Establishing a Business

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Information for Establishing A Business in the City of Burbank

  • Applications may be mailed, brought to our office for processing (office temporarily closed), or emailed to 

  • The majority of businesses need a Business Tax account, but some may need a Business License. For a list of business that need a Business License, click here. If your type of business on the list says, "Business License Needed," please check our Business License Applications page.  Otherwiseclick here for details on the Business Tax registration process and applications.

  • The application must be filled out completely and include the payment in order to avoid a possible delay in the processing of the application. .

  • For assistance please contact our office at (818) 238-5280 or email  and put Business Tax or Business License in the subject line.  

Applications Available for Download

Burbank Based Business Application 
Out of Town Based Business Application 
Rental Business Application 
Home Occupation
Out of Town Based Construction Contractor

We are a progressive city which offers both its citizens and businesses an opportunity to thrive in an environment of well-managed city services. Burbank has been recognized for its fine Police, Fire and community services, well-established parks and libraries, highly maintained streets, and excellent utilities. This information is provided to give business owners basic information regarding the major requirements of going into business in Burbank. Other county, state or federal regulations may apply. Please consult the Burbank Municipal Code for detailed information about specific business and regulations.


Who Needs To Register Their Business With Burbank?

All businesses located in Burbank, as well as businesses that come into Burbank to conduct business, are required to register with the City of Burbank. There are two basic types of business registrations: Business Taxes and Business Licenses.

What is a Business Tax account?

A business tax is a revenue generation mechanism that most cities levy for the purpose of raising revenues to support and improve city services. (Burbank Municipal Code 2-4-802). This IS NOT A GROSS RECEIPTS TAX as is the business tax of most cities. There are varying methods for computing the Burbank business tax based on the type of business activity. The most prevalent method is a basic tax combined with a per employee fee, which is paid annually on a calendar year basis. A one-time, registration fee is required of each applicant, and Burbank-based business require Zoning Review by Planning Division and payment of a review fee. The business tax rates are adjusted annually based on the Producers Price Index. For fees and more details on Business Tax registrations, click here.

What is a Business License?

Business Licenses are regulatory by nature and are not intended for the purpose of generating revenue. There are over 80 types of regulatory business licenses. Business license applications will be available online soon. We expect more applications to be posted online by May 2020. Business license fees reflect the cost of processing the various business licenses by City departments. Burbank-based Business License applications require Zoning Review by Planning Division. A fee applies. Fees are based on a fiscal year basis, beginning in July and ending in June. For more details on Business License applications, click here.

What is a Home Occupation?

A home occupation is an “OFFICE ONLY” business that is legally conducted from a residence, by virtue of an approved home occupation business tax certificate or business license (Burbank Municipal Code 10-1-671). A home occupation inspection is conducted prior to approval to assure that the business operating from the residence complies with all requirements of the Home Occupation Ordinance. (Summary)

No home occupation is considered a pre-established commercial use or as a primary use of the residence. The home occupation must be conducted within the residence of an entirely enclosed accessory structure that is not a garage. No employees or customers are permitted to come to the residence and the home occupation use shall clearly be incidental and secondary to the use of the residence for dwelling purposes.

Can I Make Changes to My Business Tax and/or Business License Account?

City of Burbank business tax certificates and business licenses are not transferable. Any change as to the ownership of the business, the location of the business, business name, or the nature of business conducted, will require a new business tax certificate or business license which will be subject to all applicable approvals, a change fee, and zoning review fee.

Businesses who have premises located in Burbank shall post their business tax certificate or business license on the premises. For those businesses who operate in Burbank without a fixed location, a copy of the registration or license shall be carried on their person. If a vehicle is involved in the business activity, the vehicle may be required to display a current year decal affixed for identification and acknowledgement of payment.

How Can I Find Out the Correct Zoning Designation for a Property?

The single most important factor regarding the approval process is zoning. It is recommended that all business owners, prior to entering into any purchase, lease, or rental agreements, check with the Planning Division regarding appropriate zoning before they apply for a business tax certificate or regulatory business license. Planning may be consulted at the Permit Counter or at 818-238-5250 during counter hours of 8:00 to 11: 45 am Monday through Friday. (Due to staffing levels, only the first 20 tickets pulled at the kiosk can be served.) 

How do I file Fictitious Business Name Statement?

Fictitious Business Name requests are handled by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. For registration and publishing information, please visit the County's web site.

What City Department Approvals are Required?

Other city departments may be required to approve a business tax or business license application before final approval is granted. Most business tax and business license applications must at minimum receive zoning approval from the Planning Division. Additional approvals from other city departments, or county, state or federal agencies may also be required based on the business activity being conducted.

Other city departments may require additional permits, either to approve an application or to approve a request from a business owner. Such permits may include but are not limited to:

• Certificates of Occupancy (Building Division)
• Building Permits (Building, Planning divisions; Fire Department; BWP)
• Sign Permits (Building, Planning divisions)
• Encroachment Permits (Public Works Department)
• Fire Permits (Fire Department)
• Hazardous Materials Permit and Disclosure (Fire Department)
• Alarm Permits (Police Department)
• Conditional Use Permits (Planning Division)
• Administrative Use Permits (Planning Division)
• Industrial Waste Permits (Public Works Department)
• Filming Permits (Police Department)

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