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New Businesses

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The City of Palm Desert welcomes new businesses and values the many businesses that have made Palm Desert their home.

All businesses operating within the City limits of Palm Desert (including Home Based Businesses) are required to have a business license. The purpose of a business license is taxation of the privilege of doing business in the city. Section 5.04.020 of the Palm Desert Municipal Code states, "No person shall transact and carry on any business without having procured a license from the City to do so....."

Business License Applications For New Businesses

To complete the above forms please see instructions under Forms Instructions.

Is Your Business Zoned for Your Location
The City of Palm Desert has established various zoning regulations which control the location and the operation of all commercial activities. A brief check with the Planning staff in the Planning Department before signing lease agreements or purchasing commercial property may prove to be very valuable. For more information contact the Planning staff at (760) 346-0611, ext. 483.


Stormwater Permit
Senate Bill No. 205 Business Licenses Stormwater Discharge Compliance

Senate Bill 205 requires a person applying to a city or county for a new or renewed business license to demonstrate enrollment in an NPDES permit, if such permit is required.Senate Bill No. 205 FAQ

Please visit for further information.  

To apply for a stormwater permit, please contact State and Regional Water Board at 1(866)563-3107, or via email

Fictitious Names 

The owners of a business who use a fictitious name (one other than his/her own name) for their business must clear the name through the Riverside County Clerk's office to ensure no one else is using it. For more information contact the County Clerk at (760) 863-8732 82675 or Highway 111 Indio, CA 92201. There is a small fee required for a Fictitious Name.

Sellers Permit
A Seller's Permit (resale number) is required for all persons selling taxable items which is subject to State Sales Tax. To receive a re-sale number contact the State Board of Equalization, 35900 Bob Hope Dr, Suite 280, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. (760) 770-4828. There is no fee involved.

Contractors State License Board
All contractors must provide a current and valid contractors license which will be verified at the time the Business License Application is processed.

Tax ID Number
All businesses that are incorporated must provide a Federal Tax ID #. Contact the IRS at 980 Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs CA 92262, (800) 829-1040.

Special Licenses
Special Licenses are issued for businesses where the City imposes greater restrictions on the business operation and requires additional information or investigations prior to approval.

Examples of businesses requiring special licenses include gun/arms dealers, massage therapist/massage establishments, solicitation permits, film permits, escort/adult entertainment permits, food vending permits, ambulance licensing, child care licensing and psychic permits.

A daily license is also available with a conditional use permit for such things as car washes, carnivals, holiday boutiques and flower sales. 

Click here for more information on Special Licenses.  Please contact the Planning Department for information and the correct application for any special license.