Business License/Permit Paper Application and Tax/Fee Information


The Business License/Permit Application form is used for ALL business activities, including non-profit organizations.

All business activity, both commercial and homebased, must meet and operate in accordance to all federal, state, local laws, and the Carson Municipal Code.  

NEW BUSINESS LICENSE APPLICATION:  A new Business License application is required when applying for a new license, a change of ownership, or a change of ownership with a new Federal Tax ID Number issued by the IRS.  Some business activities require a regulatory permit and additional fees, in addition to a business license.  Businesses requiring a regulatory permit and associated fees can be found on the link below, Regulatory Permit Fee Schedule.

Please note all quoted tax rates and fees are for the calendar year 2023.

Businesses Located in Carson 

*    Commercial Business License (minimum) tax = $310.00 (includes processing fee, State CASp fee, inspection fees).

*    Homebased Business License (minimum) tax = $193.00 (includes processing fee, State CASp fee, Planning approval fee).

Businesses Located Outside of Carson

*    Business License (minimum) tax = $235.00 (includes processing fee, State CASp fee). 

Additional fees may be applied upon receipt and review of the application and payment.   

ANNUAL BUSINESS LICENSE RENEWAL:  The business license and permit (if applicable) is renewed and paid annually.  The payment renewal notice and payment is due immediately following the expiration date of the business license.  If the renewal and payment is not received within 2-months after the business license expiration date, a penalty fee of 25% is assessed and added to the account.  If the account is renewed 3-months after the expiration date, a penalty fee of 50% is assessed and added to the account.  

Apportioned Business License Tax is available to businesses located outside the city but conduct a portion of their business in Carson.  Click on the Apportioned License Fees link below for additional information.

RESIDENTIAL DAY CARE FACILITIES :  Effective on January 1, 2020, Senate Bill 234 became law allowing small and large family day care homes to operate in a residential location without the requirement of obtaining a local jurisdiction/city business license. Though a city business license is no longer required, all day care facilities must continue to comply with Los Angeles County and/or State laws and regulations. Commercial day care/child care facilities are still required to obtain a City of Carson business license and zoning approval before operating.

Online Business License Application, Renewal, Alarm Permit Application and/or Payment
Business License/Permit Application ( PDF )
Regulatory Permit Fee Schedule
Apportioned License Fees
Business License Penalty (Section 6326)
Business Permit Penalty (Section 6395)
2022 Tax Rate Schedule ( PDF )
2023 Tax Rate Schedule ( PDF )

NOTE: In 1996, the Carson voters passed Measure K which allows the City to annually adjust the Tax Rate Schedule for business license tax and permit, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Therefore, the tax rate will vary year to year.

On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law SB1186 which added a state mandated fee of $1.00 to an application for a local business license or similar instrument or permit, and the renewal. The purpose of this fee is to fund certified access specialist (CASp) compliance education and training so construction-related disability accessibility requirements are met.  On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law AB1379 which extends the CASp fee indefinitely.  From January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2023, the CASp fee is $4.00, and on January 1, 2024, the CASp fee will revert back to $1.

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   


For questions regarding your city licensing requirements, please contact the Revenue Division staff at (310) 952-1748.



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


Please Click Here to join our eNotify for City Council Agendas.