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How to Register for a BTRC

All individuals or entities conducting business activities within the City of Los Angeles are required to apply for and obtain a Business Tax Registration Certificate with the City of Los Angeles, Office of Finance.  You may also have to register with other Federal, State, and Local government agencies depending on the structure and location of your business.  Certain organizations, which are conducted solely for charitable or religious purposes, may be entitled to receive tax-exempt registration certificates upon application and qualification. The payment of tax is not required for engaging in a business activity when such payment of tax would be in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of California. Please refer to Sections 21.02, 21.22 and 21.49 of the Business Tax Ordinance for more detailed information.

Important Notes:

The first year of new business activity in the City of Los Angeles is not exempt from taxation.  The first year of taxes is paid in the second year when you renew your BTRC.  This is referred to as the BACK TAX. Learn more about it here

Certain business classifications require a minimum payment upon registration in addition to the BACK TAX to be in the second year.

If your global gross receipts are under $100,000 and you renew on time, you are eligible for the Small Business Exemption.  Please make sure to check the appropriate box on the Renewal Form.  Learn more here.

For more information, download our Business Tax Information booklet with information in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. 

New Business Tax Booklet


City Registration

The fastest way to register is online by clicking the link below:


You may also visit our Forms page and download either the English or Spanish version for completion and submittal via email or at one of our contact centers.


Registration Checklist

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Social Security Number
If your business is a Sole Proprietorship or your Federal Employment Identification Number (EIN) if your business is a Partnership, a Corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a trust

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Business Activity Description
Business activities include any activity engaged in the primary purpose of making a profit. This is a general term that encompasses all the economic activities carried out by a company during the course of business. 

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Legal Business Name and Fictitious Name (DBA)
Your business’s legal name is determined by how you set up your business. If you operate as a sole proprietorship, the legal name is your full name. You can add words that describe the kind of business you run, but your personal name must be included.  The Fictitious Name (DBA) is different and is primarily used for advertising and sales purposes.   For example, McDonald’s is a trade name. The company’s legal business name is McDonald’s Corporation.

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Business Start Date
The date (Month/Day/Year) you started your business in the City of Los Angeles

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Business Address and Primary Mailing Address (if different)
Where your business is located and where you receive mailings.

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Business Contact Information
Your contact name, phone number, and email (if available)

** Please note that additional information may be required.  Once you completed the registration process, you will receive a temporary Business Tax Registration Certificate or Registration Number.  A permanent Business Tax Registration Certificate will be mailed within 4 to 6 weeks.

Are Police, Fire and/or Tobacco Permits Necessary?

Depending on your business, you may also need to register for Police, Fire and/or Tobacco permits. The Office of Finance online application will help you identify whether these are necessary.

State and Federal Registration

Most businesses must register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).  If you are not a US citizen, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.  If your business structure is a partnership, corporation, or limited liability (LLC), you must register or incorporate with the California Secretary of State.

To learn more, use the Startup Guide in the Los Angeles Business Portal for step-by-step instructions on how to start and register your business.

Startup Guide