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Department of Finance

  • Terms of New Business License

    All business license fees are paid in advance and are due prior to the operation of the business.  The license is valid for the license year established by business license classification and must be renewed annually.  The expiration date of the license year is noted on the front of the business tax permit.  It is the sole responsibility of the business owner to make sure that the business license is renewed annually.

    Definition of an Employee

    For the purpose of business license taxation in the City of Pasadena, an employee is defined as a person engaged in the operation or conduct of any business, whether as owner or the owner's family, partner, agent, manager, solicitor and, any and all others employed or working in connection with the business whether paid or not.

    Food Services

    Any business that prepares or sells food is required to obtain health approval from the Pasadena Health Department.  For specifics or questions regarding health license regulations, please contact the Environmental Health Department at (626) 744-6004.

    Display of License

    The business license must be prominently displayed at the place of business.

    Additional Requirements for Businesses Operating in the South Lake Business Improvement District

    Businesses that are located in the South Lake Business Improvement District are assessed an additional fee.  In January 1988, Pasadena's Council Members approved the South Lake Business Improvement District and agreed to collect fees from participating businesses on behalf of the South Lake Business Association.  The South Lake Business Improvement District was set up to fund activities and projects aimed for the long-term betterment of South Lake's commercial area, including physical improvements and the overall promotion of businesses.  Every business within the district is assessed an annual fee.  The fee includes a basic assessment plus an amount based on a formula consisting of number of employees and type of business and location of business.

    Click here for a map of the boundaries of the South Lake Business District, please click below.
    If your business is located within the indicated boundaries, you are subject to the assessment which is billed and collected by the Business License Section.

    Home Based Businesses

    In some instances and under certain conditions a business may be operated in a residence.  The use must be secondary to the residence and cannot have signage or merchandise displayed.  Garages and carports cannot be used in conjunction with the business and only residents of the household can be employed by the business.  Certain business types are prohibited from the residence and include but are not limited to automotive repairs, hair salons and medical offices.

    All businesses operating from a residence must be in compliance with all zoning requirements and must obtain an approved Home Occupation Permit from the Code Compliance Section and a signed permission from the property owner.

    For further information and questions, contact Code Compliance Section at (626) 744-4633.



  • Business License Office Hours

    Monday through Friday 7:30 am - 5:15 pm

    City of Pasadena Business Services Section
    100 North Garfield Avenue, Room N106
    P.O. Box 7115
    Pasadena, CA 91109-7215
    Map and Directions >>

    Phone: (626) 744-4166


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