Starting a Business

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Thinking about starting a business but need assistance? In addition to the below resources the City is happy to assist you with, an organization dedicated to assisting you with getting your business up and running, WorkCompLab, is also available to provide you critical information you can use. Click here for more information: Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Business 

Welcome to the City of La Quinta and thank you for choosing our city in which to establish your new business, or to serve our residents and visitors from another location outside the city limits.

All businesses operating within the city limits of La Quinta (including home-based businesses) are required to have a business license per City of La Quinta Municipal Code Section 3.28.020.

A business license form(s) may be obtained at the La Quinta Civic Center at the City's Customer Service Center or by clicking on the link below.

Business License Applications


An In-City Business License is based on 1) classification of your business; 2) estimated gross receipts for the first year of business; and 3) gross receipts for each year of business. The gross receipts are based upon the amount generated in the City of La Quinta.

An Out-of-City Vehicle Business License is based on a vehicle flat fee, the size of your vehicle and the number of vehicles that will be conducting business in our city. This license is for businesses based outside city limits that drive into the City of La Quinta.

An Out-of-City, Non-Vehicle Business License is based on 1) classification of your business;2) estimated gross receipts for the first year; and 3) gross receipts for each year of business. The business license gross receipts are based on the amount generated in the City of La Quinta.

A Contractor’s Business License is based on the Contractor’s classification. Please refer to the chart below:

Contractor Classification

License Classification



A or B License

General Contractor

$100.00 Per year or $50.00 Semi-annual

C or D License


$50.00 per year or

$25.00 Semi-annual

A,B,C, and D License

All Contractors

SB-1186 State Fee of $1.00


• All home based businesses operating in the City of La Quinta must obtain a Home Occupation Permit prior to obtaining a business license. Home Occupation Permits are obtained through the City of La Quinta Code Compliance Department and generally require a home inspection by City Code Compliance personnel. The fee for the Home Occupation permit is $70 and is a one-time fee unless there is a change of residence within the City of La Quinta. The permit is required prior to obtaining a City business license. For further information regarding a Home Occupation Permit, please call the Code Compliance Department at (760) 777-7050.

• Anyone selling products must have a State Seller's Permit. You must provide a copy of your Seller’s permit upon applying for your business license. (*Please note your permit must contain a La Quinta business address.) You may obtain a Seller's Permit from the California Board of Equalization.

• If a Fictitious Business Name is used, it must be filed through the County of Riverside. You will be required to publish the name in the local newspaper. A copy of the fictitious name statement must be included with your application. You may obtain a Fictitious Business Name application from the Riverside County Clerk’s Office.

Please note that your Fictitious Business Name on file with the County is only good for five years and must be renewed at the County. The County does not send a courtesy renewal notice, so please keep a record on file as a reminder to renew this County license.

• If you operate a business that is licensed by a State agency (i.e. contractor) you must provide your State License Number and a copy of the State Contractor Card.

Additional Informational Links:

California  Contractor's State License Board

County of Riverside Assessor - County Clerk - Recorder

California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control

California State Board of Equalization


  • Business licenses are not transferable to the new owner.
  • Any change in the business requires written notification to the City of La Quinta Business License Division.
  • A $5.00 fee is required for processing a duplicate license.
    Renewal notices will be sent out as a courtesy reminder. However, the responsibility for business license renewals lies with the business owner, and failure to receive the renewal notice will not relieve the applicant of an obligation for payment or penalties for the delinquency.
  • Your application will be returned to you unprocessed if it is incomplete and/or if proper documentation is not attached.
  • Thank you again for choosing our City to conduct your business activities. If you require additional assistance, please call the Customer Service Center at (760) 777-7125.
  • We value your comments.  If there is additional information that will improve our customer service please send an email or call us at (760) 777-7125 with your comments.