Business Licensing Explanation

Paying for Needed Services
All businesses that operate in the City of La Mesa are required to possess a business license. The license is a tax measure that raises revenue for the city's general fund and pays for services such as police, fire, and street maintenance.
Almost every city and county in California has some form of business licensing or business tax certificates. Because it is a local tax, licensing is not transferable between cities or counties.

Tax Issues
Business licensing does not regulate business activities. The Finance Division for the City of La Mesa addresses business licenses, transient occupancy tax, cannabis tax and sales tax issues.

Health, Zoning, Land Use & Other Issues
Land use and zoning matters are handled through the city's Planning Division. Please see link for zoning  Health and hazardous materials concerns are addressed by the city's Fire Marshal at Heartland Fire. The city's Code Compliance Officer handles any complaints that businesses are in violation of City Municipal Codes (not criminal). All other regulatory matters are administered on the county, state, or federal level.

Purchasing an Existing Business
Business licenses are not transferable. The purchase of an existing business requires that the new owner apply for a new business license. The purchasing owner should consult the application section for all fees, requirements, and applications. The selling owner needs to notify the city in writing so that the existing license can be closed.

Moving Your Business to La Mesa
Business licenses are not transferable from other cities or government agencies. Moving your business to La Mesa requires that a new business license be applied for. Please consult the application section for all fees, requirements, and applications. You should also contact the issuing city of your current license regarding your move.