Permits & Licenses

When is a business license required?
Any person who conducts any business, trade, profession, calling or occupation in the city is required to obtain a license whether or not the physical business address is in or outside the City.

Do I need to come in person to apply?
If your business is physically located in the city limits of Whittier, you must apply in person or your application will not be accepted. Businesses located outside the city limits may apply by mail.

I want to apply for a business license. Can I download an application form from your web site?
Yes, click here to download the application in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat Reader Required). For more information, contact the Business License Division at (562) 567-9880.

Do I need a physical address for my business?
Yes. The business license application requires a physical address for the business location. The Planning Division checks the zoning on every city business license application. Private mailbox addresses are for mailing purposes only and cannot be used as a business address.

What if my business is located in the unincorporated area of Whittier?

Contact Unincorporated Los Angeles County Business Licenses at (213)974-2011 or visit their website at:

What if I have more than one location in Whittier?
A separate license must be obtained for each branch establishment or separate place of business.

Do I have to display my business license?
The business license must be posted or exhibited in a conspicuous part of the place of business. The owner of a mobile business must carry his license with him at all times while engaged or operating within the city.

Is the business license transferable?
A license cannot be transferred unless a licensee sells his entire business as a corporation. No license shall be valid for any location other than that specified on the business license. Contact the Business License Office if you move your business, (562) 567-9880.

What if I want to operate my business from my home?
Whittier Municipal Code Section 18.10.02 regulates businesses based out of the home. Contact the Planning Division of the Community Development Department at (562) 567-9320 for the regulations.

What if I’m using a fictitious name for my business name?
If you are using a fictitious business name (dba-doing business as), California Business & Professions Code requires that you file a fictitious name statement. Contact the Los Angeles County Clerk/Recorder’s Office at (562)466-1694 or visit their website at for further information.

May I put up a sign?
Check with the Planning Division before using or installing any type of permanent or temporary sign or banner. Signs are not allowed to be posted in the parkway or on City trees.

What if my business involves retail sales?
A Seller’s Permit is required if your business engages in the sale of tangible goods by wholesale or retail. Contact the State Board of Equalization at (562) 466-1694 or visit their website at for information.

How do I obtain a massage permit?
The City of Whittier has a handout on Massage Technicians and Therapists that explains the Whittier Municipal Code. Massage is permitted under the following conditions: a) When performed by or under the direct supervision of a medical doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or physical therapist. b) When approved with an Adult Conditional Use Permit. You can pick up an application for the Permit at the Planning Division counter.