Each person engaging in business within the City shall apply to the Tax Collector for a registration certificate, using the form prescribed by the Tax Collector. The application shall be accompanied by the person’s registration fee as determined under this Article. A combined group as described in Section 956.3 of Article 12-A-1 shall apply for a certificate and calculate its fee on a combined basis.
A person shall have 15 days after commencing business within the City to apply for a registration certificate. The registration fee for newly-established businesses shall be prorated as follows:
For the registration year commencing on or after July 1, 2014 and ending June 30, 2015, the fee for obtaining a registration certificate for a newly established business shall be determined pursuant to Section 855(c) of this Article using the applicant’s estimated payroll expense under Article 12-A (Payroll Expense Tax Ordinance) for the tax year in which the person commences such business within the City. For registration years commencing on or after July 1, 2015, the fee for obtaining a registration certificate for a newly established business shall be determined pursuant to Section 855(e) of this Article using the applicant’s estimated gross receipts under Article 12-A-1 (Gross Receipts Tax Ordinance) for the tax year in which the person commences such business within the City. The registration fee shall be prorated as follows: For persons commencing business between January 1st and March 31st, the registration fee shall be 50 percent of the annual fee; for persons commencing business between April 1st and June 30th, the registration fee shall be 25 percent of the annual fee; for persons commencing business between July 1st and September 30th, the registration fee shall be 100 percent of the annual fee; and for persons commencing business between October 1st and December 31st, the registration fee shall be 75 percent of the annual fee. Where a registration certificate is issued for a period other than for a registration year, the Tax Collector shall have discretion to prorate the registration fee in accordance with this model.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, no person obtaining a registration certificate for a newly established business that qualifies for the minimum registration fee set forth in Section 855 of this Article shall be entitled to prorate the registration fee under this Section, but instead shall pay the minimum registration fee.
All applications for renewal of registration certificates shall be accompanied by the full amount of the applicant’s annual registration fee for the period covered by the registration certificate.
Promptly after receiving a properly completed application and registration fee from any person, the Tax Collector shall determine whether the applicant has paid all outstanding: (1) gross receipts taxes; (2) payroll expense taxes; (3) costs and/or charges assessed pursuant to Article 5.1 of the Public Works Code, as amended from time to time, for failure to abate a nuisance regarding the cleanliness of an abutting public sidewalk or right-of-way; and (4) other taxes and license fees due to the City. In addition, the Tax Collector may investigate whether the applicant has paid other amounts owning to the City as a result of fines, penalties, interest, assessments, or any other financial obligations imposed by law, regulation or contract. If the Tax Collector determines that all liabilities have been paid, the Tax Collector shall issue a registration certificate to the applicant for each place of business maintained by the applicant.
If a person submits a timely application under this Section and the Tax Collector determines that the applicant has satisfied all the requirements of this Article, including the payment of all outstanding liabilities owed to the City, then the Tax Collector shall issue a registration certificate to the applicant within 30 days after the Tax Collector makes such determination.
Each registration certificate shall be non-assignable and nontransferable. The holder of the registration certificate shall surrender the certificate to the Tax Collector immediately upon the sale or transfer of the business for which the Tax Collector issued the registration certificate. The holder of the registration certificate shall also surrender the certificate to the Tax Collector when such holder ceases to conduct business at the location designated in the certificate.
If the Tax Collector determines that any liabilities enumerated in subsection (d) of this Section remain unpaid as of the date an application is received, the Tax Collector shall give written notification of that fact to the applicant. The written notification shall set forth the amount owed, the liabilities enumerated in subsection (d) of this Section for which the amount(s) are owed, the dates the liabilities were incurred and any other information the Tax Collector deems necessary to apprise the applicant of what specific liabilities are owed to the City. The Tax Collector shall not issue a registration certificate unless and until the applicant has paid all amounts owing to the City, including, but not limited to, taxes, license fees, and costs or charges assessed for failure to abate a nuisance condition on a public right-of-way under Article 5.1 of the Public Works Code, as amended from time to time, for which the applicant is liable; provided, that if a good faith dispute exists regarding the amount of the outstanding liability or liabilities owed by the applicant to the City and the dispute is pending before a City agency or court of competent jurisdiction, then the Tax Collector shall not refuse to issue a registration certificate solely for non-payment of the amount in dispute.
Each registration certificate, and each duplicate thereof, shall set forth the name under which the person transacts or intends to transact business, the location of the registrant’s place of business and such other information as the Tax Collector may require, and be prominently displayed therein. In the case of a sole proprietorship, the registration certificate shall be signed by the sole proprietor; in the case of a partnership, the registration certificate shall be signed by a general partner; in the case of a limited liability company, the registration certificate shall be signed by the managing member; and in the case of a corporation, the registration certificate shall be signed by the person authorized by the corporation to sign on its behalf.
Each person liable for payment of a registration fee pursuant to this Article shall pay only one annual registration fee. The Tax Collector shall issue a separate registration certificate for each location within the City where the person engages in business.
The person may register up to 15 fictitious business names (sometimes abbreviated DBA, dba or d/b/a) without an additional charge. The Tax Collector shall charge a fee of $25, in addition to the registration fee, for each fictitious business name under which the business or operation is registered to conduct business in the City in addition to the first 15 fictitious business names registered.
In addition to all other civil penalties provided for by law, the Tax Collector may charge any person who fails to register in a timely manner a fictitious business name or a location within the City where the person engages in business, an administrative penalty of $500 per fictitious business name or business location that the person fails to register.
(Added by Ord. 63-01, File No. 010274, App. 4/25/2001; amended by Ord. 177-01, File No. 010826, App. 8/17/2001; Ord. 26-04, File No. 031990, App. 2/19/2004; Ord. 291-10, File No. 101099, App. 11/18/2010; Proposition E, App. 11/6/2012, Oper. 12/14/2012)