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Am I doing “business”? What does Santa Ana consider a “business” and why may they think I am operating one?

Santa Ana Municipal Code Section 21-3 defines business as including “all activities engaged in or caused to be engaged in within the city, including any commercial or industrial enterprise, trade, profession, occupation, vocation, calling, or livelihood, including rental of residential or commercial real estate, and every other kind of activity whether or not carried on for gain or profit, and whether or not engaged in as a principal or as an independent contractor, but shall not include the services rendered by an employee to his employer.”

State law (Business & Professions Code Section 16300) requires cities to use the way a taxpayer reported income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and State Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to determine whether the taxpayer performed services as an employee or as a separate business entity.

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