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Fee Schedule

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The fee schedule is divided into four categories. In addition, Home Based Establishments or those conducting business on El Paseo are responsible to adhere to additional fees. Please note, Food Related Businesses have their own special requirements.

Category A – In City Business    
All businesses located within Palm Desert, except contractors, follow Category A. The license tax fee for this category shall be based upon annual gross receipts of sales and/or commissions based upon either the previous calendar year or previous fiscal year of the business for renewals. Gross receipts must be estimated for new licenses and payable according to the Category A fee schedule.

Note: The City is authorized to verify the statements and records of any and all persons licensed to conduct or carry on business within the City (Section 5.04.320 Palm Desert Municipal Code).

Category B – State Board Licensed Contractors Only   
Exclusively for use by Contractors, fees are determined only by the highest classification of State Contractors License. Unless you are a sole proprietor with no employees, contractors must have current workers’ compensation insurance. Contractors who operate any store or shop within the city, in conjunction or connection with the contracting business, are also required to pay a business license fee as described in Category A.

Category C – Out of City Business    
Category C applies to all businesses that are coming into the City of Palm Desert to do a job, but do not have their offices or store fronts physically located in the City of Palm Desert. The license tax fees for this category are apportioned to the amount of business conducted within the City only. Fees may be may be estimated for new licenses and payable according to the fee schedule.

Category D – Special Fees Category

Some of the following categories have their own special fees and requirements which you must contact The City of Palm Desert Business Licensing Department for correct procedures and amounts: Garage Sale Permits, Film Permits, Massage Licensing, Ice Cream Vendors, Catering Trucks, Adult Entertainment Permits, Golf Cart Permits, Solicitation Permits, and Daily Licenses for special events. For more visit the Special Fees section or contact us.

Additional Fees

SB1186 State Fee
Per the State of California all persons conducting business, included are commercial/industrial and residential rental property owners, retailers, wholesalers, manufactures, service companies, self-employed persons, independent contractors and business conducted within one’s home are required to pay the mandatory State Revolving Mandated Disability access and Education Revolving fund fee of $1.00

El Paseo Assessment District
El Paseo Assessment Fees are levied on business establishments with addresses 73-040 through 73-999 El Paseo and adjoining streets located 180 feet south of El Paseo and 154 feet north of El Paseo per Section 3.40.010 of the Palm Desert Municipal Code. Please refer to the fee schedule for rates.

Home Based Business Permit
All Home Based Business Permits have an initial fee of $50.00 in addition to the appropriate fee from Category A. All Home Based Businesses must provide a physical address. A Post Office Box is not acceptable and may be used as a mailing address only. The Home Based Business Permit fee drops to $25.00 upon renewal the following year. If renting your place of residence, you will first need to obtain a letter from the owner or the property manager allowing you to use the location as a Home Office.

Food Related Businesses
Food Related Businesses, whether new or purchased, must provide paperwork from the Riverside County Health Department approving the facility for operation.

Important Reminders

  • Licenses are not transferable. If you sell your business it is your responsibility to notify this office so your license may be inactivated. The new owner must apply for a new license in his/her name. 
  • Business licenses are good for a twelve month period from the approximate date you file your application. 
  • If you move please notify us in writing so we may update your file with the correct form(s) and issue you a new certificate.
  • Cash, Check, Credit / Debit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) are accepted as payment.  No American Express Cards accepted as payment.


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