Business Tool Kit

Fictitious Name or Doing Business As (DBA)

Fictitious names and DBAs are one in the same. If you propose to use a fictitious business name, contact the County Clerk Recorder’s and your local newspaper to schedule a publication of notice. Fictitious name statements are filed with the:

Orange County Clerk’s Office
630 N. Broadway Street
Building 12
Santa Ana Civic Center,
Room 1001 / 106
Santa Ana, CA 92702

To contact the County Clerk’s Office, call 714-834-2889 or visit their website. You can download their form and mail back with payment. For more information on California Fictitious Name filing requirements, please see the California Business and Professions Code (Sections 17900-17930).

Sales Tax Permit

If you sell tangible personal property, you are required to obtain a Seller’s Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number) from the State Board of Equalization (SBE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California. To obtain a Sellers’ Permit, contact the SBOE at 714-558-4059 or you can apply in person at one of the local district offices. You may obtain a listing of local offices online.

You can download form and mail back with payment. The nearest State Board of Equalization office to Brea City Hall is located at:

Civic Center Plaza
28 Civic Center Plaza
Second Floor
Room 239
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Federal Employer Identification Number

If your business is organized as a corporation or partnership, or if you engage or plan to engage employees, you will need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) for the purpose of withholding FICA taxes and social security taxes. To obtain a FEIN, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 800-829-1040 or download an application for a Federal Employer Identification Number. The nearest IRS office to Brea City Hall is located at:

Santa Ana Civic Center
34 Civic Center Plaza
Second Floor
Santa Ana, CA 92701

State Employer Identification Number

If your business is organized as a corporation or partnership in the State of California, or if you engage or plan to engage employees in the State of California, you will need a State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) for the purpose of withholding state income tax, disability, and unemployment insurance. To contact the state Employment Development Department, Division of Audits, call 888-745-3886. The nearest Employment Development Department office to Brea City Hall is located at:

23151 Plaza Pointe Drive
Suite 140
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

State Franchise Tax Board

If you intend to have employees within the State of California or to obtain a Form 540 to estimate State Withholding Tax for yourself, contact the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) at 800-852-5711 or visit their website.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Licenses

If you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board at 714-558-4101 or visit their website.

Liability & Workers Compensation Insurance

To obtain information regarding Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance requirements, contact 714-565-5000 or your insurance agent. You may also learn more at the California Department of Insurance website.

Pre-Licensing Requirements

The following permits, licenses, and/or identification numbers must be obtained prior to completing a Brea Business License Tax application:

  • Fictitious Business Name DBA (If applicable)
  • State Board of Equalization Sales Tax Account Number - Resale Number (If applicable)
  • Social Security Number (If sole owner without employees)
  • California Driver’s License Number or California Identification Number
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (If corporation, partnership, or if employer)
  • State Licensed Contractor’s License Number and Classification (If applicable)

 Zoning Information

Do you know what zone your business will be located in? Is your business permitted in this zone? Are permits required? Contact the Community Development Department at 714-671-4406.

Home Occupation Business

Every business conducted from a home in the City of Brea must have a business license tax certificate. To apply or renew a City of Brea Business License, please click here.  

Preparation or Sale of Food

If your establishment intends to prepare and/or sell food of any type, you must complete an application for a County of Orange Health Permit. The Orange County Health Care Agency can answer questions regarding your permit by calling 714-667-3600.

Sale of Firearms or Ammunition

If you intend to engage in the sale of firearms or ammunition, you will be required to obtain a City of Brea Business License. Business license can be obtained from the Administrative Services Department at 714-990-7686.

In addition, a Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) permit and a California Department of Justice (DOJ) permit are required.

Advertising, Handbill Distributor / Solicitors / Peddlers

Solicitors advertising pamphlets may be distributed in this city after a license has been obtained. Under no circumstance may advertising materials be placed in or on a parked vehicle or a mailbox, mail slot, or receptacle unless postage is paid and delivery is made by the U.S. Postal Service.

Sign Regulations

The City of Brea has a sign ordinance. If you plan to install a new sign or make changes in a sign that has been installed previously, please contact the Community Development Department.

Display of Business License Tax Certificate

All business licenses tax certificates must be displayed on the premises. For those not having a fixed business address, the license tax (or decal card) must be physically carried on the person and presented upon request.

Business License Tax Transfers

A business license tax is not transferable. It is the responsibility of the owner or operator to advise the Business License Tax Division of ownership changes, relocation, or termination of business.

Renewal of Business Licenses Tax Certificate

Once you have obtained a business license tax certificate, a renewal will automatically be forwarded to the mailing address of record approximately 30 days before your expiration date. If you do not receive a renewal notice before the expiration date of the business license tax certificate, please contact the Business License Tax Division. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner of his/her responsibility in renewing the business license nor is it grounds for waiving any late penalties due.

Change of Business Address in the City

To process a change of business address, advise the Business License Tax Division and request an application form to file an address correction or complete the online application. To retype a new business license, a fee of $25 will be applied.

Cancellation of Business License Tax Certificate

To cancel an existing business license tax certificate, advise the Business License Tax Division in writing that you have ceased or will cease business or have or will sell your business or income property. Be sure to provide your businesses license tax account number and the date business has or will cease. You must sign your written notification. You may also make your cancellation notification by simply putting a ceased date on the Renewal Notification or your Notice of Business License Tax Due.

Refund of Business License Tax Fees

Business license tax fees are nonrefundable except when overpaid or paid in error. A processing fee is charged to cover administrative costs.

Writing To Us About Your Business License Tax Account

If you wish to write to us regarding your business license tax account, please be sure and supply your name, address, and the business license tax certificate number.

City of Brea Business License Tax Division
1 Civic Center Circle
Brea, CA 92821

Please call the business license tax staff at 714-990-7686 to discuss your businesses’ requirements. To apply or renew a City of Brea Business License, please click here.