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Tobacco Retailer’s License

Updated October 3, 2023

To obtain a tobacco retailer’s license, you will need to apply at the City’s online permit portal at Please note, to obtain a tobacco retailer’s license, you will first need to obtain a commercial business license for the primary business use. Once your commercial business license has been approved, then you are eligible to apply for a tobacco retailer’s license. As part of the tobacco retailer’s license application process, you will need to provide the following supporting documentation in the portal:

On February 14, 2008, the Cerritos City Council adopted an ordinance requiring businesses that sell tobacco to obtain a City of Cerritos tobacco retailerís license. The licensing ordinance also provides for the suspension or revocation of the license if the merchant sells tobacco products to minors or violates other local, state, or federal laws related to tobacco sales.

On November 14, 2019, the Cerritos City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1028 amending Chapter 5.35 and Section 22.40.320 of the Cerritos Municipal Code, prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes in all zones throughout the City of Cerritos.


  • Tobacco retailer’s licenses are issued by the City of Cerritos Business License Office.
  • The tobacco retailer’s license costs $50 per year, and must be renewed prior to the expiration of the payment term.
  • The tobacco retailer’s license is only required for merchants who sell any products containing tobacco and must be obtained prior to selling these products.
  • The tobacco retailer’s license must be posted in a conspicuous location on the premises that is visible to the public.
  • The tobacco retailer’s license is non-transferable and is valid only for the person and location issued for the period indicated, unless it is suspended or revoked for cause.
  • Effective July 1, 2020, tobacco retailer licenses will no longer be issued to merchants/retailers for the display, sale, offer for sale or possession with the intent to sell electonic cigarettes or associated paraphernalia, including vape products.


Penalties will be imposed as followed pursuant to Chapter 5.35 of the Cerritos Municipal Code:

  • 1st Violation—Written warning
  • 2nd Violation within three years of first violation— Thirty (30) day suspension
  • 2nd Violation within twelve months of first violation— Ninety (90) day suspension
  • 3rd Violation within three years of first violation— Ninety (90) day suspension
  • 4th Violation within three years— License Revocation

Resubmit After Making Corrections

Upon submitting an application, you will be notified if corrections are required. To resubmit your application after making the required corrections, please follow the resubmittal instructions here (PDF).


To renew your City business license, please follow the renewal instructions on your renewal notice. Renewal notices are mailed and emailed 45 days before business license expiration.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

To help us better serve you, please take a short one-minute customer satisfaction survey to provide any feedback for improvement.

For more information, please call the Business License Office at (562) 916-1236 or email

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