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Finance - Frequently Asked Questions

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 parking permit enforced neighborhood. Why can’t I get permits?

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. When will my parking permits be up for renewal?

A. Click here for a listing of expiration dates by neighborhood.

Q. Who is eligible for parking permits?

A. Click here for a list of neighborhoods and streets that require residential parking permits.

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: Are there daily permits available for the parking structure?

A: A one day parking pass is sold beginning at 6:00 am for the current day only at the train station.

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 can I identify if my business qualifies for the employee parking program?

A: If your business is located generally within the downtown area identified on the enclosed map or the Los Rios Historic District, employee parking permits are available from the City’s Customer Service Department at (949)493-1515.

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 a City Business License?

A: You can apply for a business license in person at the City Hall or a business license application can be mailed to you upon request. Once an application is received and approved, your license is usually mailed within 10 days. For general business license information, please call (949) 234-4417. For all other questions, please call our office at (949) 493-1515. Office hours are Monday – Thursday 7:30am to 5:30pm and Fridays 7:30am to 4:30pm.

 

City Hall Address:

City of San Juan Capistrano

Business License Department

32400 Paseo Adelanto

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

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: How do I renew my license?

A: Online
You can renew online. You may use your debit card or credit card for all applicable fees when renewing online. 
 
Online Business License Renewal Guide
 
If any information printed on your renewal form is incorrect, you must renew in person or by mail to make any changes.
 
Phone
You can renew by phone. You may use your debit card or credit card for all applicable fees when renewing via phone. Please contact our office at (949)443-1515 option 2.
 
Payments via phone will be accepted Monday – Thursday 7:30am to 5:30pm and Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm (except holidays). 
 
Mail
If you choose to mail in your application with payment, the envelope must be postmarked by the United States Post Office on or before your delinquent date listed on the top right corner of your renewal notice. Failure to meet this requirement will result in additional penalties due.

Q: How much does an annual commuter parking permit cost?

A: The fee is pro-rated based on the date of purchase.

Parking Permit Pro-Rated Fee Schedule

MONTH OF PURCHASE SJC RESIDENT NON RESIDENT
January $128.00 $410.00
February $118.00 $376.00
March $107.00 $341.00
April $97.00 $307.00
May $85.00 $274.00
June $75.00 $239.00
July $64.00 $205.00
August $54.00 $171.00
September $43.00 $137.00
October $32.00 $103.00
November $22.00 $69.00
December $11.00 $34.00

 

Q: How much does the employee parking permit cost?

A: The cost for each employee parking permit is $8.00. Replacement permits will be issued for a fee of $11.00.

Q: How to apply for a one time filming permit?

A:
1. Complete all pages of the Film Permit Application. (See attached)

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: If I work from home in San Juan Capistrano, do I need a special permit?

A: Yes. Along with a business license application, you will need to apply for a home occupation permit. This application is included in the business license application packet. The home occupation permit application will be reviewed by the Planning Department. There are no additional fees for the Home Occupation Permit.

Q: Is an annual commuter parking permit required?

A: A parking permit is required to park in the commuter lots between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, including the handicap spaces, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays when the City Hall is closed. No long-term parking is allowed in the commuter lots. Commuter parking permits will be honored in spaces 1-73 in the basement level. If all spaces, 1-73, are occupied, commuter permits will also be honored in metered spaces only in the basement levels. Please be aware that commuter permits are not valid in the 3hr. parking spaces.

Q: Is there overnight parking at the train station?

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

Q: What are the permit rights for employee parking?

A: The employee parking permit allows an employee to park in 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 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 $1 State Fee added to my business license tax?

A: On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1186 which adds a state fee of $1.00 on any applicant for a local business license or renewal. Effective January 1, 2013, this fee will be required from all new business licenses or renewals. 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: When do I need to renew my annual commuter parking permit?

A: Commuter parking permits expire on December 31st.

Q: When do I need to renew my license?

A: Licenses are issued on a calendar year basis and expire on December 31st.

Q: When do the employee parking permits expire?

A: The employee parking permit expires annually.

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

Q: Where is the downtown employee parking areas?

A: Please click here to see the downtown employee permit areas.
•    El Camino Real (north of Del Obispo Street, west side of the street)
•    City Parking Lot (El Camino Real and El Horno Street)
•    Camino Capistrano, north of Acjachema Street (both sides of the street)
•    Capistrano Depot Parking Lot (north end spaces, designed as public parking)
•    Multi-Modal Parking Lot (spaces along northern most row of parking)
•    Paseo Adelanto, north of Del Obispo (east side of street)
•    Los Rios Park – Small parking lot (corner of Paseo Adelanto and Ramos Street)
•    Los Rios Parking Main Parking Lot
•    City Parking Lot (El Camino Real, between Forster and Yorba streets)

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.

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