Business License

Operating a business in the City requires the payment of a Business License Tax and compliance with the City’s Municipal Code, including the Zoning Code and the City’s Sign Ordinance.  In addition, to conduct a business from your home requires you meet certain eligibility requirements and obtain a Home Occupation Permit. The business license application fee is $94.00. The Business License tax covers the calendar year (January 1 through December 31). 


There are circumstances under which the business can be granted exemption from the business license requirements.  Such exemptions must be requested on the attached application and acceptable proof presented that shows the business meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The business is a nonprofit organization as defined in Section 501 (c)(1), (2) or (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as it currently exists or is hereafter amended;

  • The business is exempt from local taxation by of the Constitution or applicable statutes of the United States or the State of California;

  • The business is that of a residential landlord renting or leasing to others no more than four residential dwelling units;

  • The business is a public utility which pays a franchise tax the City based on gross receipts. (The exemption applies only to the business conducted under the franchise agreement);

  • A peddler, solicitor or other person entitled to exemption from the payment of any license provided for in this chapter upon the ground that such license casts an unreasonable burden upon his/her right to engage in commerce with foreign nations, or among the several States, or conflicts with the regulations of the United States Congress respecting interstate commerce; or

  • A business engaged in growing livestock, or agricultural products for sale or disposal by the growers themselves.




Mandatory State Fee (SB 1186): Government Code Section 4467(a) requires that effective January 1, 2018 and until December 31, 2023, the one-dollar ($1) additional fee is increased to four-dollars ($4) on all business license applications and renewals to fund increased certified access specialist (CASp) services in that jurisdiction and to facilitate compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements.  The fees shall also be used to establish and maintain oversight of the CASp program and to moderate the expense of CASp certification and testing.


Required Disclosure: Section 4469: Under "federal and state law", compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public.  You may obtain information about your legal obligations and compliance with disability access laws at the following agencies:


The Home Occupation Permit Fee is $94.  Once approved, a home occupation permit is valid for the approved business as long as it remains at the permitted address.  The Home Occupation Permit Application form includes the applicable regulations.  Completed application(s) may be submitted, along with the appropriate tax and/or fee, to the City of Canyon Lake either by mail or in person.  Please make checks payable to:  City of Canyon Lake, 31516 Railroad Canyon Road, Canyon Lake, California 92587PLEASE NOTE: Certificates are not issued at the time of application.  The process for license approval includes:

  • Confirming the business and location are consistent with City zoning and, if applicable, an attached home occupation permit application;

  • Review of the application and fees paid and;

  • Issuance of the Business Tax Certificate.  

APPROVED CERTIFICATES ARE MAILED TO THE BUSINESS OWNER WITHIN TWO WEEKS FROM RECEIPT.  For more information or to answer any questions about business license, please contact our Business License Specialist at (951) 244-8547. 


Required Disclosure: While obtaining a Business Tax Certificate is required to operate a business in the City, it does not permit a business otherwise prohibited; and the use of the term “License” when describing the business license program is not an authorization to operate the business or an indication that the business is regulated by the City.  Possession of the Business Tax Certificate is proof that the appropriate Business License Tax has been paid and that the business has agreed to operate lawfully.


Business License FAQ's