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Is a business license required in CA for loan signing work? n/m
Notary Discussion History
Is a business license required in CA for loan signing work? n/m
Go Back to June, 2012 Index

Posted by SE12ER on 6/24/12 1:00am
Msg #424491

Is a business license required in CA for loan signing work? n/m

Reply by Marian_in_CA on 6/24/12 1:16am
Msg #424492

Re: Is a business license required in CA for loan signing work?

California doesn't have a state-wide "business" license for that type of work. However, you do need a Notary commission. You may need a business license or tax certificate if the county or city where you provide service requires it. Some cities requires other licenses and permits, too. For example, if you are strictly mobile or work from a home office, you may have to pay certain fees for a home-based business. It all depends local ordinances.

Here's where you should go to look it up... but even then, you should check with each city to determine their requirements. One thing to know is that, if you are mobile and offer service in multiple cities, those other cities may require you to obtain a business license in their city, too.

In the search field, enter "Notary Public" and then go through the process for the locality where you are at.

Reply by Erwin/CA on 6/24/12 10:40am
Msg #424503

Re: Is a business license required in CA for loan signing work?

The City of Los Angeles requires a business license for a home based business, but it is free if your gross receipts are below a certain level. Each year they send me a renewal notice and it can be renewed online and the license can be printed out. Takes just a few minutes.

Reply by Susan Fischer on 6/24/12 10:10pm
Msg #424551

Aren't all Notaries Public doing the business of the State?

Hard to imagine a firehouse being required to have a business license.

Reply by Marian_in_CA on 6/25/12 1:10am
Msg #424555

Nope, we're not.

Remember that those of us who work as NSAs earn more than our statutory state fees and provide services that exceed the duties of our commissions (travel, printing, etc.) And even still, if we are charging people money for a service, we're in business... and municipalities (sadly) have the right to tax and regulate people doing business in their area. I may not agree with how they handle it... but they do have the right.

Fire departments are either volunteer or paid for by local tax dollars, aren't they? Last time I checked, nobody's tax dollars are covering my expenses. Smile

I have to pay for everything to obtain my commission - training, exam, photograph, background check/fingerprinting, bond, oath filing, seals, journals and other supplies. It may be a state commission where some aspects are public, but I'm still a private business person.

Reply by Susan Fischer on 6/25/12 1:41am
Msg #424557

After almost a decade in the NSA biz, I get your point,

however, I can't see any municipal regulation specific to my being an NSA. No office, no public walk-ins. I pay my local taxes just like every traveller on the roads.

Do door-to-door salesmen, Avon/Mary Kay, etal pay for business licenses? I dunno. I just know that I've never been asked by any signer in all these thousands of signings locally, to produce a business license.

Glad I'm in Oregon.

Reply by Susan Fischer on 6/25/12 1:52am
Msg #424558

One last thought: I went to many different towns,

counties, zip CA, would I need a business license from each town, or each county before I accept a signing in that town/county? Maybe a general CA business license? Are there such things? Again, just asking, I dunno.

Reply by Priscilla Witman on 6/25/12 8:45am
Msg #424566

I can only speak for the city I live in...

...but anyone doing business in city limits has to have a city business license, and that includes people selling candles, makeup, etc. If you're on a county line, things change and the county may require one as well. In Ridgecrest, because I don't have a storefront, I also had to have a home occupation permit in order to get the business license, regardless of how much business I actually do in my home.

It's probably presumptious, but I doubt seriously that every Mary Kay lady or even every notary in this city has a business license. But I know the requirement is there, so I pay for it and keep it up. I don't know what the penalty is if caught without one, and I don't want to find out. I don't think every county or city is the same, and I think there are some cities that don't require a business license. For a business such as this, my license fees for the year are, IMO, minimal.

I may be wrong, but I don't think there is such a thing as a general CA business license. It'd be nice if there were, so we'd be covered everywhere in the state. I believe (and I could be wrong) that the state leaves it up to the county/city level to determine licensing requirements for businesses like ours.

Reply by SheilaSJCA on 6/25/12 4:24pm
Msg #424627

Re: I can only speak for the city I live in...

I am sure it varies from city to city, but my city does require a business license. The first year I was in business, I did not know this. They sent me a bill with a late fee. Total due was $215.00 Usually it is $150 per year. So now I pay as soon as the bill comes.

Reply by SE12ER on 6/25/12 1:01pm
Msg #424598

Thank you all for your comments and input!! n/m

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