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Business License Questions & Answers

Please review the frequently asked questions to help answer any questions you may have on new business licenses or renewals. Download a printable version of these FAQs: Business License FAQs.

  • What Is a Business License?

    A business license is required in order to conduct business legally within the city limits. The purpose of the license is to provide funding for general services such as police and fire protection, crime prevention, and many other community services, which may benefit the business.

  • Who Needs a Business License?

    Per the City of Moreno Valley Municipal Code Title 5.02.020(A) Business Regulation, all businesses including, Rental Property, Non-Profit Organizations, Independent Contractors, Churches and Religious Organizations operating in the City of Moreno Valley are required to have a business license. This includes businesses which operate from a home, commercial location or subleases within an existing business. A separate business license certificate is required for each branch or location within the city. If you conduct business activities within the City of Moreno Valley but are located outside the City, you are required to have a Moreno Valley business license.

    • Rental Property
      For owners of multiple single family residential rental properties a business license is needed for each property. One Business License Application Fee will be charged if you have ten (10) or less properties. Property owners with more than ten properties pay a separate application fee for each property.
    • Non-Profit Organizations, Churches and Religious Organizations
      A business license is required for Non-Profit, Churches and Religious Organizations. With proof of a 501(c) (3) Non-Profit Status, they are exempt from the business license processing fee and gross receipts tax.

    Conducting Business Legally 

    The issuance of a business license does not entitle the license holder to conduct any business which is otherwise prohibited. Businesses may also be required to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, Home Occupation Permit, Conditional Use Permit, and/or other City, County, State, or Federal approvals before a business may operate.

    • Commercial Businesses 
      Each commercial business located within the City of Moreno Valley must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the Building and Safety Department.
    • Home-Based Businesses 
      Each home-based business located within the City of Moreno Valley must obtain a Home Occupation Permit from the Planning Department.
  • Who can I contact with any Business License questions?

    For any of your business license questions, you may contact the City of Moreno Valley at:
    Phone: 951-413-3080 
    City Website: 
    Business License Website:

    Additionally, please feel free to stop by City Hall located at: 
    14177 Frederick Street 
    Moreno Valley, CA 92553

  • How long is a Business License valid?

    Business licenses are valid from January 1st through December 31st of each year. For any new business applying for a business license, the license period will be adjusted to reflect the applicable start date and all licenses will expire on December 31st of each year.

  • When are Business License renewals due?

    All renewals are due by January 31st of each year and become delinquent if received after that date. Penalties and Interest will be assessed if the Renewal Application Form is not received by January 31st.

    Renew Your Business License online...

  • What type of Business Entity should I have?

    You may choose to conduct a business as a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or a limited liability company. You should consult with a legal representative and an accountant before making any determination as to the type of business entity to form. For more information on each type of business entity, please visit the California Business Portal section of the Secretary of State's website. Unless you conduct your business as a sole proprietorship, you must file papers with the Secretary of State's office: 

    Secretary of State Business Programs Division 
    1500 11th St. Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: 916-657-5448

  • What is a Fictitious Name Statement and who must file?

    If you use a business name other than your own legal surname, you must file a fictitious name statement with the Riverside County Clerk. Every individual, partnership, and other associations and corporations who regularly transact business for profit in this state under a fictitious business name must file a fictitious business name statement.

    County of Riverside Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder 

    2427 Gateway Dr. 
    Riverside CA 92507
    Phone: 951-486-7000

  • Where can I obtain a Seller's Permit, (Retail Sales Tax Number)?

    The California Department of Taxes and Fees Administration (CDTFA) issues seller's permits and is responsible for the administration and collection of the state's sales and use, fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and other special taxes and fees.

    California Department of Taxes and Fees Administration (CDTFA)
    3737 Main St. #1000
    Riverside, CA 92506

  • Where do I obtain a Federal Tax ID Number?

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues federal employer identification numbers and administers federal payroll taxes, including social security, Medicare, federal unemployment insurance and federal income tax withholding. For more information, please contact:

    Internal Revenue Service 
    290 N. D St. 
    San Bernardino CA 92401
    Ph: 909-388-8108

  • Where do I get my State Employer Identification Number?

    The Employment Development Department (EDD) issues state employer identification numbers, (SEIN) and administers California's payroll taxes, including unemployment insurance, employment training tax, state disability insurance, and California personal income tax withholding.

    Employment Development Department 
    1180 Palmyrita Ave. #B
    Riverside CA 92501 
    Phone: 888-745-3886

  • What type of Permits or Licenses do I need to start my business?

    Depending upon the type of business you conduct, you may also be required to obtain special license(s) or permits from the State of California, County of Riverside, City of Moreno Valley or other agencies. To determine which occupations and businesses require additional licenses or permits you may contact:

    • Bureau of Consumer Affairs
      Office of Small Business
      1121 L St. #600 
      Sacramento, CA 95817 
      Ph: 800-952-5210 
    • CalGold
      1325 J St., Suite 1800 
      Sacramento, CA 95814
  • I'm going to be serving Food Products. Do I need special approvals?

    Yes. The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health reviews all plans for compliance with State of California health codes. They are interested in the type of restaurant equipment installed, the categories of food you are handling and standards relating to employee hygiene. The Health Department can be reached at:

    Riverside County
    Department of Environmental Health
    4065 County Circle Dr.
    Riverside CA 90503 
    Phone: 951-358-5172 
    800 S. Sanderson #200 
    Hemet CA 92545

  • If I sell any Alcoholic Beverages, will I need any special approvals?

    Yes. The sale and serving of alcoholic beverages in conjunction with any business is governed by the State of California Alcoholic Beverage Control Agency (ABC). Please contact them regarding all pertinent rules, regulations and required permits. In addition, to obtaining a license from the ABC, your business may also require special review and approvals from the City of Moreno Valley Planning Department.

    Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control
    3737 Main St., Suite #900 
    Riverside, CA 92501 
    Phone: 951-782-4400

  • If I sell Tobacco Products do I need special permits?

    Yes. The sale of Tobacco Products in conjunction with any business is governed by the California Department of Taxes and Fees Administration (CDTFA) and Riverside County Department of Environmental Health. Please contact them regarding all pertinent rules, regulations and required permits.

  • Where can I find a copy of the Business License Ordinance

    Click here for the City of Moreno Valley Business License Ordinance