Are you considering opening a business in Lancaster, California?
Anyone wishing to operate a business in Lancaster, CA will need to obtain a business license. You can visit the City of Lancaster website to download and print the application, or you can visit the finance office to request and fill out an application in person. They are located at 44933 Fern Avenue. They can be reached by phone at (661) 723-6237. Your business license application can be handed in in person to the finance department or you can mail it in, providing you need no additional applications, such as a home occupation application. Your application for business will have to be filled in completely with information regarding your business including (but not limited to):
- Business name
- Owner’s name(s) and contact information
- Physical address of business
- Business mailing address (if different from physical address) and contact information for your business
- Whether your business is an additional branch of another business
- A description of your business
- How many employees you plan to hire, whether they meet the requirements of the immigration and naturalization act, and whether you are able to verify their employment eligibility through the e-verify program
- If you plan to sell tobacco products
- Whether your business is a home occupation
- If applicable, Federal Employer’s ID number, state Tax ID number and/or social security
- A signature on your application denotes that you agree to comply with all laws and regulations associated with operating a business in Lancaster, CA.
All businesses in Lancaster that will operate from a commercial location will need a Lancaster Certificate of Occupancy questionnaire, which can be printed from the City of Lancaster website. It is a short questionnaire that will determine which agencies you will need inspections or approvals from before your business commences. The questionnaire is made up of simple yes or no questions and should be completed and returned with your business license application.
Do you plan to operate a Lancaster business from your home?
If your business is going to be located in a residential area, you will need to visit the Planning Department and discuss your proposed business. They are located at 44933 Clark Avenue. They are available by phone at (661) 723-6095. You can download and print your application from the City of Lancaster website. Your business license application, along with your home occupation application will need to be submitted in person at the above address. Please note that any applications that are missing information will not be processed, so be sure that you have accurately and completely filled in all information. The home occupation application is a four-page document that requests information on your Lancaster business activities, how you plan to use your home as your business base, all contact information and a name for your business, vehicle information and whether you plan to hire employees. The application also outlines the regulations and restrictions associated with running a business from your home. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these restrictions and regulations and to comply with them.
Are there fees associated with obtaining a Lancaster business license?
If you are receiving a general Lancaster commercial business license, you will have a flat fee of $67.00 plus an additional fee for employees. Each increment of 25 employees will increase your employee fee up to 76+ employees. You can expect to pay between $67.00 and $188.00 in addition to your $67.00 processing fee. A Lancaster Home Occupation processing fee is $44.00 and for a tobacco retail license processing fee it is $260.00. Your business license renewal is due on the anniversary of the date your business opened and will be $24.00 providing it is paid on time. If you are delinquent on your renewal, you will incur a 20% of original fee for the first month, then 10% each subsequent month up to a maximum 50% of your original fees.
Will you need additional Lancaster licenses or Lancaster permits?
You may, depending on the type of business that you plan to conduct. For example, a massage technician needs a host of separate applications and permits to conduct business in Lancaster, including inspections and approvals by the LA County Sheriff’s Department, additional fees and a separate business license application. (This information can be obtained from the City of Lancaster website). Depending on your certificate of occupancy questionnaire, you may find that your business requires separate approvals, inspections or permits and licenses. You will need to be in contact with the finance department to determine if your business needs any additional documentation to open. All permits and licenses should be in place before the start of your Lancaster business operations.
Do you have questions or concerns?
If you need further information, have more questions or have any concerns, you can contact the Finance Department at City of Lancaster, 44933 Fern Avenue, Lancaster, CA 93534-2461. You can reach them by phone at (661) 723-6237.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.