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Finance - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I purchase a daily permit for the parking structure?

A: No. The cost to park in the parking structure is $6.00 per day.  Payment is collected at the kiosk located on the entry level of the parking structure.

Q. How do I obtain a City Business License?

You can apply for a business license by coming to City Hall, or a business license application can be mailed to you. Once an application is received and approved, your license is usually mailed within 10 days. Just call 949-493-1515. For general business license information, please call our information line at 949-234-4417. For business license renewal information please call 949-443-6374.

Q. I live in a neighborhood adjacent to a residential neighborhood that is enforced by residential parking permits. Why can’t I obtain a residential parking permit?

A. Parking permit programs are implemented at the request of residents. A petition (PDF) process and approval by City Council are necessary to implement the program in a new area.

Q. I will be participating as a vendor in a special event that is being held within the City. Am I required to obtain a business license?

Yes, but there are special provisions for such circumstances that are set forth in Section 3-1.213 of the City’s business license ordinance.

Q. If I discontinue my business prior to the end of the period for which I paid my business license, am I entitled to a refund?

No. The Municipal Code does not provide for a refund of the business license tax paid in the event of discontinuation of the business.

Q. If I work in my home, do I need a special permit?

Yes, if your home is in San Juan Capistrano. Along with a business license, you will need to apply for a home occupation permit. This application is included in the business license application packet, which can be mailed to you. The home occupation permit application will be reviewed by the Planning Department staff, and there is no fee.

Q. Will I receive notification when it is time to renew my parking permits?

A. It is your responsibility to renew your permit by the expiration date printed on the permit. You WILL NOT receive notification by mail. Notifications are sent out as part of the San Juan Capistrano electronic “e-news”. To sign up, on our home page, click sign up for e-news, enter your e-mail address and be sure to check the press release box to receive this notice. Presentation of valid picture I.D., proof of residence, and current vehicle registration will be required annually.

Q: Do I need a Sellers Permit?

A: If you intend to sell or lease tangible personal property you are required to obtain a Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization (SBE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California.

Q: Do I need a State Contractor License?

A: In California, anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a current, valid license from the Contractors State License Board.

Q: Do I need to display my business license certificate at my business?

A: Yes. City law requires that your business license certificate is to be displayed in a conspicuous place at the location of your business. If your business is not located within the City, you must carry a copy of your business license at all times while engaged or operating within the City.

Q: Do I need zoning approval for my business activity?

A: If your business is physically located within the City of San Juan Capistrano you will need to contact the Planning Division at (949) 443-6313 to confirm that the location is appropriately zoned for your business activity.

Q: How do I apply for a one time filming permit?

A:
1. Complete all pages of the Film Permit Application. 

2.  Proof of insurance shall be submitted to the City in advance of permit issuance. The applicant shall maintain in full force and effect during the term of the permit, a policy of insurance for no less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00), in comprehensive general liability, from an insurance company licensed to do business in California. The City shall be named a certificate holder and provide the City an additional insured endorsement to the applicant’s liability insurance policy on a separate endorsement form, which names the City, its officers, employees, and agents as additionally insured.

3. Property Owners Consent

4. After all required documents are received by staff; your certificate permit will be issued. 

Q: How do I apply for an annual filming permit?

A:
1. Complete Film Permit Application (Check the box “other” and indicate “Annual Permit”)

 2. Proof of insurance shall be submitted to the City in advance of permit issuance. The applicant shall maintain in full force and effect during the term of the permit, a policy of insurance for no less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00), in comprehensive general liability, from an insurance company licensed to do business in California. The City shall be named a certificate holder and provide the City an additional insured endorsement to the applicant’s liability insurance policy on a separate endorsement form, which names the City, its officers, employees, and agents as additionally insured.

3. Complete a Business License application

4. After all required documents are received by staff, you must obtain your photo I.D. badge in person at the City Hall.

Q: How do I cancel my business license?

A: If you are no longer conducting business in the City of San Juan Capistrano it is your responsibility to cancel your business license in order to avoid penalties, which can reach up to 100% of the fee due. This cancellation must be submitted in writing and include the City Business License Number, a request to cancel, your signature and the date.

Q: How do I change my location address, ownership information, or business name for an existing business?

A: Please download and complete a business license application. Check the “Change of Address, Ownership, or Name” box and provide new and previous information where requested. 

For more information, contact the Business License Office by calling (949) 493-1515 or visiting the Business License Counter.  Completed forms may be mailed or submitted in person, along with applicable fees.

Q: How do I obtain an annual commuter parking permit for the downtown parking structure?

A: The City issues commuter parking permits for the parking spaces on the lower level of the downtown parking structure next to the Franciscan Plaza off of Verdugo Street. Please complete the below forms, must show proof of registration, and driver license. Submit your forms to Customer Service located at the City Hall during regular business hours.

Parking Permit Application (Please bring or mail two (2) signed copies)
Liability Contract (Please bring or mail two (2) copies)

Q: Is a commuter parking permit required?

A: No. An annual commuter parking permit is not required to park in spaces 1-73.  However, if you do not have a commuter parking permit, then the cost to park in these spaces is $2.00 per day.

Q: Is overnight parking available at the train station?

A: Overnight parking is available for up to two weeks on the lower level, spaces 74-108.  The cost is $.25 per hour ($6.00 per day).   Please refer to the train parking map.

Q: What are the permit rights for employee parking?

A: The employee parking permit allows an employee to park in certain marked, time-restricted public parking spaces. Please refer to the employee parking map.

Q: What if I do not display my employee parking permit?

A: Vehicles parking in the marked employee parking areas without a permit will be issued a parking citation from Police Services.

Q: What information is needed in order to complete the business license application?

A: On the Application:

• It is important to be specific in your business description.

• Include the starting date at this location.

• Indicate whether this is a new business, change in ownership, business name change or business address change.

• State whether your business is owned solely by you, whether it is a partnership, or a corporation.

• The names and home addresses of the owners or officers of the corporation are required. 

 

Include With Application

The following information must also be included prior to the acceptance of the application:

• State Board of Equalization Sales Tax Account Number (Resale Number)

• Social Security Number (If no Federal or State ID number provided)

• Federal Employer I.D. Number

• State Employer I.D. Number

• State Contractor’s License Number (if applicable)

Q: What is the $4 State Fee added to my business license tax?

A: On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1379 (which revised Senate Bill 1186).  This legislation requires the City to collect a state fee of $4.00 on any applicant for a local business license or renewal.  The purpose of the fee is to provide a funding source for increased disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with the federal and state disability laws.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:

The Division of the State Architect at www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Home.aspx.
The Department of Rehabilitation at www.rehab.cahwnet.gov.
The California Commission on Disability Access at www.ccda.ca.gov.

Q: What should I do if I am already doing business in town without a license?

A: Contact Business License staff immediately to register your business and obtain a business license.

Q: Where can I pay for train station parking?

A: The pay station is located at the garage entrance and accepts credit cards and cash up to twenty dollar bills (no pennies).  It is recommended that you carry more than one form of payment in case of pay station malfunctions.  If the pay station malfunctions, please contact City Hall at 949-493-1171.

Q: Where do I display the employee parking permit?

A: The permit must be displayed in the front window of the vehicle, either hung on the rear-view mirror or placed on the driver’s side dashboard.

Q: Who can purchase an employee parking permit?

A: The employee parking permits will be issued to the owner or manager of the business only.

Q: Who is exempt from obtaining a business license?

A: Charitable and non-profit organizations are exempt from the business license tax. Please attach to the completed business license application a copy of the letter from the Internal Revenue Service or the California State Franchise Tax Board as evidence of your current tax exempt status.
 
Businesses that are exempt by the State or Federal statute do not need a business license. More information about the types of businesses that are exempt from the Business License requirement can be found by referencing the San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code Section 3-1.113.  A copy of the San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code may be obtained from the City Clerks officer or our website San Juan Capistrano Municipal Code.

Q: Who needs a business license?

A: City law states that no person shall engage in business or represent and carry on a business, trade, profession or occupation in the city without first having obtained a license from the city. A separate license must be obtained for each branch establishment or location and for each separate type of business at the same location.

Will I receive notification when it is time to renew my parking permits?

It is your responsibility to renew your permit by the expiration date printed on the permit. You WILL NOT receive notification by mail. Notifications are sent out as part of the San Juan Capistrano electronic “e-news”. To sign up, on our home page, click sign up for e-news, enter your e-mail address and be sure to check the press release box to receive this notice. Presentation of valid picture I.D., proof of residence, and current vehicle registration will be required annually.

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