Colton On-Line Business License
- Apply for a Business License
- Make a Payment
- Conduct a Business License Search
- Report a Problem
- Email Business License at BusinessLicense@coltonca.gov
Business License Renewal Cycle for June
The business license cycle for June are for businesses located outside the City of Colton conducting business in the City of Colton.
If your business license has an expiration date of June 30, then the grace period to renew without late charges or penalties is by September 1.
Business License Renewal Cycle for December
The business license cycle for December are for businesses located in the City of Colton conducting business in the City of Colton.
If your business license has an expiration date of December 31, then the grace period to renew without late charges or penalties is by March 1.
Discovery & Audit Program
If you have received a letter from HdL Companies, please read the following:
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 email the HdL Business Support Center or call 888-602-0239.
Please click here to see an example of the letter you may have already received from HdL Companies. View a sample of notification letter (PDF).
Thank you, Business License Officer
Who Needs a Business License
- Any individual or sole owner
- Limited liability company
- Owners of commercial rental property(ies) are considered a business that generates income for an individual/corporation/other
- Owners of residential rental property(ies) are considered a business that generates income for an individual/corporation/other
If you are on the list above or wish to conduct business within the City of Colton a zoning clearance and business license must be secured.
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 (PDF)
- General Business: General Business License Application (PDF)
- Contractor Business: Contractor's Business License Application (PDF)
- Contractor and Owner Builders Sublist: License Sublist (PDF)
- Daily Business: Daily Business License Application (PDF)
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 7:30 am to 5 pm 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 page.
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 which is equal to our minimum business license tax, a $35 application fee, as well as a $4 mandatory state fee (SB 1186), for a total amount due of $104 is due at the time of filing your business license application. The $65 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 determined 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 (PDF).
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?
Business License Applications (PDF) 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.
2. How much does a Business License cost?
General/Out of City/Rental is $104 per year, depending on application type a Zoning Fee is required for the following: Home Occupation is $44 is a one time fee
- Business Occupancy Permit (BOP) is a one time fee set at $578
- Business Occupancy Waver (BOW) is a one time fee set at $21
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?
Home Occupation Permits (PDF) 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.
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 $104 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 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 the San Bernardino Recorder-Clerk website.
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 at 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 the State Board of Equalization website.
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 the 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 the Better Business Bureau website.