General Information

  General Information  
     
 

We believe that the availability of information is a prime ingredient in obtaining cooperative compliance with the City’s Business Tax Ordinance.

This site contains a brief summary of the City’s Business Tax requirements. It has been prepared to provide important Business Tax and related information to the business community, citizens and those contemplating opening a business in the City of Carson.

We have addressed the most frequently asked questions (FAQ). If you have questions or concerns that have not been addressed in this web site, please contact the Revenue Division. Staff members are available to assist you between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
 

 
  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  
 
1 What is a Business Tax?
2 Who is required to pay the tax?
3 How do I apply for a Business License?
4 How is the amount for a business license determined?
5 What is involved in the issuance of a tax certificate?
6 May a business tax certificate be transferred to a new location?
7 May a business license or permit be transferred from one owner to another?
8 Is a separate business tax certificate required for more than one type of business at the same location?
9 Does one certificate cover different branch locations or multiple locations?
10 May a business be operated from home?
11 What is a business permit?
12 What steps are involved in the granting of a business permit?
13 What is an alarm permit?
14 FTB Tax Registration Program FAQ
15 Where to start?
 
 

 

 
  WHAT IS A BUSINESS TAX? 

 

The Business Tax is a revenue generating measure and is imposed for the privilege of doing business in the City of Carson.   The Business Tax Certificate is generally referred as a "Business License".  The Business Tax benefits both the community and the business sector by generating revenue to support City Services.

 

Back to top 



WHO IS REQUIRED TO PAY THE TAX? 

Carson Municipal Code (CMC) §6310 requires everyone who conducts or purpots to conduct, either directly or indirectly, any busines, profession, trade or occupation, wheter or not said person has a fixed place of business within the City, to pay a Business Tax.

 

Back to top 

 

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE? 

You may download the appropriate forms from this site or request them by phone, e-mail or by appearing in person at the Revenue Division public counter in City Hall. 

 

1.  NEW BUSINESSES – All business taxes are payable in advance and must be paid PRIOR to the commencement of any business activity. 

2. ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES – Once a business is on record, all renewal information will be mailed automatically prior to the next tax period.  It is, however, the responsibility of the owner to maintain a current certificate regardless of whether or not a renewal notice is sent. 

Back to top

 

HOW IS THE AMOUNT FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE DETERMINED? 

Retail, wholesale, manufacturing, warehousing, profession and semi-professional type operations pay a tax based on the number of employees.  Most businesses will fall into this category.  Some businesses, because of their peculiar method of operation, pay a flat rate tax.  

In 1996, Carson voters passed and approved Measure K which allowed the City of Carson to adjust its schedule of business taxes annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  The tax rate, therefore, varies from year to year.  To obtain the tax rate for a particular operation, please contact the Revenue Division staff. 

 

Back to top   

 

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE ISSUANCE OF A TAX CERTIFICATE? 

For businesses with a physical location in the City, CMC §6320 requires that inspections be made prior to the issuance of a certificate to ensure compliance with the mandates of the Carson Municipal Code. 

The departments involved in the approval process are the Planning & Environmental Services of the Development Services Group, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Los Angeles County Health Department.  Approval from the Sheriff’s Department is also required for businesses that muse secure a regulatory permit. 

An initial application fee in the amount of $100.00 is required at the time of application to offset the cost of these inspections.  The annual renewal processing fee is $15.00.  

Your business may be subject to regulations of the State of California.  Please consult with the appropriate State Departments for further regulations pertaining to your business activity.  A list of government agencies is also available on this site. 

 

Back to top 

 

MAY A BUSINESS TAX CERTIFICATE BE TRANSFERRED TO A NEW LOCATION? 

Yes, subject to the approval of all inspecting agencies and payment of a transfer fee.

 

Back to top 

 

MAY A BUSINESS LICENSE OR PERMIT BE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE OWNER TO ANOTHER? 

When the structure of a business entity is substantially changed, such as through acquisition by another entity, the new entity is required to obtain a new business tax certificate.  However, in the case of adding or dropping a partner, no new certificate is required. 

 

Back to top 

 

IS A SEPARATE BUSINESS TAX CERTIFICATE REQUIRED FOR MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF BUSINESS AT THE SAME LOCATION? 

YES.  A separate business tax certificate may be required for different business activities performed at the same location.  The full fee is required for business for which the highest tax is imposed and the second business activity will be taxed at a rate of one-half (1/2) of the required fee.  The half-fee, however, will not apply to incidental operations such as juke boxes, vending machines or amusement machines on the premises. 

 

Back to top 

 

DOES ONE CERTIFICATE COVER DIFFERENT BRANCH LOCATIONS OR MULTIPLE LOCATIONS? 

NO.  CMC §6324 requires that a separate business tax certificate must be obtained for each business location within the City. 

 

Back to top

 

 MAY A BUSINESS BE OPERATED FROM HOME?

 YES.  Some occupations are permitted provided that:  

1. The home occupation is secondary and incidental to the principal use of the property (residential). 

2.   The home occupation is conducted solely by the inhabitants of the property and no more than one type of business activity is conducted from the premises. 

Due to strict zoning regulations pertaining to business activities conducted from the home, please contact Planning and Environmental Services before commencing with any activity.  

Back to top 

 

WHAT IS A BUSINESS PERMIT? 

A Business Permit is a regulatory measure and is required for those business operations that may impact the public peace, safety or welfare of the city and its inhabitants.  For those businesses, a Business Permit is required in addition to the Business Tax Certificate. 

  Back to top 

 

WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED IN THE GRANTING OF A BUSINESS PERMIT? 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reviews and investigates all permit applications.  The permit will not be granted if these types of conditions exist:  

1.   The business operation will create and/or maintain a public nuisance. 

2.  The business operation would be detrimental to the public interest or endanger the public health, safety, welfare or morals. 

3.  The applicant is of bad moral character and it would not serve the public interest if the permit was granted. 

Back to top 

 

WHAT IS AN ALARM PERMIT? 

An Alarm Permit is a regulatory measure imposed on any person or business that maintains an alarm system which is used for the detection of unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility.  Effective December 2, 1993, a $35.00 permit fee is required of all businesses and residents who maintain a burglar alarm system.  Effective September 1, 2004, a $20 annual renewal fee is also required.  

Aditionally, in order to minimize the significant waste of law enforcement resources caused by the excessive number of false alarms, the service charges are assessed as follows:  

  •     More than three (3) false alarm activations in ANY 12 month period shall be assessed a $100.00 service charge per occurrence.   

ALARM PERMIT RENEWAL EXEMPTIONS  

Senior citizens renewing an alarm system permit for a residence is exempt from the annual renewal fee. 

To obtain an exemption, the senior citizen must provide documentation that they are the responsible party for the alarm system, along with satisfactory proof of age (60+).  Granting of the exemption shall not excuse the requirement of annually renewing an alarm system permit. 

Disabled persons renewing an alarm system permit for a residence is exempt from the annual renewal fee.  To obtain the exemption, a disabled person must be the person responsible for the alarm system, and must present satisfactory proof of disability as defined in California Vehicle Code Section 295.5.  Granting of the exemption shall not excuse the requirement of annually renewing an alarm system permit. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Exemptions do not apply to the initial $35.00 permit fee.

Back to top 

 

WHERE TO START? 

Prior to entering into any purchase, lease or rental agreement, we suggest that you consult with the Planning Department at (310) 952-1761 to ensure that your business activity will be permitted at the location you have selected.  

If you will be engaging in the sale of tangible properties, a Seller’s Permit is required.  Contact the State Board of Equalization. 

For employment tax information, please contact the  State Employment Development Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Franchise Tax Board .

For fictitious business name (D.B.A.), contact the L.A. County Bureau of Fictitious Names or a local newspaper:  L.A. Times, Daily Breeze or Press Telegram. 

For general assistance in operating your business, contact the Small Business Administration. 

The Carson Chamber of Commerce (310) 217-4590 is also a good source of information for business operators.

 
 
     
     
   
   
   
   

 

City Hall Contact

701 E Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745
(310) 830-7600, 7 AM - 6 PM
Monday - Thursday
24-hour automated: (310) 952-1700

E-NOTIFY

Please enter your email below to get City Council Agendas.
© 2006-2016 City of Carson, California. All Rights Reserved.