The City of Seal Beach Finance Department is responsible for the administration of the business license program, including processing all business license applications (except for State Licensed Contractors), which includes ensuring that businesses operating in the City are compliant with local, state and federal regulations. For questions, please contact us at:
Phone: (562) 269-2894
In accordance with the Seal Beach Municipal Code, Title 5, a business license is required for all businesses operating within City limits, including temporary activities and contractors with offices outside the City. The business license program benefits the well-being of the overall community by funding essential services, such as: Police, Fire, Community Development, Sidewalks, Streets and Parks.
The cost of a business license varies according to the type of business. For most businesses, the current fee is $223 per year. Businesses listed in the Seal Beach Municipal Code Section 5.10.025 Part C and Part D are required to pay the general business license fee of $223 along with additional amounts as described in the Code. The City provides for an exemption or reduced business license for any businesses operating in Seal Beach with an annual gross revenue/receipts of $25,000. To qualify, a copy of the most recent federal tax return (Schedule C or Schedule E from the Form 1040 or a Form 1065) must be submitted with the application paperwork and will be required annually during the renewal process. This policy does not apply to home occupation permits. Certain businesses such as banks, nonprofit organizations and qualifying disabled veterans are not required to pay the annual business license tax but are required to obtain a business license prior to conducting business in Seal Beach.
New food service establishments must comply with the Seal Beach Municipal Code Chapter 9.25 (Fats, Oil and Grease Management and Discharge Control), in addition to applying for a business license. As part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), cities are responsible for conducting inspections for correct handling of fats, oils, and greases. Upon confirmation of compliance, a FOG Permit will be issued annually and will require payment of the annual permit fee. For more information about this program, click here.
Business licenses are valid from July 1st through June 30th of each year. Businesses applying for a business license after January 31st are charged a reduced rate as their license also expires on June 30th.
Please visit the FAQ’s for additional information.
Home Occupation Permits
For individuals conducting business from their home, Municipal Code Section 11.4.05.60 requires a valid Home Occupation Permit, along with a City business license. Not all business types are permitted for home occupation purposes. Please review the applicable section of the Municipal Code or contact the Community Development Department for questions and additional information.
A reduced business license rate is available for disabled persons or seniors (with proof of age over 65), engaged in a home occupation as defined in the city’s zoning ordinance, and where gross revenue/receipts derived from such home occupation does not exceed $10,000 (before deductions) in any calendar year. To qualify, a copy of the most recent federal tax return (Schedule C or Schedule E from the Form 1040 or a Form 1065) must be submitted with the application paperwork. A home occupation with a start date in the initial year of business will be required to pay the appropriate full business tax/permit fee.
State Licensed Contractors
The City of Seal Beach Building & Safety division processes all business license applications for State Licensed Contractors. Please complete the Contractor's business license application including all workers compensation information, the license is valid for one year. The building division may be reached at (562) 431-2527 extension 1323.
A $25 application fee will be required with each application submitted. In addition to an application fee, an inspection fee will be required. The current inspection fee is $56 for Home Occupation Permits and $112 for General Business Licenses. The application fee and inspection fee must be paid in advance or your application will not be processed. Once your application has been processed, you will receive an invoice for the business license fee that is due.
Payment of the business license does not constitute zoning, building, or fire code approval. Check with the Department of Community Development in order to determine if your business can legally be established at your location.
Business licenses expire on June 30th of each year and are required to be renewed annually. Business license renewal forms will be mailed out for all active business licensees by June 1st. Payments are due on July 1st for all general business license and home occupation permits. For business licenses based on gross receipts, the due date is August 1st. Any business license’s not paid by the due date will be charged additional penalties as follows (amounts are cumulative):
General Business Licenses and Home Occupation Permits:
• August 1st – penalty is equal to 25% of the business license amount
• September 1st – penalty is equal to 50% of the business license amount
• October 1st – penalty is equal to 100% of the business license amount
Gross Receipts Business Licenses:
• September 1st – penalty is equal to 25% of the business license amount
• October 1st – penalty is equal to 50% of the business license amount
• November 1st – penalty is equal to 100% of the business license amount