Individuals and firms doing business in Beverly Hills must renew their business licenses by Feb. 1 or face substantial penalties, a city spokesman said.
The yearly fees range from $116 a year for a gardener or pool service to more than $100,000 for a major department store or hotel. Penalties are levied at a rate of 10% a month, up to a maximum of 50%.
Donald Oblander, the city's director of finance administration, said a relatively small number of businesses fail to file their renewals.
"In some cases, the renewal is simply overlooked by the clerical personnel of the business," he said. "In other cases, the renewal notice sent by the city is lost, apparently in the mail." In any case, he said, the city will not accept responsibility for lost notices.