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Business License

New Item: On-Line Business License 

New Item: Discovery and Audit Program 2016

If you have received a letter from HdL Companies, please read the following:

The City of Colton has recently contracted with HdL Companies to conduct a review of the businesses that are operating in the City.

To operate any business within the City of Colton you must first obtain a business license.     The purpose of the review is to make certain that all businesses operating in the City have a current business license as required by the City’s Municipal Code.

If you received a letter with an application from HdL Companies we ask that you extend your cooperation to their staff during the review process.    You may contact the HdL Business Support Center at 888-602-0239 or by email at .

Please click here to see an example of the letter you may have already received from HdL Companies.  Hyperlink to sample of notification letter in PDF format

Thank you, 

Business License Officer

Who Needs a Business License
Any individual, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietor who wishes to conduct business within the City of Colton must secure a business license. City of Colton Municipal Code, Chapter 5.02.030 License-Required, states "it is unlawful for any person to transact and carry on any business, trade, profession, calling, or occupation in the city without first having procured a license to do so and without complying with any and all applicable provisions of this chapter". A separate license may be required for each branch or location of the business.

Rental Property: Rental Housing Business License Application
General Business:
General Business License Application
Contractor Business: Contractor's Business License Application
Contractor and Owner Builders Sublist:
License Sublist
Daily Business: Daily Business License Application 

Business License Requirements
We want your business to start successfully. Before applying for your business license or making significant business commitments, you may want to contact one of our Business License Division personnel or Planning Division personnel in the Development Services Department. A City planner can tell you about City zoning requirements for your type of business and any other requirements you need to follow in order to conduct business in the City of Colton. You may pick up applications at the Development Services Department office, 659 N. La Cadena Drive, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Some businesses may need more than a business license. All businesses must comply with all applicable City, County, State, and Federal laws and regulations. To find out if your business needs further licensing from State or Federal agencies, please contact the California Department of Consumer Affairs

Business Occupancy Permit
All businesses which will be operating from a commercial or industrial property location is required to obtain a Business Occupancy Permit from the Planning Division before a business License will be issued. Please contact the Planning Division at (909) 370-5079 for further information, or visit the Applications and Information webpage.

Home Occupation Permit
All businesses which will be operating a business from a residence is required to obtain a Home Occupation Permit from the Planning Division before a business license will be issued. Please contact the Planning Division at (909) 370-5079 for further information.

Business License Application Process
Upon completion of your occupancy permit process you will apply for your City Business License (Business License Application). A deposit of $65.00 which is equal to our minimum business license tax, a $35.00 application fee, as well as a $1.00 mandatory state fee (SB 1186), for a total amount due of $101.00 is due at the time of filing your business license application. The $65.00 deposit will show up as a credit on your renewal notice at the end of the calendar year. At the time of application, a copy of your Fictitious Business Name Filing or Articles of Incorporation, Resale Permit from the State Board of Equalization, San Bernardino County Health Permit, shall be submitted if required for your business.

Business License Fee Schedule
All licenses with the City of Colton situs address will expire on December 31 of the current calendar year regardless of when you obtained it. All license with an out of the City situs address will expire on June 30 of the current fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) regardless of when you obtained it. Your actual business license tax is determined by your actual gross receipts during the calendar year. The first year you obtain your license, your gross receipts will be ascertained from the date your business opened through the last day of the calendar year. For each subsequent year your business license tax will be determinted by the previous year's total gross receipts. The business license tax is collected in arrears as it is based on actual gross receipts per the Business License Fee Schedule:
Business License Fee Schedule

Renewing A Business License
A renewal statement will be mailed out two weeks prior to the expiration date of your license.

Business License FAQ
1. How do I get an application for a City of Colton Business License?
Applications are available online or at the Development Services Department, 659 North La Cadena Drive. Please call (909) 370-5079 to request an application by mail or fax.
Business License Application

2. How much does a Business License cost?
General/Out of City/Rental is $101.00 per year, depending on application type a Zoning Fee is required for the following:
Home Occupation is $44.00 is a one time fee
Business Occupancy Permit (BOP) is a one time fee set at $250.00

3. What if my business is home-based?
Every business conducted from a home in the City of Colton must have a Business License and a Home Occupation Permit. Both applications must be submitted together, along with payment, to the Development Services Department at 659 North La Cadena Drive

4. Where do I get the application for a Home Occupation Permit?
Applications are available online (Home Occupation Permit) or at the Development Services Department, 659 North La Cadena Drive. Please call (909) 370-5079 to request an application by mail or fax.

5. How long does it take to receive a Business License?
Business Licenses are mailed out approximately 2 to 3 weeks after an application has been submitted and the $101.00 fee.

6. What if I sell my business?
A Business License is not transferable. The License is terminated when business ownership changes. The new owner will be responsible for obtaining his/her own Business License.

7. When do I need to renew my Business License?
Once you have obtained a Business License, which is valid for one (1) year, a renewal will automatically be sent to the mailing address of record approximately two weeks before the expiration date. If you do not receive a renewal notice before the expiration date of the Business License, please contact the Business License Division. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of his/her responsibility to renew the Business License nor is it grounds for waiving any penalties/late fees due.

8. How do I obtain a Fictitious Business Name?
Fictitious Business Names are filed with the County of San Bernardino Recorder-Clerk's Office. To contact the Recorder-Clerk's Office, call (909) 387-8306 or visit their website. County of San Bernardino Recorder-Clerk Office

Inland Empire Community Newspaper will file the Fictitious Business Name with the County Recorder and publish your Fictitious Business Name statement. Contact Inland Empire Community Newspaper, (909) 381-9898.

9. How do I obtain a Resale, Seller's, or Sales Tax Permit?
To obtain a Seller's Permit, contact the State Board of Equalization at (800) 400-7115, or visit their website. State Board of Equalization

10. If I hire someone to do work at my home, such as gardening or housekeeping services, do they need to have a City of Colton Business License?
Yes. All persons or businesses doing work within the City limits are required to obtain a City of Colton Business License. To verify if the person you hired has a Business License, please call (909) 370-5079.

11. What if I have a complaint about a contractor that I hired to do work at my home?
All complaints against contractors are handled through the Contractors State License Board. They can be reached at (800) 321-2752, or visit their website. California Contractors State License Board website

12. What if I have a complaint about a business located in the City of Colton?
The City does not handle complaints about unfair business practice or poor service. If the complaint is regarding unfair business practice or poor service, contact the Better Business Bureau at (800) 675-8118 or visit their website. Better Business Bureau Website

Business License
Contact Us by Email

659 N. La Cadena Drive
Colton CA 92324

Ph: (909) 370-5079

Phone Hours
Monday - Thursday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Office Hours
Monday - Thursday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

2015 New Hours
Monday - Thursday
7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Starting January 5, 2015

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