Finance

Finance

Business License/Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Conducting Business In Riverside

If you are planning to conduct business in the City of Riverside you must obtain a City of Riverside business license, also referred to as a business tax.


All persons or companies conducting business in the City of Riverside are required to pay a business tax. This includes, but is not limited to, retail outlets, wholesalers, manufacturers, service companies, professional businesses, independent contractors, home businesses, and commercial and residential landlords. If you conduct business in the City of Riverside from an office located outside of Riverside, you are required to pay a business tax.


For a new business, the business tax is due and payable on or before the first day of business to avoid additional fees. Business taxes are paid annually unless otherwise specified. All annual business taxes are due in advance; on or before the expiration date of the then current certificate.


Who is expected to pay?
All persons or companies conducting business in the City of Riverside are required to pay a business tax. This includes, but is not limited to, retail outlets, wholesalers, manufacturers, service companies, professional businesses, independent contractors, home businesses, and commercial and residential landlords. If you conduct business in the City of Riverside from an office located outside of Riverside, you are required to pay a business tax.


Is my Business Tax Certificate transferable?
Business Tax Certificates are not transferable or assignable to any other person or business.


When am I expected to pay?
You must register and pay the business tax prior to the commencement of business.


When is my payment due?
For a new business, the business tax is due and payable at the start of business. For business tax renewals for existing businesses, the business tax is due and payable at the expiration date of the previous certificate.


How often am I expected to pay?
Business taxes are paid annually unless otherwise specified. All annual business taxes are due in advance on or before the expiration date of the then current certificate or on or before the first day of business for any new business. Business taxes for periods other than the annual period are payable in advance on or before the first day of business and thereafter on or before the first day of each applicable period.


What if I have multiple business locations or business activities?
A separate tax certificate is required for each type of business activity conducted at a single location and for each branch or location of a business. Business Tax Certificates shall be displayed for each business activity and at each branch or location.


What are the tax rates?
Business tax rates are calculated based upon the type of business utilizing a minimum tax plus additional increments. The increments can include, but are not limited to, gross receipts, number of employees, number of machines, number of vehicles, etc. To view current rates, visit RiversideCA.gov/Finance.


What if I don’t pay?
Penalties for new businesses are 50% 30 days after the business start date and 100% 60 days after the business start date.


Do I need to pay Business Tax for renting residential or commercial real estate?
A Business Tax Certificate is required for any property owner engaged in the rental of residential or commercial real estate within the City of Riverside.


For residential property owners:
Owners with more than one residential rental unit are subject to payment of Business Tax calculated on the basis of gross rental receipts from the rental properties. If there is only a single rental unit, the owner may obtain a “tax free certificate” and pay a processing fee of $10 each year.

For commercial property owners:
If you rent or lease any commercial building you are subject to payment of Business Tax calculated on the basis of gross rental receipts from the commercial property.

Please contact the Business Tax Section office staff for additional information.

Apply for and Renew Business Licenses Online at riversideca.gov/businesstax
Please contact the Business Tax Office at (951) 826-5465 and City staff will be happy to answer any additional questions that you may have.

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