machine / seat
Billiards / Pool / Ping Pong Table $129.13 per table
Bowling $129.13 per lane
Consignment (Regulated) $80.10 per space
Family Child Care $174.37 + $9.06 / employee _
Farmers Market $77.48 per stall
Medical Transport $129.13 per vehicle
*Miscellaneous Mobile $232.48 per vehicle
*Mobile Food Vendor $439.10 per vehicle
Movie or live theater $.79 per seat
Outdoor Sales Event (Swap Meet) $3,874.42 +2.58 per stall
Peddling $129.13 per day $1,291.31 per year
Pedicab $232.49 initial pedicab $20.86 each additional
Shoe Shine Stand $129.13 per stand
Space Rental - Residential $75.35 flat rate $33.07 per unit (additional)
*Vehicle for hire (taxi, limo, etc) $490.80 per vehicle
*Vehicle rental agency $129.13 per vehicle

*= Prorated licenses billed on January 1st each year
**= Prorated licenses billed on July 1st each year

Short Term Licenses

If your business location is in another city and you plan to do work in Long Beach, you are required to purchase an ‘out of city’ business license. The City recognizes the work may not last an entire year and offers pro-rated term licenses in three month increments.

Short Term License Type Base Tax Per Employee Fee
3 month $87.17 + $4.53
6 month $174.34 + $9.06
9 month $261.94 + $13.58

Special Events Licenses

License Type Base Tax Per Item / Service
Booth Selling $ 51.51 Per booth, per day
Display / Selling Booth $ 172.77 Per booth

State Licenses

State Seller's Permits

Some business types require additional state licenses to operate. Examples include food preparation, alcohol sales, tobacco sales, or massage services. City staff can tell you what licenses your business might need in order to operate.

Each alcoholic beverage licensee must possess a seller's permit from the State Board of Equalization. It is a misdemeanor to sell in this State without such a permit.

Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) License

Any person wishing to obtain an alcoholic beverage license should apply at the nearest office of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. All parties concerned, applicants for new licenses or transferors (present licensees), and transferees (applicants) should be present. It is desirable for an employee of the Department to advise all applicants in person of pertinent laws, rules, and regulations. Also, in the case of a transfer, the transferee may desire information regarding a temporary retail permit. This is a state license.

The district office that covers Long Beach is located in the City of Lakewood

Average time to process application

Make sure the plan accordingly because it can take many months to secure your ABC license.

Business Improvement District Fees

Businesses located in Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) must pay additional fees in order to pay for the extra services that the BIDs provide to businesses in these areas.

These fees are collected by the City and passed on to the BIDs for uses like street cleaning, special events, or local beautification. Learn more about BIDs here: Site Selection and Zoning

Once I file an application, is the information available to the public?

All information on the Business License application is public record except information like your SSN, federal tax ID, and CDL number, all of which would not be provided in a public records act request. A subpoena would be required to obtain that information.

Managing Your Business License