Ticket for not having Business Tax Certificate

ubermichaelG

New Member
I was picking up a group of 4 passengers at MB yesterday. At the dead end on Ventura plaza. Between the rollercoaster and the sandbar.

There was an extreme amount of traffic and pedestrians crossing the street. I expected my riders to be right in front of the sand bar but when they saw me stopped in the street for pedestrians crossing , they flagged me down and entered my vehicle. Couldn't have taken more than 5 seconds.

A motorcycle cop (who looked like he was waiting for the exact opportunity) had me pull over into the dead end in the red zone. He told me I was impeding traffic and that was unsafe. I explained to him I was stopped for the safety of the pedestrians that crossed the street continuously. He wasn't having it.

I gave him my license, registration, and Insurance, all while being extremely respectful. The buzzed passengers in my car felt really bad for getting in my car without letting me know, so they were quit through the whole excange.

After the officer ran my plates etc. He asked what were the stickers on my front and rear window. I informed him they are the new Uber trade dresses. we are required to display. He didn't seem to believe and obviously hasn't been doing his research.

He then asks me for my business tax certificate and I was in the dark about what that even meant. He I formed me all privately owned businesses i. the state of California are required to pay an annual fee and have one.

He wrote me a ticket for traffic impeding and not having the certificate.

Has anyone ever experienced this or does anyone actually have the certificate in there vehicle?

(Sorry for the long post)
 

BBSHO

Well-Known Member
From a legal perspective, this is really interesting...the cops is correct but I would def talk to a lawyer, this could be significant in the grand-scheme of all the uber lawsuits occurring?
 

UberReallySucks

Well-Known Member
Cop must be from San Francisco or heard about it on the news.

This was extensively reported that San Fransisco requires Uber / Lyft drivers to have a business license.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/apr/15/sf-to-require-lyft-uber-drivers-to-obtain/


The license will cost $91 a year and back fees for those who earn $100,000 or less in gross receipts will apply.

City Treasurer Jose Cisneros wouldn't fully explain why he is now requiring the license. But one reason, he finally has the names of the drivers, the newspaper reported. The city also launched its online business registration system in March. Before, registrants had to go to City Hall to apply in person.


Uber has indicated it would not challenge the city. Lyft spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson said the company is opposed to the plan.


That is Not the case as of yet in SD. I guess they know Uber drivers are too broke to pay for one here in SD.
 

SandyD

Well-Known Member
A State tax certificate is not a City business license. The sales tax certificate is for the collection of Sales Tax (Also called a "Sellers Permit"). You should fight that part of the ticket.
 

Sharkb8

Well-Known Member
A State tax certificate is not a City business license. The sales tax certificate is for the collection of Sales Tax (Also called a "Sellers Permit"). You should fight that part of the ticket.
Always plead not guilty, you might beat all the charges on that ticket. Plus, check to make sure the cop wrote the correct year, model, color, lic #, all that jazz. If anything is incorrect, you might get off.
 

Dirtbag Surfer

Well-Known Member
There is no requirement (yet) in San Diego to have a business license. That is just BS by an uninformed cops. Fight it for sure and if the traffic was already impeded by a steady stream of pedestrians, jaywalking or not, he got that one wrong as well.

And great thing as well that you have Uber on your side to help you with this. hahahahhahahaahahhahha! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
 

Older Chauffeur

Well-Known Member
There is no requirement (yet) in San Diego to have a business license. That is just BS by an uninformed cops. Fight it for sure and if the traffic was already impeded by a steady stream of pedestrians, jaywalking or not, he got that one wrong as well.

And great thing as well that you have Uber on your side to help you with this. hahahahhahahaahahhahha! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
The City of San Diego would take issue with your first statement. The required Business Tax Certificate is your "business license." (See link) My city licensing people contacted me about needing a license/tax certificate after I filed tax returns as an independent contractor. San Diego may do the same, so beware.
http://www.cityapplications.com/business-licenses/CA-California/biz-SanDiego.html
 

UberReallySucks

Well-Known Member
Actually as it was pointed out by SandyD in the above post, this is a business Tax certificate he was talking about. There hasn't been any instances of any cops asking for one in any market. There was quite a bit of talk about business license in San Francisco requirements as of late.

Uber had something posted about this in the LA Uber movement site that you "may" be required to have one. In San Diego, there's no such post.
All and all it's a far stretch for a cop to ask for something like that. He could have ticketed it him for the Uber trade dress stickers for violation of the California Vehicle Code, and he would have made more sense.

26708. (a) (1) A person shall not drive any motor vehicle with any
object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied
upon the windshield or side or rear windows.


(3) Signs, stickers, or other materials that are displayed in a
seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest
removed from the driver, signs, stickers, or other materials that are
displayed in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the rear
window farthest removed from the driver, or signs, stickers, or other
materials that are displayed in a five-inch square in the lower
corner of the windshield nearest the driver.

But Uber's policy is to assist :biggrin: with any traffic ticket if at no fault of yours. So I would submit a report to Uber and copy of the ticket and see what they say.

But any which way it goes, you have a VERY good chance of beating this ticket in court.

Last thing you wanna do is pay to just make it go away.
 

Null

Well-Known Member
The officer was likely enforcing a CITY (not STATE) requirement for having a Business Tax Certificate (Not the same as a Business LICENSE). For more info, see here.

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/treasurer/pdf/btax_app_instruct_2015ac.pdf

What I can't find is a REQUIREMENT that you display/show an officer on demand. So you could have avoided the ticket (or at least been more likely to successfully challenge it) had you simply refused to say anything about it. If I were asked, I would say "The law doesn't require me to show you such documentation" - Won't win you any brownie points, but the officer isn't your friend and he was already writing you the ticket anyway. =D

For the business tax part, what law did he cite on the ticket? He should have noted the Penal Code, Ordinance, etc. etc. to back up his claim. Once you've identified that, research what that respective statute says and make sure all the elements of the crime were met in your situation.
 

Dirtbag Surfer

Well-Known Member
There is no requirement (yet) in San Diego to have a business license. That is just BS by an uninformed cops. Fight it for sure and if the traffic was already impeded by a steady stream of pedestrians, jaywalking or not, he got that one wrong as well.
The City of San Diego would take issue with your first statement. The required Business Tax Certificate is your "business license." (See link) My city licensing people contacted me about needing a license/tax certificate after I filed tax returns as an independent contractor. San Diego may do the same, so beware.
http://www.cityapplications.com/business-licenses/CA-California/biz-SanDiego.html
I believe that even though we are independent contractors, we fall under Uber's business license.

Also in the state of California, we do not need a tax certificate which is refereed to here as a reseller's license and has to do with buying goods tax free and then taxing the buyer for them (sales tax). For instance, you need a reseller's permit to buy goods at say Costco tax free. Then you resell them and you must charge tax and pay the collected taxes to the state. This is usually done through a quarterly return with the state Franchise Tax Board.

I will query the city after the holiday just to make sure but if we do need a business license to driver Uber of Lyft, then there are a hell of a lot of driver's in violation.
 

Dirtbag Surfer

Well-Known Member
And that's what happened in LA as well. Some drivers were contacted by mail after they had filed their taxes.
If you get a 1099, LA comes after you hard. Not only for not having the proper license but with penalties and fees as well. Has happened to friends of mine unrelated to TNC and it was pretty gnarly!
 

Dirtbag Surfer

Well-Known Member
The officer was likely enforcing a CITY (not STATE) requirement for having a Business Tax Certificate (Not the same as a Business LICENSE). For more info, see here.

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/treasurer/pdf/btax_app_instruct_2015ac.pdf

What I can't find is a REQUIREMENT that you display/show an officer on demand. So you could have avoided the ticket (or at least been more likely to successfully challenge it) had you simply refused to say anything about it. If I were asked, I would say "The law doesn't require me to show you such documentation" - Won't win you any brownie points, but the officer isn't your friend and he was already writing you the ticket anyway. =D

For the business tax part, what law did he cite on the ticket? He should have noted the Penal Code, Ordinance, etc. etc. to back up his claim. Once you've identified that, research what that respective statute says and make sure all the elements of the crime were met in your situation.
Yeah, there is all kinds of wrong here. Def a cop with a stick up his ass for writing multiple infractions that are usually warnings most of the time and the fact that a tax license has no play when you are not reselling products that are taxable.

EDIT: the whole tax thing is usually used against street vendors, afaik
 

Null

Well-Known Member
Yeah, there is all kinds of wrong here. Def a cop with a stick up his ass for writing multiple infractions that are usually warnings most of the time and the fact that a tax license has no play when you are not reselling products that are taxable.
The San Diego "Tax Certificate" isn't a license (In the traditional sense) and not related a resale certificate/reseller's permit. It's essentially a flat tax for the business existing in any capacity.

Basically, the city requires you have the certificate and the fees to obtain the certificate ARE the tax.
 

Dirtbag Surfer

Well-Known Member
The San Diego "Tax Certificate" isn't a license (In the traditional sense) and not related a resale certificate/reseller's permit. It's essentially a flat tax for the business existing in any capacity.

Basically, the city requires you have the certificate and the fees to obtain the certificate ARE the tax.
You're right and it is a semantics/lay person thing basically. San Diego calls it a Tax Cert when most cities call it a business license or used to anyway. At least "tax" license is more accurate :smiles:
 

Older Chauffeur

Well-Known Member
Okay, for those too busy to read the subject matter of the link I posted, here is the pertinent portion:
"What is the process of obtaining a Business Tax Certificate in San Diego, California?
If you are going to operate a business within the City of San Diego you will need a Business Tax Certificate. The Business Tax Certificate is the "business license" in San Diego. All businesses that operate in San Diego need a Business Tax Certificate, even if the business is located in your home, if you are operating individually and not through a corporation, or even if your business does not yet have revenues."

You can argue all day long about what the cop did or what the state says about resale licenses, etc. What I said still stands. If you are operating a business in San Diego, you need a Business Tax Certificate.
Mine says on it to post in a conspicuous location at my place of business. I don't carry it in my car, but then I'm not carrying pax for hire in my car, or my city, for that matter. Since I live here, my city feels that they are entitled to a cut.
To the OP, just a suggestion, but how about getting the tax certificate before you go to court. The judge would most likely dismiss that part of the citation., sort of like having to show proof of insurance.
 

JasonB

Well-Known Member
What about this?

------------------------------------------------------

Business Licenses

This web page is to confirm that business certificates (licenses) are no longer required for businesses in the unincorporated portions of the County of San Diego. The Board of Supervisors deleted this requirement in August 1998.

Communities in the unincorporated portions of San Diego County include, but are not limited to:

Alpine, Bonsall, Bonita (91902), Borrego Springs, Boulevard, Campo, Crest, Cuyamaca, Dehesa, Descanso, Dulzura, Fallbrook, Granite Hills, Harbison Canyon, Hidden Meadows, Jacumba, Jamul, Julian, Lake Morena, Lakeside, Pala, Pauma, Pine Valley, Potrero, Rainbow, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho San Diego, San Dieguito, Spring Valley, Sweetwater, Tecate, Twin Oaks Valley, Valle de Oro, Valley Center, Warner Springs.

While a business certificate (license) is not required from the County, businesses must comply with rules and regulations affecting businesses. For information regarding applicable rules, regulations, and permits, please visit the State of California Business Portal CalGold.-

----------------------------------------------------

So, I operate out of San Dieguito - an unincorporated part of San Diego County. According to SanDiego.gov website,
I do NOT need a business license (tax certificate)

Now... this is where it gets interesting:

According to the same site, you do need a license to 'operate in' incorportated areas of SD County, but
each and every district has it's own unique requirements to obtain a license from that district!

So, theoretically, that San Diego business tax permit that the motorcycle cop required you to have in mission beach
would be completely USELESS if you got pulled over by a motorcycle cop in Encinitas!

That cop could say "where is your Encinitas business License/Tax certificate"

When you start going through and trying to figure out all of the unique requirements and licenses
you would need just to drive freely meeting all of these 'requirements' you're looking at a glovebox
of around 19-20 different business certificates you would have to hold!

C'mon, you have got to be kidding me...
 

San Diego Steve

Well-Known Member
I was picking up a group of 4 passengers at MB yesterday. At the dead end on Ventura plaza. Between the rollercoaster and the sandbar.

There was an extreme amount of traffic and pedestrians crossing the street. I expected my riders to be right in front of the sand bar but when they saw me stopped in the street for pedestrians crossing , they flagged me down and entered my vehicle. Couldn't have taken more than 5 seconds.

A motorcycle cop (who looked like he was waiting for the exact opportunity) had me pull over into the dead end in the red zone. He told me I was impeding traffic and that was unsafe. I explained to him I was stopped for the safety of the pedestrians that crossed the street continuously. He wasn't having it.

I gave him my license, registration, and Insurance, all while being extremely respectful. The buzzed passengers in my car felt really bad for getting in my car without letting me know, so they were quit through the whole excange.

After the officer ran my plates etc. He asked what were the stickers on my front and rear window. I informed him they are the new Uber trade dresses. we are required to display. He didn't seem to believe and obviously hasn't been doing his research.

He then asks me for my business tax certificate and I was in the dark about what that even meant. He I formed me all privately owned businesses i. the state of California are required to pay an annual fee and have one.

He wrote me a ticket for traffic impeding and not having the certificate.

Has anyone ever experienced this or does anyone actually have the certificate in there vehicle?

(Sorry for the long post)
The veterans don't pick up at mission beach, we all have been burned one way or another. Your story takes the cake, sorry for the bs for a shitty ride.
 

Older Chauffeur

Well-Known Member
JasonB,
And if you happened to get a long trip to Disneyland or Beverly Hills, technically those cities could claim you needed their license/certificate to operate. Seems like the odds of getting caught there would be slim, but still......
I saw the same county article you referenced in your post. Wouldn't it be easier if the counties throughout the state issued a license good anywhere, like a concealed carry permit?:rolleyes:
 
Top