Business Licenses

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Business License Tax Information

A business license is required of anyone doing business in the City of El Cajon. This includes those who work out of their home, and businesses from outside the City of El Cajon that perform services and/or sales at the customer's place of business or residence in El Cajon.

Application for Business License

The application, which includes instructions, and the tax schedule, may be downloaded here.

For businesses with a location inside El Cajon, the Community Development department will review the application to ensure that the proposed business location is in an approved zone for the business use. In addition, Building and Fire will review the application and may conduct onsite inspections. 

Annual Renewal

Business licenses expire on December 31 and courtesy renewal notices are mailed mid-November of each year. Business license renewal process usually takes four to six weeks in the months of December, January and February. However, it may take longer if the business location and/or description of business have changed. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) on the 2016 renewal process are availalbe here.

Business License Lists 

Business license listings are updated monthly and are available in the following links:

New Businesses 
Listing by Firm Name 

Special Operation (Regulated) And Other Business Licenses

The following businesses have additional fees and/or requirements. Please call our office for applications and further information:

Alcohol/Tobacco Free Public Dance
Arcade (4 or more coin-operated amusement devices)
Billiard/Pool Room (3 or more tables)
Bingo Games
Cabaret (alcohol served with live entertainment and/or dancing)
Charitable/Religious Soliciting
Closing Out Sale
Craft or Collector Show
Dance Hall
Escort Service
Firearm Sales
Holistic Health Practitioner
Junkyards/Auto Dismantling
Massage Establishment
Massage Technician
Merchandise Coupon Sales
Mobile Home Park
Police Towing Service
Private Patrol Service
Secondhand Store
Soliciting (Door to Door)
Sound Truck
Swap Meet Operation
Taxicab Operator
Vehicle for Hire

Additional Resources For Businesses

Seller's Permit:
A Seller's Permit is required of all persons selling tangible property. This permit must show the El Cajon address where the business is being conducted. Contact the California Board of Equalization:

Address: 15015 Avenue of Science, Suite 200; San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (858) 385-4700

You may apply for a seller's permit online using the following link:

Fictitious Names:
If using a fictitious name, it must be filed with the County of San Diego. A fictitious name is a business name that does not include the surname of the individual owner and each of the partners, or the nature of the business is not clearly evident in the name. For corporations, any name that is not the exact corporate name as listed in the articles of incorporation.

Address: 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 260; San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 237-0502 (San Diego)

200 South Magnolia Avenue; El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 401-5700 (El Cajon)

Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
This number is required of all businesses except a sole proprietor with no employees. The number is obtained from the United States Internal Revenue Service. The form required is SS-4 which may be obtained at their website.

Phone: 1-800-829-3676 (to order form by phone)

State Employer Identification Number (SEIN)
This number is required of all businesses with employees. The number is obtained from the California Employment Development Department.

Address: 10636 Scripps Summit Court, Suite 202; San Diego, CA 92131
Phone: 1-800-547-9565

Health Permits
Business selling foods are required to check with the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health for health permits.

Address: 5500 Overland Ave #170; San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: (858) 505-6700

Alcohol Beverage Control
For businesses selling any kind of alcoholic beverage.

Address: 1350 Front Street, Room 5056; San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 525-4064

Paratransit Vehicles
Taxicabs, non-emergency medical vehicles, and other paratransit vehicles are required to obtain an operating permit from the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) before operating in El Cajon.

Address: 1255 Imperial Avenue, Suite 1000; San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 231-1466

State Licenses And Permits

There are many kinds of commercial businesses that require state licenses and permits. Some examples are contractors, cosmetology, and automotive repair. The website listed below will provide additional information from the Department of Consumer Affairs.

California Department of Consumer Affairs:

Other Websites

Additional sources of information that may help you in establishing your business:

U.S. Small Business Administration:

Better Business Bureau

San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce

City Of El Cajon
Business License Division
200 Civic Center Way
El Cajon Ca 92020

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