Beginning January 1, 2013, any applicant that applies for a business license will be required to pay a $1.00 state fee in addition to the business license tax. For more information please click here.
If you are opening a business inside the Walnut city limits, see below for the following applications:
Sole Proprietor application click here
Corporation/Partnership application click here
Home Occupation application click here
Post Office Box application click here
Businesses outside Walnut may click here
If you need additional information please contact the Finance Department at (909) 595-7543.
SECTION 18-6 OF THE WALNUT MUNICIPAL CODE REQUIRES EVERY PERSON CONDUCTING A BUSINESS, PROFESSION, TRADE, OR OCCUPATION WITHIN THE CITY OF WALNUT TO OBTAIN A BUSINESS LICENSE, AND TO PAY THE APPLICABLE BUSINESS TAX.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS LICENSE?
A business license is an annual tax required by all businesses for doing business within the City of Walnut, and it must be obtained before any business, profession, trade, or occupation is conducted. A business license application and payment of the license tax is required of all businesses operating in the City. This includes home occupations and business locations outside of Walnut that periodically come into the City to conduct business.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS LICENSE TAX CERTIFICATE?
Once the business license application has been filed and the tax paid, a business license tax certificate is issued for the business. This certificate is generally referred to as the "business license," and is evidence of the fact that such business has complied with payment of their municipal business license tax. This certificate however does not serve to regulate the competence or integrity of a business. Business license tax certificates must be displayed at the fixed place of business at all times. For businesses that do not have a fixed location, the responsible parties must carry the license with them when doing business in the City.
WHAT IS THE BUSINESS LICENSE TAX?
The business license tax is the fee paid by a business when obtaining a business license. In the City of Walnut, the standard business license tax is calculated based on the number of employees on record for that business. Most businesses fall into this category, and pay the base fee of $45, plus an additional amount determined by their number of employees. However, a few businesses because of their method of operation, pay a flat tax rate predetermined for that type of business in the Walnut Municipal Code.
WHEN MUST THE BUSINESS LICENSE TAX BE PAID?
For new businesses, the business license tax must be paid prior to commencement of any business activities. Once established, a business must renew their business license every fiscal year, which begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. On June 30 of every year, all business licenses automatically expire. They must be renewed by July 1, and are considered delinquent as of August 1, at which time penalties will then be assessed. All businesses with a current business license on file will receive a license renewal notice prior to the expiration date. However, it is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain a current business license, whether a renewal notice is received or not.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING A BUSINESS LICENSE?
Obtaining a business license benefits the business owner in a variety of ways. Primarily, payment of the business license tax benefits both the community and the business sector by serving as a revenue generating measure, which supports City services. Obtaining a license will also add your business to the list of businesses currently on file with the City. This list serves as an information base of all businesses operating in Walnut, and is referred to by City staff in answering questions received by the public regarding businesses. Generally, the public questions the integrity of a business if the owner has not complied with the City's business license requirement. In addition, a Business Directory is maintained by the City and published on the City website. The licenses are also used for special promotional mailers the City publishes each year. Failure to obtain a license will prevent your business from being included in this highly effective, free advertising tool.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE?
A business license application may be picked up at the Walnut City Hall, located at 21201 La Puente Road, or you may request that one be mailed to you by calling the Business License Department at (909) 595-7543. Once the application is filled out completely, payment may be mailed or made in person at City Hall. The business license is made effective from the date payment is received; however, it takes approximately two weeks to process, and will be mailed to the mailing address listed on the application.
For businesses located in the City, a business license will not be processed until approvals have been obtained from both the Planning and Building & Safety Departments. The Planning Department determines whether the proposed location is zoned for that type of business. The Building & Safety Department determines whether the structure is safe and ready for occupancy. In addition, most businesses will also need to comply with requirements imposed by various County and State agencies, such as the County Health Department, County Clerk's Office, State Board of Equalization, Contractors State License Board, and State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
WHAT IF I HAVE MORE THAN ONE BUSINESS?
A separate business license is required for each different business operated in the City of Walnut. A person operating a second business at a primary business address must obtain a business license for both businesses; however the second business may qualify for a 50 percent reduction of the business tax rate. In addition, a separate business license is required for each separate branch location of a particular business.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CHANGE INFORMATION ON MY BUSINESS LICENSE?
If there is a change in ownership of an existing business, the new owners must apply for a new business license under their name, even if the business name stays the same. A change of business address within Walnut also requires a new business license application. If there is a change, which does not significantly alter the structure of the business, (such as adding or dropping a partner) no new application is required. However, a letter describing the change that took place must be submitted to the Business License Department, along with a $5 processing fee, so that your business license information may be updated.
MAY I OPERATE A BUSINESS FROM MY HOME?
Home occupations are permitted in the City provided that the business activities do not violate the City's Home Occupation Ordinance No. 225 (Section 25-26.1 of the Walnut Municipal Code). The primary condition of this ordinance is that the occupation within the home is secondary to the principal use of the property for residential purposes. A copy of this ordinance which lists all the conditions and reservations pertaining to home occupations is available from the Business License Department.
WHAT IF I HAVE A BUSINESS, BUT FAIL TO OBTAIN A BUSINESS LICENSE?
Operating a business in the City of Walnut without a valid business license constitutes a violation of Section 18-6 of the Walnut Municipal Code for each and every day such business is conducted. Enforcement of the municipal code will be made by contacting the business owner by telephone, mail, or in person to inform them of this requirement. Businesses who fail to obtain a business license after notification by City staff will be referred to the Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office.
For further information or assistance in obtaining a business license, please contact the City of Walnut Business License Staff at (909) 595-7543.