Welcome to the City of Whittier. We are pleased that you are considering Whittier for the location of your business.
This page is intended as a summary of information you will need to know in order to operate a business in the City. The guide is not all-inclusive. If you have questions please contact the Business License Division at 562-567-9880 or see the FAQ's page.
The City of Whittier requires all businesses operating in the City to pay an annual business license tax. 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.
Hours of Operation:
Daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except weekends and holidays.
Business License Requirements
- Owners of businesses located within the city limits will need approval from our Planning Division.
- Businesses must have a physical address, P.O. Box and mail collection services can only be used as mailing addresses.
- Businesses located outside the City limits may apply by mail.
- Separate licenses must be obtained for each branch establishment or separate place of business.
- 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.
- Business licenses must be posted or exhibited in a conspicuous place at the business location.
- Mobile businesses must carry their license while conducting business in the City.
- Businesses using a name other than their own must apply for a fictitious business name (DBA) and attach a copy of the certificate to the business license application.
- Apply - Submit a business license application online
- Renew – Renew business license online
- Pay – Pay an outstanding balance for business license
- Close – Close a business online
- Search – Business search
- Report a Problem
- Update – Request account information
Pursuant to Section 405 c (2)C(i) of Title 42 of the United States Code, entrepreneurs are required to submit their Social Security number to the City of Whittier. Although disclosure of this information is mandatory in order for the City to properly administer the business license tax program, Social Security numbers are not public record and will not be disclosed to any members of the public.
FOG Fee - The City of Whittier is required by both the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region, under NPDES Permit No. CAS004001, Order No. R4-2012-0175, and the State Water Resources Control Board, under Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ, to conduct environmental compliance inspections of commercial facilities within its jurisdiction. Your facility and operations will be inspected by the City for compliance with these Orders. The purpose of the environmental inspection is to:
- Ensure that pollutants such as oil, waste water and trash do not discharge directly from your facility and into the storm drain system, and
- Ensure that excess fats, oils and grease (FOG) do not discharge into the sanitary sewer lines. Excess FOG creates clogs in sewer lines, which can cause sewer overflows. Sewer overflows can result in the discharge raw sewage into the storm drain system.
Please refer to the City of Whittier’s user fee schedule for the current FOG inspection cost.
Please contact the City of Whittier Public Works Department at (562) 567-9500 if you have any questions or concerns.
California Legislative SB-1186 C (7.5)(4467)(a)(4469)/AB-1379 C (667) Statutes 2017 states that any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, and from any applicant for the renewal of a business license shall pay an additional fee of four dollars ($4) for that license, instrument, or permit which shall be collected by the city, county, or city and county that issued the license, instrument or permit.
(4469) On and after January 1, 2013, each city, county, or city and county shall provide to an applicant for a business license or equivalent instrument or permit and to an applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument or permit, the following information: “Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
- The Division of the State Architect
- The Department of Rehabilitation
- The California Commission on Disability Access”
Business License Renewal
The City of Whittier offers online renewal for most businesses.
Out of City Contractors – Please call the Business License office at (562) 567-9880 so we set up your account for online renewal.
Businesses eligible for online renewal will have a PIN number on the bottom right corner of their renewal form. Your business license number and PIN number will be needed to renew online by credit card. The online renewal process includes review of all license information and the ability to update the mailing address, phone numbers, email and other contact information. If there is a change in ownership the new owner needs to apply for a new business license and the old owner will close out their business license. If you require a change to your business address, please call the Business License office at 562-567-9880. If your business is based on gross receipts, have the gross receipts total available to enter and the tax will be calculated for you. Licenses can be renewed online up to six (6) months after the expiration date. If the tax is paid after the one month grace period, penalties due will be calculated and can be paid online too.
- Gross Receipts Tax Chart - Calculate your business tax
- Business License Rates - Rates for the most common business types
- Film Permits - Information regarding obtaining permits for filming in Whittier.
- Uptown Association Information - Information regarding opening a business in the Uptown area
- LA County Registrar-Recorder - Apply for a fictitious business name (DBA)
- Guide to Doing Business in Whittier - Information on how to start a business
If you have any questions regarding this service, please contact Business License at (562) 567-9880.