Business License Tax application forms are available at:City of Santa Ana Business Tax Office
20 Civic Center Plaza – Ross Annex 1st Floor
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Fictitious Name or Doing Business As (DBA)
Fictitious Names and DBAs are one in the same. If you propose to use a fictitious business name, contact the Orange County Clerk’s Office and a local newspaper to schedule a publication of notice. Fictitious name statements are filed with the Orange County Clerk’s Office, located at 560 N. Broadway Street, (Building 12 in the Santa Ana Civic Center) Santa Ana, California 92701. To contact the Orange County Clerk’s Office, call (714) 834-2889 or visit their web page at: www.ocrecorder.com. For more information on California Fictitious Name filing requirements, please see the California Business and Professions Code (Sections 17900-17930).
Sales Tax Permit
If you sell tangible personal property, you are required to obtain a Seller's Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number) from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), formerly part of the State Board of Equalization (SBE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California. To obtain a Sellers' Permit, contact the CDTFA at 1(800) 400-7115 or you can apply in person at one of the local district offices. Click here to obtain a listing of local district offices. The nearest California Department of Tax and Fee Administration office to Santa Ana City Hall is located at 16715 Von Karman Ave. #200 Irvine, California 92606 - (949) 440-3473.
Federal Employer Identification Number
If your business is organized as a corporation or partnership, or if you engage or plan to engage employees, you will need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) for the purpose of withholding FICA taxes and Social Security taxes. To obtain an FEIN, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1(657) 247-3438 or download an application for an Employer Identification Number. The nearest IRS office to Santa Ana City Hall is located across the street from the Orange County Superior Courthouse and the address is 801 W. Civic Center Dr., Santa Ana CA 92701.
State Employer Identification Number
If your business is organized as a corporation or partnership in the State of California, or if you engage or plan to engage employees in the State of California, you will need a State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) for the purpose of withholding State Income Tax, Disability and Unemployment Insurance. To contact the State Employment Development Department, call (888) 745-3886.
State Franchise Tax Board
Alcoholic Beverage Control Licenses
Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance
To obtain information regarding Liability and Workers’ Compensation Insurance requirements, contact your insurance agent. You may also wish to visit the California Department of Insurance’s website.
The following permits, licenses and/or identification numbers must be obtained prior to making application for a Santa Ana Business License:
- Fictitious Business Name - DBA (if applicable)
- Formerly part of the State Board of Equalization, A California Department of Tax and Fee Administration "Resale Number" (if applicable)
- Social Security Number (if sole owner without employees)
- California Driver's License Number or California Identification Number
- Federal Employer Identification Number (if corporation, partnership, or if employer)
- State Licensed Contractor's License Number and Classification (if applicable)
Home Occupation Business
Every business conducted from a home in the City of Santa Ana must have BOTH a City of Santa Ana business license and Home Occupation Permit. Home Occupation Permits are obtained from the Planning & Building Agency. An approved Home Occupation Permit must be submitted with your Business License Tax application.
Preparation or Sale of Food
If your establishment intends to prepare and/or sell food of any type, you must complete an application for a County of Orange Health Permit. The Orange County Health Care Agency can answer questions regarding your permit by calling (714) 433-6000.
Sale of Firearms or Ammunition
If you intend to engage in the sale of firearms or ammunition, you will be required to obtain a City of Santa Ana Firearm License and a City of Santa Ana Business License. In addition, a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) permit and a California Department of Justice (DOJ) permit are required. Contact the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms at (714) 347-9100 or for information on obtaining a federal permit for information regarding a California Department of Justice (DOJ) permit visit their website.
Advertising, Handbill Distributor, Solicitors Advertising
Advertising, Handbill Distributor, Solicitors Advertising pamphlets may be distributed in this city after a license has been obtained. Under no circumstance may advertising materials be placed in or on a parked vehicle; or, a mailbox, mail slot or receptacle unless postage is paid and delivery is made by the U.S. Postal Service.
The City of Santa Ana has a sign ordinance. If you plan to install a new sign or make changes in a sign that has been installed previously, please contact the Planning/Zoning Department.
Display of Business License Tax Receipt
All Business License Tax Receipts must be displayed on the premises. For those not having a fixed business address, the License Tax Receipt (or decal card) must be physically carried on the person and presented upon request.
Business License Transfers
A Regular Business License is not transferable. It is the responsibility of the owner or operator to advise the Business Tax Office of ownership changes, relocation or termination of business.
Renewal of Business Licenses
Once you have obtained a business license, a renewal will automatically be forwarded to the mailing address of record approximately thirty (30) days before your expiration date. If you do not receive a renewal notice before the expiration date of the business license, please contact the Business Tax Office.
Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of his/her responsibility in renewing the business license nor is it grounds for waiving any late penalties or interest due.
Renewal Filing Extensions
You may make a written request for a thirty (30) day extension to file and pay for any annual business license renewal. Requests must be in writing and must be signed and dated. Requests may also be submitted via email and must include a signature block in lieu of a signature. Requests must be received on or before the stated due date or must carry a post-mark date of not later than the stated due date.
Change of Business Address in the City
To process a change of business address, advise the Business Tax Office and request an amendment form to file an address correction or business address change.
Cancellation of Business License
To cancel an existing business license, advise the Business Tax Office in writing that you have ceased or will cease business or have or will sell your business or income property. Be sure to provide your Businesses License Tax account number and the date business has or will cease; you must sign your written notification. You may make your cancellation notification by simply completing the Cancellation of Business License statement found on the back of your official Business License Tax Receipt or on the back of your Renewal Notification or your Notice of Business License Tax Due. Requests may also be submitted via email at BusinessTax@santa-ana.org and must include a signature block in lieu of a signature.
Refund of Business License Fees
Business License fees are nonrefundable except when overpaid or paid in error. A processing fee is charged to cover administrative costs.
Law Enforcement Review
Business license applications received for the following categories will be referred to the Police Department for regulatory review and approval if required:
- Pawn Shop
- Weapons-related businesses
- Bingo Permits
- Adult Book Stores
- Dating or Escort Services
- Pool/Billiard Rooms
- Alcoholic Beverage Locations
- Tow Trucks-Private Property
- Tattoo Parlors
- Modeling Services
- Check Cashing
- Adult Theaters
- Dancing Places/Dancing Halls
- Massage Parlors
- Massage Therapy