Business License

Welcome to the City Of South Pasadena Business Community!

If you are looking to start a business in South Pasadena or have general questions, this page will help you in your journey.

Step 1:

Prior to applying for a business license, visit or contact the City's Planning Division to discuss permitting and design/zoning guidelines.

Phone: (626) 403-7220

Step 2:

After meeting with the Planning Division, apply for your business license with phone, mail, or online.

Submit Your Application Online

FAQs and Useful Information

Who needs to apply for a Business License?

All persons or companies conducting business within the City limits of South Pasadena are required to obtain a city business license. This includes but is not limited to retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, service providers, professionals, non-profit organizations, independent contractors, home businesses and residential landlords renting three or more units. Please note: businesses based outside of the City of South Pasadena who are conducting business in the City (e.g. contractors, consultants, architects, designers, landscape maintenance companies, mobile food vendors) must also file an application. Please see the City's Business License Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 140KB) for more information.

When should an application be submitted?

An application must be submitted and fees must be paid prior to commencement of business operations.

Where can I obtain a Business License application?

You may apply online using our website (links provided above) or by phone at (626) 360-1493. Once an application is submitted, it is reviewed and approved by various departments prior to issuance. Your license will be emailed to you once approved.

How are fees calculated?

A variety of classifications and rates are set forth in the Business License Ordinance. A brief rate schedule of the most common classifications is available on the City's Master Schedule of Fees.

Please Note: The Fire Inspection Fee was updated during the Fee Study adopted in May 2019. It was updated from a flat fee to a fee based on square footage. While it may seem significant, it is in line with other cities. Our business license costs are very modest compared to other cities.

When do I renew my license?

Most business licenses are valid for one year, and must be renewed annually. For annual business licenses, a renewal notice will be mailed to you the month prior to your license expiring.

Is non-compliance penalized?

It is unlawful for any person to transact and carry on any business without first having procured a license. Failure to comply with the ordinance may subject the violator to penalties and possible civil or criminal action.

Where is my license valid?

Your Business License is valid only within the city limits of South Pasadena - while doing business from your commercial/professional location, your residence, or when you are providing services to a resident or business within the city limits.

What if I close my business or move it to another city?

You may close your business license online at or by phone at (626) 360-1493.

Can I transfer my license to someone else?

Business Licenses are not transferable from one owner to another. The new owner must submit a new application.

Your business license is not a permit to operate and does not authorize you to operate a business that is otherwise prohibited by law or ordinance.

AB 783 (Ting) Single Use Restrooms

On January 1st 2024, Governor Newsom signed AB 783 (Ting) Single-User Restrooms into law. Section 118600 of the Health and Safety Code requires you to identify all single-user toilet facilities in your business as all-gender toilet facilities.

For more information please visit

SB 748 Disability Access and Information

The State of California wants to ensure that all people have equal access to public and private services. As the operator of a business, this mandate requires you to ensure that your business provides equal access to people with disabilities.

For more information please visit

Business License Tracker

Search for registered businesses in South Pasadena here.