Business License

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Anyone doing business in the City of Cathedral City must have a business license. This includes contractors (and subcontractors) and those operating a business out of their home, known as a Home Occupation Permit. You can submit an application in person at City Hall or download it from this web site and mail it to City Hall. Home Occupation Applicants must apply in person at City Hall.

Licenses expire one year from date of issue and are not prorated for the calendar year. Home Occupations and out–of-city businesses are activated within 7-14 business days of receipt of payment. All other businesses will be reviewed internally and inspection(s) may need to occur prior to being approved. The approval process usually occurs within 7-21 business days, depending upon the type of business.

General information for all businesses:

Common Business Licenses

Please see the Application Instructions and the Fee Schedule (page 2 of the application) for an overview of license fees. If you have any questions, please call the Business License Administrator 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. The application and associated forms are routed for approval to the Building, Engineering, Fire, Planning, and Police departments. You can download the Business License Application and the Building Occupancy Clearance & Fire Inspection Forms.

Helpful Hint
Contact the Business License Administrator at (760) 770-0353 or the Planning Department at (760) 770-0344 to find out if there are additional conditions for your type of business.

A Home Occupation Permit has an initial (one-time) cost of $40.00 and consists of two forms, the standard Business License Application and the Home Occupation Permit. The applicant must appear in person to review with 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.

A Contractor’s Business License (see Fee Schedule). This application may be submitted by mail unless it is a Home Occupation business. The Contractor’s State License Board External Link Icon must be current and active. Include a copy of current contractor’s card with application.

Anyone selling products must have a State Sellers Permit External Link Icon. If you are an 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. If necessary, the State Board of Equalization External Link Icon will be able to provide address changes.

  • If a Fictitious Business Name External Link Icon 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 External Link Icon(Employer Identification 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 External Link Iconfrom the Employment Development Department (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 required to file a federal Form 1099-MISC for services received from an independent contractor is also required to report specific independent contractor information to the State of California Employment Development Department External Link Icon.

On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1186, which became effective January 1, 2013 requiring a state fee of $1.00 on any new business license application or renewal. Effective January 1, 2018 this fee increased to $4.00. 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 facilitating compliance with the federal and state disability laws in developing Certified Access Specialist programs (CASp).

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility applicable 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 from the following agencies:


Some things to keep in mind

  • Business Licenses are not transferable to the new owner. The owner closing or selling the business must complete a Business License Closing Form.
  • Any change in the business requires written notification to the Business License department.
  • 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.
  • If an application is incomplete and/or proper documentation is not attached, your application will be returned.


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

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Download Acrobat Reader Flash Player Download Flash Player Windows Media Player Download Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Download Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Download Word Viewer Excel Viewer Download Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer Download PowerPoint Viewer