Business License Information


  1. A Business License will be required of every person, company, organization, partnership or corporation transacting business within the City of Indio. (I.C.C. 110.5)
  2. Every new business which has a fixed location within the City of Indio must pass inspection by the Fire Department, Planning and Building Department, Code Enforcement, and in the case of food and beverage handlers, the Riverside County Health Department.
  3. A permit from the Planning Department must be obtained before installing any temporary or permanent signs.


1. Before applying for a City of Indio Business License you must:

  1. Complete the application for Business License and pay the necessary fees and taxes.

2. Before applying for a City of Indio Business License please check if the following applies to you:

  1. Verify with the Planning Department to ensure that your business location meets zoning requirements. You should check with the Planning Department before signing lease agreements or purchasing commercial property. You can contact the Planning Department at 760-391-4120. 
    Planning department
  2. Check with the Building Department to ensure that the building you intend to occupy is suitable for the nature of your business. You can contact the Building Department at 760-391-4110. 
    Building department
  3. Fictitious Name Statements are required if a business is using a name other than his/her own personal name. This can be obtained at the Riverside County Clerk's office @ 760-863-7490 or you can visit them at 82675 Highway 111 in Indio.
  4. Seller Permits are required for all businesses selling taxable items, which is subject to State Sales Tax. To apply for a seller's permit number contact the State Board of Equalization, 35-900 Bob Hope Dr. Ste 280 Ranch Mirage CA 92270 or 760-770-4828. Please note that permit must show the City of Indio business address.
  5. All Contractors must have a current and valid contractors license with the Contractor's State License Board, they can be reached at 1-800-321-2752.
  6. If a Partnership, Corporation, Trust, or Limited Liability Corporation owns the business, you must provide a Federal ID Number (). Sole Proprietors may use either a social security number or a Federal ID number. You can also reach the Franchise Tax Board at 1-800-852-5711.
  7. Food and beverage handlers need a health permit. You can obtain a Health Permit by contacting the Riverside County at (760) 863-8287.

3. Inspection by the following departments will be required:

  1. Building Department (for utility turn-ons, for new construction, for electrical, plumbing and structural modifications.) 
  2. Fire Department (Safety Inspection.) 
  3. Planning Department for landscaping, signage, etc.

4. The Business License application will be reviewed along with inspection reports from the various departments. At that time, if all requirements are met, the license will be issued. 

5. Licenses will be valid for one year from date of issue. Allow ten working days for processing of license application. 

6. Renewal notices will be sent out as a courtesy reminder. However, the responsibility for renewal lies with the business owner, and failure to receive the renewal notice will not relieve the applicant of any obligation for payment or penalties for the delinquency. 


Sales or use tax may apply to your business activity. You may seek written advice regarding the application of tax to your particular business by writing to the California Board of Equalization at 35-900 Bob Hope Dr. Ste 280 Ranch Mirage CA 92270 or 760-770-4828.

Any person required to pay a Business License tax for transacting and/or carrying on any business within the City of Indio shall remain subject to the regulatory provisions of other sections of the Indio City Code, especially as they apply to Zoning, Land Use, Building regulations and Fire regulations. 


$30.00 Commercial
$30.00 Residential
$ 0.00 Residential / Senior Citizens
$30.00 Government


Emergency information will be given to the Indio Police Department, in the event they must respond to an alarm call. Penalties will apply to excessive false alarm responses. To apply for a permit contact the Indio Finance Department at 760-391-4040. 


Businesses with a commercial location in Indio must complete a *Business License application, Worker’s Compensation declaration, and undergo a code compliance review by the City’s Building, Planning, Police, and Fire departments. The purpose of this review is for your safety and public safety to ensure the building is within City code prior to opening your business. Please refer to fee schedule. The City of Indio encourages prospective business owners to complete the code compliance review prior to signing a lease or agreeing to purchase the building. The review generally takes two to three weeks to complete. A business Licenses application may be requested by phone, downloaded from this site, or picked up in person. 

* The city of Indio business license tax is based on total gross receipts, which can be estimated for the first year of business. 

Businesses located outside the City of Indio are also required to obtain a business license prior to conducting business in the City. A business Licenses application may be requested by phone, downloaded from this site, or picked up in person. The Business License Tax, for businesses located outside of Indio, is based on gross receipts earned in Indio only.

All homeowners renting out property for 30 days or less at a time are required to obtain a business license and a short-term rental permit.
Please click here to continue if that pertains to you.

l homeowners renting out property for more than 30 days at a time are required to obtain a business license and renew it annually. Depending on the number of long-term rental (LTR) properties owned, the license tax and application fees are charged as follow:

Anyone wanting to conduct business from their homes must first obtain a business license. At the time of the initial application, you will be asked to fill out a code compliance review form along with a Business License application. The purpose of the code compliance review for a home occupation is to ensure that business activities in residential areas comply with certain additional conditions and does not disturb the quality of life of that neighborhood. Please refer to fee schedule.  

The following are examples of home occupations: 

- Consulting / Professional Services
- Swimming Pool cleaning Service
- Gardening Services
- Home Office Salesperson

For more information concerning a “Home Occupation” please call the City of Indio Business License Department at (760) 391-4197. 


Certain types of business activity may require City Council approval. Prior to going before the City Council, the owners of these businesses must pass a background investigation conducted by the Indio Police Department. Upon approval of the background investigation, the application will be placed on the City Council Agenda. After Council approval, a Business License can be issued. 

The background investigation may include, but will not be limited to the following: 

- Review of criminal conduct by the applicant
- Names and addresses of all employees
- Fingerprints of all employees
- Photographs of all employees
- Proper Federal, State, County, and Local permits and fees as required
- Review of “called for service” at the business location for a one to five year period

The fee for the background investigation is to be paid at the time of application. The Business License Tax based on estimated gross receipts is to be paid at the time of application prior to City Council approval.

Because of the Police Department investigation, and scheduling of the application on the City council Agenda, the processing time for these applications is longer than normal. At the time you turn in your application, the Business License Rep. can give a general idea of the time involved. 

The following is a list of businesses that would require a background investigation:

Auctions / Public Sales 
Bankruptcy Sales
Billiards / Pool Rooms
Bowling Alleys
Boxing / Wrestling Exhibitions 
Cabarets / Nightclubs
Coin Operated Devices
Dance Halls
Detective Agencies
Feed Yards 
Firearms Sales 
Food Vending
Introductory Services
Junk Dealers / Auto Wreckers 
Massage Establishments 
Pawnbrokers / Second Hand
Peddlers / Solicitors
Security Companies
Sexually Oriented Business
Shooting Galleries
Skating Rinks
Rental Cars



California Department of Forestry of Riverside County conducts fire and life safety inspections of all businesses on an annual basis. In addition, a safety inspection will be made as part of you Business License inspection. 

The primary goal of this inspection program is to eliminate those hazards that may cause fires which could disrupt your business operations. 

Inspections cover such areas as fire extinguishers, electrical safety, proper exiting and housekeeping practices. Some examples of business operations which require special handling are: 

- Automotive Repair Garages
- Spray Painting Operations
- Cabinet Shops and Woodworking
- Upholstery Shops
- Welding Shops
- Businesses using, storing or manufacturing flammable liquids, chemicals, hazardous materials, or explosive materials.
- Above Ground or Under Ground Storage Tanks.
- Large Public Gatherings, such as shows, exhibits, sporting events, etc.

Our inspection personnel are available to assist you in fire safety matters, Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM 


Information should be given to the Indio Police Department, indicating an emergency contact person and their phone number. This will be used in the event of an after hours emergency at your place of business. (See “Alarm Permits” above) 

Police Department administrative staff, Code Enforcement and patrol personnel are ready to assist you in any way possible.