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Business License


On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1186 which adds a state fee of $1.00 on any applicant for a local business license or renewal. Effective January 1, 2013 this fee will be required from all new business licenses or renewals. The purpose of the fee is to provide a funding source for increased disability access and compliance with construction‐related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with the federal and state disability laws.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:

The Division of the State Architect at

The Department of Rehabilitation at

The California Commission on Disability Access at

Anyone doing business in the City of Cathedral City must have a business license. This includes contractors (and subcontractors) and those working out of their home. You can submit applications in person at City Hall or download them from this site and mail them to us. Home Occupations Applicants must apply in person.

Licenses expire one year from date of issue and are not prorated. Home Occupations and out–of-city businesses are activated within 7-14 business days of receipt of payment. All other businesses must not operate until their license is approved. The approval process usually takes between 7 to 28 business days, depending upon the type of business.

General information for all businesses:

Common Business Licenses

Please see the Fee Schedule (page 2 of the application) for an overview of license fees. If you have any questions, please call the Business License Division at (760) 770-0353.

A General In-City Business License is based on estimate of gross receipts for the first year of business. This application can be submitted through the mail or in person along with a Building Occupancy Clearance & Fire Inspection Forms. It is routed for approval from the Fire, Planning, Building, Redevelopment and Police departments. You can download the Business License Application and the Building Occupancy Clearance & Fire Inspection Forms.


Contact the Business License Administrator at (760) 770-0353 or the Planning Department at (760) 770-0340 to find out if your business has additional conditions.

A Home Occupation License costs $40.00 a year and consists of two forms, the standard Business License Application and the Home Occupation Permit. The applicant must appear in person to talk to Planning staff. If approved by Planning, the business license is activated within 7-14 business days from date of receipt.

An Out-of-City Business License is a vehicle flat fee (see Fee Schedule). License plate number is required and may be submitted by mail. The license is activated within 7-14 business days from date of receipt. You may download the Business License Application now.

  • A Contractor’s Business License (see Fee Schedule). This application may be submitted by mail unless it is a Home Occupation. The Contractor’s State License Board must be current and active. Include a copy of current contractor’s card with application. You may download the Business License Application now.
  • Anyone selling products must have a State Sellers Permit . If you are in-city business you must provide a copy of your Seller’s Permit when you apply. Please note your permit must show the Cathedral City business address. The State Board of Equalization  will be able to provide address changes, if needed.
  • If a Fictitious Business Name  is used, it must be filed through the County of Riverside. You will be required to publish the name in the local newspaper. Copies of the fictitious name statement and proof of publication (receipt) must be included with your application.
  • If a Partnership, Corporation, Trust or Limited Liability Corporation owns the business; you must provide a Federal ID Number (EIN). If you are a Sole Proprietor you may either use Social Security Number or a Federal ID Number. A husband and wife may not need to obtain a Federal ID Number. Please check the above link for details. Businesses that are corporations must attach copies of the first three pages of their Articles of Incorporation.
  • If you have employees, you must provide a State ID Number (EDD).
  • If you operate a business that is licensed by a state agency (such as contractors) you must provide your State License Number and a copy of the State Contractor Card.
  • Effective January 1, 2001, any business or government entity that is required to file a federal Form 1099-MISC for services received from an independent contractor is required to report specific independent contractor information to the California State Employment Development Department .
Some things to keep in mind
  • Business Licenses are not transferable to the new owner.
  • Any change in the business requires written notification to Cathedral City Business License
  • A $5.00 fee is required for processing a duplicate license.
  • Licenses are renewed annually. Even if you do not receive a renewal notice, it is your responsibility to ensure timely renewal. A penalty fee may be added to late renewals.
  • Your application will be returned to you unprocessed if it is incomplete and/or if proper documentation is not attached.

The following is a list of Business License Forms and Applications.

Business License
68-700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero
Cathedral City, Ca 92234
Phone: (760)770-0353
Fax: (760)202-1467

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