Business License

The Business License Division handles compliance with the City’s business license and permits regulations. It coordinates, reviews and processes applications for business activity permits with other City departments. The central cashier serves as a payment processing center for utility user tax, transient occupancy tax and other permits and fees.

If you are planning to conduct business in the City of El Monte you must obtain a business license.

Who is Required to Have a License

All contractors, consultants, and sub-contractors are required to obtain a business license; and, may be required to obtain additional permits. Businesses that aren't physically located within the city limits may also be required to obtain a City of El Monte business license.

A business license is also required for rental property owners (5+ units) and several other types of activities, including special events.

Starting a Business

All new businesses are required to submit a business license application and pay applicable fees. Existing business must submit a renewal form and pay annual fees. All business located within the City of El Monte must obtain a Business Occupancy Permit from the Planning Department.


Some businesses are also required to obtain a business permit., which typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. In order to obtain a permit :

  1. Determine if your business activity requires a permit.
  2. Obtain a Business Occupancy Permit, and all other necessary permits and approvals
  3. Submit Permit and Business License Applications and pay applicable fees
  4. Obtain approval from Permit Committee

Upon approval, your Business License and Permit Conditions will be mailed to you.

Seller's Permit

Seller's permit can be readily obtained at local California State Board of Equalization (BOE)

 Offices are located in the City of West Covina or the City  Norwalk area. 

Multiple Departments

Depending on the type of business you conduct, you may be required to interact with more than one City department to acquire a business license. For example, your business facility may require City water services, zoning, environmental or building code approval, or the services you provide may require special permit. 

Notice of Sb 1186-Mandated Fee

On September 19, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1186 ("SB 1186 inches) which requires California cities and counties to collect a State mandated fee of $1 from "any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, and from any applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument and permit" beginning January 1, 2013. In 2018 the SB 1186 mandated fee has increased to the account of four dollars. Notice of SB 1886-Mandated Fee (PDF).

Additional Information

For detailed information on the City's business tax, licenses and regulations, please review the City's Municipal Code. Cannabis related business may find additional information here.