Doing business in California ? Forms and regulations

We have a customer in CA that wants us to provide sip, hosted PBX, and services. What are the regulations and FCC standards for this state? We do not have any current clients here but are looking to grow and don’t want to lose any opportunities here. Besides FCC, are there any other regulations, taxes, fees?

Fine questions to ask a telecoms attorney!


which I am trying to avoid if I can lol

Yep, there are state and AND counties ‘taxes fees and charges’ . You need to file with every county you have clients in, If you don’t want an attorney make sure your accountant is up to scratch.

You generally don’t file with cities. However, California is one of the higher tax areas around. All sorts of local, county and state level taxes and fees.

(corrected, several cities are also counties)

That what I thought, we just need to know which ones to add to the bill

Well you’re going to need to spend some money. You need to file with the FCC, if you already haven’t, you need to several filings for various taxes at the state level so you are the tax authority. You need to deal with the state level communications commissions.

Telecom billing, taxes and fees are complicated and complex has hell. Your best avenue is to get a lawyer, a proper accountant and a compliance consultant/firm to make sure you have everything you need done. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for the state/federal commissions. You are going to need billing software that can tie into these tax tables (which are updated at least quarterly) and decide how you are doing the taxes and rating.

And don’t forget the quarterly and annual usage reporting you will need to do and, of course, all the 9-1-1, Fraud/RoboCall stuff, STIR/SHAKEN and lest of all 10DLC registrations if you want to do SMS/MMS on your numbers (at least be able to send without being blocked).


This is a quick way to burn yourself, as the defense of, “Strangers on a website with no legal background or authority told me it was ok”, is not an argument that holds up.

Even if you talked to a CA company doing exactly what you are doing, you are relying on what they tell you as accurate, which, depending on the severity of the outcome, is not a good place to be.

If it is important to not expose yourself to the potential risk, you need to talk to an authoritive source to ensure you are doing it correctly. A lawyer, who you pay for legal advise (and have remedy against if there is an issue) is good. You can also call the city/county/state and ask to see if the law makers can provide clarity with documentation.

If you want to risk it, then just doing it is about as good as what you are doing now.

This might be helpful:

In my opinion, this sounds like a great opportunity to resell someone else’s service and make taxes, fees, and regulatory issues someone else’s problem.

E.g., let Sangoma deal with it:

Same familiar FreePBX/PBXact, but not your problem. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’m not sure that helps. We are the sip provider

I’m not a CFO or an accountant or a lawyer, but each of my now designated partners assure me that mis-filing with the FCC, California or Los Angeles will get you in a lot of doo-doo really quickly , the penalties are severe and quickly compounded on a quarterly basis, (We suffered financially for two years by effing up here)

Get competent professional advice from folks who understand the obligations of any "sip provider’ in your locale.



This topic was automatically closed 31 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.