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Fees, Permits & Licenses for Ontario Businesses
If you’re opening a business in Ontario, California, it’s important to remember that most businesses need some sort of permit or license, and there may also be fees associated to a new business. The following information has been compiled for establishing business in the City of Ontario. While many licenses and permits apply to most businesses, not all licenses and permits apply to all businesses. Additional licenses and/or permits may be required depending on the nature and location of business operations.
If you have questions about whether or not your business requires a particular permit or license, we’ve provided contact information below. You can also find FAQs about business permits and licenses.
All businesses within the City of Ontario are required to obtain, maintain and conspicuously post a City of Ontario Business License.
(909) 395-2036 and (909) 395-2023
Confirm Ontario zoning, use and building code compliance with the City of Ontario Planning and Building Departments prior to signing leases or sales agreements, as well as before making any exterior or interior alterations. The assistance of additional City agencies and departments may also be necessary to confirm compliance and necessary licenses and permits.
Fictitious Name or Doing Business As (DBA)
A business under a name other than the owner's/owners' legal given name or initials must file a Fictitious Name Statement with the San Bernardino County Clerk's Office.
Legal Structure Registration
(213) 897-3062 or (916) 657-3537
Registration with the State of California is required of all businesses with corporation or limited partnership legal structure. "C" Corporations, Subchapter "S" Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLC) should register with the Secretary of State, Corporation Filing Division. Partnerships should register with the Secretary of State, Limited Partnerships Division.
All retail and wholesale businesses — including manufacturing and some service businesses — must contact the State Board of Equalization regarding the collection and remittance of California sales tax.
For reporting of California payroll and business income tax information, a state identification number from the Franchise Tax Board is required of all businesses hiring one or more employees.
Employment Development Department Registration
Businesses that include the hiring of one or more employees need to register with the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD). This agency administers unemployment and disability insurance.
Federal Identification Number
To comply with Federal Income Tax, Social Security and Unemployment Insurance regulations, a federal Employer's Identification Number is required of all businesses hiring one or more employees.
All establishments that prepare, serve, sell or deal with consumable food products must obtain a permit from the county Environmental Health Services Department. The department reviews all plans for compliance with State of California health codes.
(909) 782-4400 and (909) 395-2036
Businesses selling alcohol beverages — whether to be consumed 'on' or 'off' premises — must follow pertinent rules and regulations, and obtain required permits from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). Some uses may also require additional City of Ontario Planning Department approvals.
All businesses should contact the San Bernardino County Fire Department Hazardous Materials Division to verify the need of a hazardous materials permit.
To ensure compliance and reduce emissions from specific types of equipment, processes, paints and solvents, businesses discharging any gas, chemical, dust or smoke into the atmosphere need to obtain clearance from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Ovens, char-broilers, plating activity and other uses may also require approval.
(800) 870-3676 and (800) 357-2099
All employers are obligated to verify the employment eligibility of new hires by processing Employment Eligibility Verification via INS For I-9. Information bulletins, assistance, INS forms and the Employer Handbook are available from the INS Office of Business Liaison.
Contractors' licenses are regulated through the State of California Contractors Board.
Manufacturer's ID Code for Bar Coding
Many stores require bar coding on the packaged products they sell. The Uniform Code Council Inc. (not a government agency) assigns a manufacturer's ID code for the purposes of bar coding.
(800) 786-9199 and (703) 308-9000
For intellectual property protection, trademarks and patents used in any commerce that is subject to regulation by state government or the U.S. Congress may be registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Trademark and service marks may be registered with the State of California, Secretary of State. Please note: Federally registered trademarks supersede state registered business and product names. Businesses are encouraged to check for conflicts with federal trademarks.
International Export Compliance
(800) 872-8723 and (415) 705-2300
Businesses exporting products must contact the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration for specific requirements. The Western Regional Office of the International Trade Administration provides personal service and counseling to assist in meeting requirements.
Other Permits and Requirements
The State of California requires permits and/or licenses specific to particular businesses and professions. Information regarding state regulations is available via the Department of Consumer Affairs.