Of course you do! In California, if you operate ANY type of business you need a general California city business license. This even applies to California small businesses and home-based businesses, or a business that does not make very much money. While there is no California state busienss license, if you are in business in any city in California, no matter how small, you need to apply for a business license in your city.
Do I get a business license from the city, county, or state in California?
General business licenses in California are governed by each individual city where you do business (or county in unincorporated areas of California). They are also called by different names, even though they are cities in the same State! Some cities in the State of California call them a business license, others call them a California business tax certificate. For example, if you have a restaurant business in Anaheim and then open another restaurant in San Diego, you will need a business license in Anaheim and a business tax certificate in San Diego, but they are really both the same thing. The reason for this is that each city in California is allowed to charge fees for any business located in its jurisdiction as a tax collection mechanism and also as a way to track economic development statistics. So, if you are going to open several business locations you need a business license in every city in California where you open a location with employees. For most businesses, the problem with filing for a business license and paying the fees in multiple locations is not a problem. This would most likely apply to franchises and large retail chains.
However, do not be confused about the general business license required by each city, and the other types of licenses applicable to businesses that are required by counties and the State of California. Several county and California state licenses are required for different types of trades and businesses in order to protect the public health and safety, such as gun dealers and tattoo artists. Some cities require these types of licenses too. These types of licenses are IN ADDITION to the general business license required by the city. The state of California may also have different State of California business licenses that you will need to get in addition to the city general business license, such as a Seller’s Permit from the California State Board of Equalization. For more general information about county and state business licenses, go to our main business license page by clicking here.
How do I get a California business license?
You need to fill out a business license application that you can obtain from your city’s offices or city hall. Most California cities have business license forms that you can download, print and mail or hand-deliver to the city office and require you to pay a fee, usually between $50 and $100, but often depends on the size of your business (how many employees you have). This is usually not a common factor, as most businesses in California are small businesses. If you need a small business license California cities often have special small business license or home-based licenses or permits. Many larger cities now allow you to apply for a business license online! Therefore, getting a business license in California is relatively easy. While most cities do not have a California business license verification search or California business license lookup service online, they do allow you to apply for a new business license over the Internet. Visit your city’s business license website by choosing your city from the list below.
What information do I need to fill out the State of California business license application?
Every city has a different business license forms and California busienss license requirements, however, most of them are very similar. You can expect to be asked the following information:
- Business Name
- Business Address
- Mailing Address (if different from the main address)
- Phone Number
- Type of Business (LLC, Corporation, Partnership, or Sole Proprietor)
- Federal Tax ID Number (Employer Identification Number or EIN) obtained from the IRS (If you are a sole proprietor, this is your social security number)
- Sellers Permit Number (If you sell goods in California you will need this before getting a business license)
- Each individual owner’s name, address and phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Type of Business to be conducted
- Number of Employees
- Expected Annual Sales
In many cities, there is an annual fee that is required to be paid every year. For some cities, the fee is fixed, but for others it depends on your sales revenues. This makes it more expensive to do business in one city versus another, but normally the fee is only a small percentage of sales. Many cities allow you to pay by credit card, but most still require a written check. The city will usually mail you some type of license or certificate with a California business license number within a few weeks.
Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license
There has never been a better time to get a degree. Even top Universities across the U.S. have joined the movement that’s allowing millions to get an education online. Business degrees are the perfect stepping stone for building a career, increasing earning potential, and ultimately growing your business.
Find out how to improve your knowledge and increase your earning potential by getting an online business degree. Click here to find the program that’s right for you.
Search by State
To find more information about a business license in your state choose the state below.
This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.
Owning and operating your own business is a dream come true for many—but it doesn’t come without hard work and dedication. You might find that your initial to-do list is surprisingly long, with tasks that range from creating your business name to determining your business address. Yet they’re all critical to your success.
One of the most important steps when forming a new business is making sure you have a business license. Before you open your doors to any customers, you need the authorization to conduct business. Let’s review what obtaining these credentials entails so you can start doing business in California.
What is a business license?
A business license is a set of documents that allows a California business owner to operate legally within the state. A business license might include a seller’s permit or an operating license, depending on your business activity. Some cities in California, like San Diego, refer to this document as a business tax certificate.
When do you need a business license in California?
All types of businesses are required to obtain a business license in California, no matter the industry you’re in or how much revenue you generate. This documentation serves multiple purposes and works to protect both you and the city or municipality in which you operate. Home-based businesses and brick and mortar operations must submit a business license application before they begin working.
How exactly does this paperwork benefit your company? A business license identifies your company and lets others know how you plan to make money. This is particularly important if you’re using a fictitious business name (i.e., not your full legal name!) so that the government has the contact information for whoever operates your organization.
Even if you run a sole proprietorship, you’ll need a business license before you start working, as the Internal Revenue Service will need to know how you’re generating income. When it comes time to file your taxes, sole proprietors will be able to use their Social Security Number, while other types of organizations will need to use an Employer Identification Number.
Some types of license requirements also help protect the public and ensure that you’re adhering to industry regulations. Restaurants, in particular, are required to obtain a business license and a health permit so city officials can perform regular safety checks. Other types of companies may be subject to specific stipulations based on their industry.
Lastly, the application fees and franchise tax associated with business licenses also help to aid the economic development of your area. The funds from each business license application often help fund schools, libraries, or other types of community development initiatives.
Do I need a business license to sell online in California?
In short, yes, but a business license is only part of the equation if you want to sell goods online in California. While a general business license is required before you make any money, you’ll also need to obtain a seller’s permit so you can charge your customers sales tax.
If your company’s business model includes purchasing goods to sell online, it’s important to also apply for a resale license. This grants you an exemption from paying additional taxes when buying inventory and can save you a great deal of money when making large purchases.
How much does a California business license cost?
How much does a California business license cost? Pricing for business licenses isn’t uniform across the state of California, so it’s best to inquire with your county clerk about the cost of local licenses. In general, most CA small businesses will pay between $50 and $100 for a general business license. Larger corporations may be subject to charges based on their projected revenue.
4 steps to get your California business license
Getting your business license may feel like one more hoop to jump through before you can open your doors, but it’s essential to take your time when going through this process. Acquiring this documentation isn’t a “one and done” task, so you’ll want to follow all 4 of these steps:
- Do your research. Starting a company requires you to become an organizational expert, and you’ll undoubtedly want to exercise your skills in this area. Business owners need to determine the types of licenses they’ll need for their given industry, the costs associated with each document, and how often they need to be renewed. Individuals can get permit assistance through CalGOLD, an informative site that helps you find licensing information.
- Submit your business license application to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. You must complete this paperwork as accurately as possible and include details like your DBA, federal tax ID number (which can be obtained for free from the IRS), and all other information related to your business entity.
- Wait patiently until you are approved. This can be the most trying part of the process, as you cannot legally conduct business until your license has been issued. You’ll receive a license number from the California Secretary of State and may be required to display your document in your place of business.
- Renew your licenses as needed. Remember the information you found in step one regarding the renewal process? Business owners will want to periodically track the renewal dates of all of their licenses and permits to ensure they don’t expire. If you aren’t sure of these dates, you can contact your local city hall for assistance.
Obtaining your business license in California may take some time, but it’s a step on the path to business ownership that absolutely cannot be overlooked.
While you’re in the process of compiling documents and jumping through regulatory hoops, take a moment to consider getting small business insurance. Huckleberry makes it easy with an online application that only takes about 5 minutes to complete.
The City of Pleasanton requires any person conducting business in the city to obtain a business license. This includes any business using a Pleasanton address for advertisement, or state or federal licensing, even if the business is done offsite.
For more information on business license requirements CLICK on link for Section 5 ( Pleasanton Municipal Code ).
- PAYMENT DUE BETWEEN JANUARY 1 THRU JANUARY 31ST – DELINQUENT IF RECEIVED ON/AFTER FEBRUARY 1ST
- POSTMARKS ARE ACCEPTED – Postmarks February or later are considered delinquent
- WE DO NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT OVER THE PHONE
- TO CLOSE YOUR LICENSE – Complete Closure Box, Sign & Date and RETURN/ OR Complete the CLOSURE LETTER Below and MAIL IN
TO RENEW ONLINE
- Click on the LINK below to Renew
- Reference your BUSINESS LICENSE # and PIN # (located at front bottom of renewal form mailed)
ANY CHANGES SUBMITTED WILL BE REVIEWED AND A LINK TO PAY WILL BE EMAILED UPON APPROVAL
RENEW YOUR LICENSE
TO RENEW ONLINE – YOU WILL NEED the License/Acct# and PIN#
Credit card payment limit up to $2,500
Business address change or owner change NOT allowed online.
TO CLOSE YOUR LICENSE – YOU CANNOT DO THIS ONLINE.
PLEASE PRINT THE PDF “Closure Notice”, Sign and Mail/Email to our office.
Click here to RENEW online .
NEW application forms AVAILABLE HERE
For ANY business operating within the City
Please PRINT/MAIL/or drop off with your estimated license tax payment and any other applicable forms below. DO NOT EMAIL applications.
To make an address CHANGE or REACTIVATE your license, please use this form.
Cottage Food Operation in a residential home please print and mail to the Planning Dept.
Out of City/ Construction Contractors for a New License Only- Please click on the link to apply
**TOBACCO RETAILER PERMIT**
Effective January 1, 2021 – All businesses selling tobacco and tobacco related products must apply for a Tobacco Retailer Permit. New businesses must obtain Planning approval prior to applying for a Tobacco Retailer Permit. For more information please visit: http://www.cityofpleasantonca.gov/gov/hottopics/tobacco_restrictions/default.asp
Click here for PERMIT Pdf application : Tobacco Retailer Permit Application.pdf
BUSINESS LICENSE SEARCHES CLICK HERE: Business License Search portal .
INFORMATION ON GETTING STARTED CLICK HERE: Business Resource Handout
PLEASANTON BUSINESS LIST REQUEST CLICK HERE: Business List FORM.pdf
AB1607: Prevention of Gender-Based Discrimination: Business Establishments’ Legal Obligations
Information regarding this bill can be obtained thru this website in 6 required languages: https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/gender_policy.pdf
PREVENCIÓN DE LA DISCRIMINACIÓN POR GÉNERO: OBLIGACIONES LEGALES DE ESTABLECIMIENTOS COMERCIALES: https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/gender_policy_sp.pdf
PAG-IWAS SA DISKRIMINASYON BATAY SA KASARIAN: MGA LIGAL NA OBLIGASYON SA MGA GUSALI NG NEGOSYO: https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/gender_policy_tagalog.pdf
AB1379 was imposed by the state to increase the $1 state mandate fee to $4.00 for licensing years 2018 thru 2023 . The State of California enacted SB1186 (Dutton; Special access: liability) in 2012 which imposed a $ 1.00 State fee on every applicant for a local business license or renewal (including all in-city commercial and home-based, all exempts, all non-profits, landlords, out -of-city, and all contractors) and is required to be collected by all cities and counties throughout California, including the City of Pleasanton.
This law requires that you be provided the following notices: Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
- The Division of the State Architect at www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa
- The Department of Rehabilitation at www.dor.ca.gov
- The California Commission on Disability Access at www.ccda.ca.gov
SB205 STORMWATER DISCHARGE COMPLIANCE . Any business required to obtain a storm water permit under the federal Clean Water Act through enrollment with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program must complete the companion NPDES Permit Enrollment Verification Form . Failure to demonstrate required enrollment within 90 days of applying can result in the denial of such business license application or renewal for insufficient information as required under PMC §§ 5.08.020 and 5.08.030.
The safety and health of our community is important to us. As such, we are taking the concerns associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) seriously and are closely monitoring this fluid situation. For more details on COVID-19, you can visit the Merced County’s Public Health Website on Covid-19.
Please visit Community and Economic Development Department's COVID-19 Procedures webpage to view the Department's complete COVID-19 procedures.
All businesses either physically located and/or conducting business within the unincorporated areas of Merced County must complete and submit a Merced County Business License Application and the associated fees to Merced County Community & Economic Development (CED).
- An annual business license fee is due on the anniversary date of your approved license. As a courtesy Community and Economic Development will mail a renewal notice approximately one month prior to the expiration date. However, it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure the renewal payment is made on or before the expiration date of the license.
- If payment is not received by the last day of the following month of license expiration, the license will become delinquent. A notice will be mailed to the business and a delinquent charge in the amount of the license fee (excluding the state fee of $4.00) will be added to the renewal fee. The delinquent fee and renewal fee will be immediately due upon mailing of the delinquent notice.
- If license is not renewed within 60 days of the expiration date the license will expire and a NEW application will have to be processed through the Community & Economic Development Department.
- A business license is NON‐TRANFERRABLE. It becomes void when a CHANGE OF ADDRESS or CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP occurs. Any change to address or ownership will be treated as a NEW application in which application procedure and fees will apply.
- If a business is no longer operating in Merced County it is the business owner’s responsibility to notify Community & Economic Development Department.
- Fee exemptions: Non‐Profits must provide 501c Form. Veterans must provide DD214 form.
- New Business License
- Business License Renewal
- Update License
Once a complete Merced County Business License Application and the associated fees are submitted to Merced County Community & Economic Development (CED). Your application will then be reviewed by staff. Staff will determine if all land use requirements are met and if additional approval is required by other agencies such as Merced County Fire Department, Environmental/Public Health, Buildings Division. All requirements must be met prior to being issued a business license.
Applications may be submitted to the Department in-person, or via mail.
In-Person Application Submission
Applications and associated fees may be submitted in person by visiting the Merced County Community & Economic Development office at 2222 M Street, 2 nd floor, Merced, CA 95340. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.
Mail-in Application Submission
Applications and associated fees may be mailed to Merced County Community & Economic Development by addressing to:
Merced County Community & Economic Development
Attn: Business License
2222 M Street, 2 nd Floor
Merced, CA 95340
Renewing a Business License with NO CHANGES
Renewal payments may be submitted in-person by visiting the Merced County Community & Economic Development office at 2222 M Street, 2 nd floor, Merced, CA 95340. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.
Renewal payments along with the signed renewal notice may be mailed to Merced County Community & Economic Development by addressing to:
Merced County Community & Economic Development
Attn: Business License
2222 M Street, 2 nd Floor
Merced, CA 95340
Renewing Business License WITH CHANGES
Merced County Business Licenses are non-transferrable (Merced County Code Section 06.02.140). Changes to business information may require the submission of a new application and issuance of a new business license or a change in fees.
Please contact Merced Community & Economic Development at [email protected] or at 209-385-7654 so that staff may determine if changes will require a new business license.
Updating an Existing Business License
If there have been changes to your business license information that you need to update you may do so before it is time to renew. Please keep in mind that since Merced County Business Licenses are non-transferrable (Merced County Code Section 6.02.140), some changes may require the closure of your current business license and a new business license will be issued.
These changes may include changes to:
- Physical business location
- Business name
If you are making any these changes please submit a New Business License Application (see New Business License for instructions).
A Business License is required of all entities engaging in business within the Chino Hills City limits, including home administrative offices, temporary activities and businesses with offices located outside the City.
All businesses located in the City of Chino Hills are required to obtain a business license. To apply for a new Business License, please download the Business License application (PDF) or visit the Community Development Department. Please submit payment with your application either at the counter with an appointment or via mail.
Commercial or Storefront businesses may also be required to obtain a Zoning Clearance and/or a Certificate of Occupancy in addition to the Business License. See table below for fees. *Please call the Community Development Department to determine the required business fees.
Home-based businesses are required to obtain a business license even if the primary business activity occurs outside of the home. Additionally, a Home Occupation Permit (PDF) is required. See table below for fees. Please submit payment with your application either at the counter with an appointment or via mail.
Senate Bill 205 compliance. Senate Bill 205 (SB 205) is a new California State law (effective January 1, 2020), which addresses the issues of stormwater pollution that remain unregulated by California’s clean water laws. SB 205, requires a business or person applying to the City for a new/initial business license or a renewal business license with a regulated Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code, processes and/or activities that have the potential to pollute stormwater, to demonstrate compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Industrial General Permit (IGP). Click (here) for additional information.
IN-CITY Business Fees
|Business License Fee||$ 16.20|
|State Disability Access Fee||$ 4.00|
|City Processing Fee (does not apply for license renewals via mail or online)||$ 81.00|
|TOTAL BUSINESS LICENSE FEES||$101.20|
|HOME OCCUPATION PERMIT FEE||$ 98.00|
|ZONING/USE REVIEW FEE (Commercial Locations Only)||$148.00|
|CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY FEE (Commercial Locations Only)||$123.00|
Payment is required at time of submittal. Applications received via mail without payment will not be processed.
All businesses located outside of the City of Chino Hills are required to obtain a business license if they have business activity in the City. To apply for a Business License over the phone, please call HdL at (909) 740-3187. See table below for fees.
OUT-OF-CITY Business License Fees
|Business License Fee||$16.20|
|State Disability Access Fee||$ 4.00|
|TOTAL BUSINESS LICENSE FEES*||$20.20|
*An $81 processing fee will be added to Out-of-City business license applications that are processed at the City of Chino Hills.
Business License Certificates
Business license certificates will be sent via USPS or email 2 to 3 weeks after your application and payment have been submitted. If you need a duplicate certificate, please call HdL at (909) 740-3187.
Business License Renewals
Business license renewals can be completed online or by phone. Click here to renew your business license online or call HdL at (909) 740-3187 to renew by phone. If you need a duplicate renewal form, please call HdL at (909) 740-3187.
Business License Search
To search a Chino Hills business license, please use the Business License Search.
Newly Licensed Businesses
The Monthly New Business License Report contains a listing of businesses that have applied for a business license within a given month. It provides the business name, owner’s name, and business phone number. This report is updated the first week of each month for the previous month’s activity.
Business License services are available online. If you have questions, feel free to email us at [email protected]
- *Massage Permits cannot be submitted online. All Massage Permits must be mailed to City Hall.
Once you have read through this entire page, you may submit your business license paperwork online by emailing [email protected] Do not email payment information . We will send you an invoice via email.
|Located Outside the City||$39
($35 registration + $4 AB1379 fee)
|Located Inside the City 1||$39
($35 registration + $4 AB1379 fee)
|Nonprofits or Veterans 1,2||$4
($4 AB1379 fee)
1 This does not include required fees for occupancy, construction permits, massage permits or outside agency fees.
2 501(c)3 documentation or DD214 required
($35 reg. + $4 AB1379 fee + $20 home occ. fee)
|Nonprofit or Veterans 1||$24
($4 AB1379 fee + $20 home occ. fee)
1 501(c)3 documentation or DD214 required
Expiration, Renewals & Late Fees
- All Business Licenses expire on January 31, and it is the business owner’s responsibility to renew the license.
- All business license renewals received after January 31 will be assessed a $15 late penalty fee.
- Any business license renewals received after March 1 will be assessed a $35 late penalty fee.
- License fee is non-refundable and not transferable.
Steps to Obtaining a Business License
Step 1 – Research
- Read through Resources to Open a Business to determine what type of permits are needed for your business. required for your business before filling out the business license application (i.e., State Board of Equalization for your Sellers Permit, Health Department if handling food, Alcoholic Beverage Control if selling alcohol, etc.).
- Door-to-Door Solicitors will need to fill out the business license application, and bring this application to the Police Department when they apply for a solicitor’s permit. Police signature approval is required on the business license application form. Contact the Temecula Police Department (Old Town Storefront) at 951-506-5130.
Step 2 – Download the Application
Download the appropriate Business License Application Packet (PDF) located on the right margin. This is a PDF document, so you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to access the Business License application. If it is not already installed on your computer, make sure you download the Reader before you try downloading any PDFs.
Step 3 – Gather and Provide Information
- Fill-out the application completely. Missing information will delay the processing and issuance of your license.
- Carefully review and attach all required documents that pertain to your business.
- Make sure all forms are signed.
- Non-profit organizations, please submit your 501(c)3 or proof of non-profit status, this will exempt you from the $35 registration fee, so you would only pay the $4 state fee AB1379.
- Veterans exemption (from the $35 fee) requires your DD214.
- If you are operating a business located inside the city please contact:
Describe your business operations in detail on the Statement of Operations Form (PDF) and:
- If you are operating a business from a commercial address located in the City of Temecula, a Certificate of Occupancy (PDF) is required if your Business is new, relocating, changing ownership or business name resulting in a change of tenancy and are proposing no tenant improvements. Please see the Certificate of Occupancy page for additional information.
- If undertaking tenant improvements, demolition, or other construction to the location, please contact the Building and Safety Department for your permit(s).
- If you are opening a business from your Temecula residence, please fill out the Home Occupation Form (PDF) as this registration is required. Please submit the Home Occupation Form with your business license application. There is a one-time $20 fee for this permit.
Step 4 – Submit Online or Via Mail
- Submit your application with the correct Business License Registration fee (detailed above).
- Mail applications should attach valid checks & an applicant's US Government issued picture identification
- Online applications should include the application (we will email an invoice to pay online at TemeculaCA.gov/CSS ). Do not email any credit card information.
Submit Your Business License Online –
Purpose of a Business License
Anyone doing business within the Temecula city limits is required to have a license; see Temecula Municipal Code Section 5.04.030, "Certificate Required."
Table of Contents
After months or years of hard work taking a concept from idea to reality, realizing a profit can be immensely gratifying. But running a business isn’t a free-for-all. The California government would like to know what you’re selling, when and where you’re selling it and how much sales tax you’re charging for it.
No matter what you’re selling, the government has rules for how your business operates and receiving a business license is a key part of becoming “official” in the eyes of the state. To make this complex process easier so you can get your business off the ground, we’ve compiled a guide on how to get a business license in California.
Varies By State & Package
On ZenBusiness’s Website
Varies By State & Package
On Northwest’s Website
Varies By State & Package
On IncAuthority.com’s Website
Do You Need a Business License in California?
While California does not require or issue a statewide business operating license, this doesn’t mean you do not need to have a business license to operate your business in the state of California. Instead, most business licensing is controlled at the county or city level, while the only statewide licensing is the “seller’s permit.” While there may be a few exceptions, as a general rule you will need a business license to operate in California.
When Do You Need a Business License in California?
In most California counties and cities, businesses must obtain a business license for tax purposes. Exceptions to this rule are most commonly found in some unincorporated areas of rural counties. In addition to the local business operating license, you may also need other licenses or permits depending on the type of activity your business is conducting or the location where you are operating.
For example, if your business is based in multiple cities or counties, you will need to establish a business license at your primary location and then obtain any additional business licenses in the other cities and counties you do business in.
Types of Business Licenses
Virtually all businesses will need at least one type of license or permit to legally operate in the state of California. Unfortunately, knowing exactly which license you may need to operate in your region and your specific industry can be a headache. Depending on the kind of business you operate, you might need to obtain local, county, state or federal business licenses. Luckily, California makes this a bit easier through the CalGold website, a tool that enables you to search by city or county and business type to see which permits you will need and which regulatory agencies administer them.
Local Business Licenses in California
The most basic type of business license you will need is a business operating license, which is often simply called a “business license” or “general license” and usually also includes a business tax certificate. These are the most common licenses and will apply to essentially any and all types of businesses and will be nearly identical in all cities and counties across California.
A Fictitious Business Name (FBN) or Doing Business As (DBA) statement may be required, or desired, for your business if the name you are doing business as does not match the name you registered the business with the Secretary of State.
A public health operating license is required of businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, fitness facilities or any other businesses that are related to people’s health. Chefs, cooks, baristas and servers will also be required to obtain a food handlers certification to work in the food industry. These permits often require some form of training and/or testing.
A pesticide applicator’s license will more than likely be required for any agricultural operation using any type of pesticide and may require some study and passage of a test to obtain.
Additional Local Permits
Additional permits you may be required to obtain on a city or county level when starting your business in California include:
- Zoning and land use permits. These are necessary if the land you build your business on is not properly zoned for the type of business you’re conducting
- Building permits. If you’re building a new building or renovating an existing one, you’ll likely need a building permit.
- Fire department permits. These are required if your business uses flammable materials and is public-facing, as with restaurants, gyms, daycares, hotels or retirement homes.
While these permits are not the same as business licenses, you should research to see if you must obtain one before starting your business.
California Statewide Licenses
In California, some business licenses are regulated on a statewide level instead of on a localized level. The most common one is a sales and use permit, often called a seller’s permit. Businesses selling or leasing any tangible property must obtain a seller’s permit before the first sale is completed.
If your business sells, manufactures, imports or distributes alcoholic beverages, you must apply for the appropriate license(s) with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and register to pay an Alcoholic Beverage Tax with the Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
A number of other California state licenses may be required for operating your business. If you’re not sure, you should conduct additional research using the CalGold permitting website.
Federal Licenses and Permits
Most small businesses will not need to obtain any federal licenses or permits, but depending on the size or activities that your business conducts, you may need to get a federal license. Common business areas where you will likely need federal business licenses include:
Now you can apply for, renew, and print your business license online! All renewals and business licenses will be sent via email when one is provided. Click the link below to get started!
Business License Online
Step 1-Determine your Business Structure
For operating and business reporting purposes, it is important to determine if you will operate your business as a sole proprietor, partnership (2 or more owners), corporation (1 or more stockholders/officers), or some other form of business entity.
Step 2-Find a Location for your Business and Contact Citrus Heights Planning Division
Find a Location for your Business and Contact Citrus Heights Planning Division (916) 727-4740.
Before signing a building property lease or purchase agreement, contact the City of Citrus Heights Planning Division to determine the zoning of the site, and whether or not your type of business is a permitted use for that location. In some cases, and additional permit may be required.
Step 3-Obtain Other Permits and Licenses
If you intend to alter, remodel, relocate or install any structure, electrical, plumbing. or mechanical portions of the building, you will need to contact the Building Department (916) 727-4760.
When a building has a change of use the Building Department may require a tenant improvement.
The Building Division may refer you to outside agencies such as:
- Metro Fire: https://www.metrofire.ca.gov/index.php/inspectors
- Sacramento Sewer District: https://www.sacsewer.com/business-opportunties
- Sacramento County Health Department: https://emdinspections.saccounty.net/
Sign permits are required for any sign on the outside of the building including permanent and temporary signs or banners. Planning Division approval is required along with Building Division approval for a sign permit to be issued. (Building Division approval not required for a Temporary Sign Permit)
Step 4-Register a Fictitious Business Name
If you create a name that is different than your own legal name , you will need to file a fictitious name with the Sacramento County Finance Department: https://www.finance.saccounty.net/Tax/Pages/FNBGeneral.aspx
Step 5-Tax Reporting
All businesses are required to file both state and federal tax returns. Contact the California State Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service to learn about specific requirements.
- California State Franchise Tax Board: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/
- Internal Revenue Service: https://www.irs.gov
If you sell a product, you should contact the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to assist you in determining if a Seller’s Permit is needed.
Step 6-Obtain a City of Citrus Heights Business License
The City of Citrus Heights Municipal Code requires that all business operating within the city limits must obtain a Business License. The fee for a Business License is based on the type of business. Business operating out of a residence are required to complete the Home Occupation Clearance form (which is part of the online Business License Application). It can take up to 60 day for the business license process, please provide all supporting information when applying, this will help the process.
A business license is required of all businesses operating within the city limits, including temporary activities and contractors with offices outside the city. Rates vary according to the type of business. To apply or renew a City of Brea Business License, please click here.
If you are participating in a city event or Brea Chamber of Commerce event, please click here for the application.
Notice To All Applicants For Business Licenses And Commercial Building Permits
Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
- DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES, Division of the State Architect, CASP Program: www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa; www.dgs.ca.gov/casp
- DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION, Disability Access Services: www.dor.ca.gov
- DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES, California Commission on Disability Access: www.ccda.ca.gov
New Requirements Affecting All Businesses In The City of Brea
Beginning January 1, 2020, the State of California requires industrial facilities that conduct certain activities to be covered by an Industrial General Permit from the State Water Resource Control Board. For more info, please click here.
Unless your business is home-based, an application for a Certificate of Occupancy is also required in order to obtain a business license. A commercial or industrial building, or suite, cannot be occupied without first obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy.
Payment of this tax does not constitute zoning, building, or fire code approval. Check with the Community Development Department in order to determine if your business can be legally established at your location.
New restaurants need to submit a fats, oils, and greases (FOG) application, in addition to applying to the City of Brea for a business license and certificate of occupancy. As part of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) local municipalities are responsible to conduct inspections for correct handling of fats, oils, and greases.
Business Services Overview
Welcome to Anderson! Anderson is a growing community conveniently located I-5. With vibrant businesses that offer a variety goods and services to almost 10,000 residents and trade area of 150,000, Anderson is the perfect location to establish your own unique business.
The City of Anderson is dedicated to helping you start, and grow, your business in our community. We will work closely with you to streamline the licensing and permitting processes, answer your questions and help your business thrive.
All businesses engaging in transactions within Anderson’s city limits are required to have a current business license. This includes businesses from a home-based office. Business licenses are renewed on January 1st of each year.
Please be advised that in addition to payment of the fee, you must also comply with all other provisions of the Anderson Municipal Code, including but not limited to, building, parking, zoning and fire safety requirements.
It is suggested that you check with the City of Anderson’s Building Department to verify Compliance with the Building and Land Use Codes. 1887 Howard Street, 2nd Floor, Anderson, CA. For general information call 530-378-6636
For information on Frequently Asked Questions, please scroll to the bottom of this page.
What is Considered a Business?
According to Section 5.04 of the Anderson Municipal Code a business is defined as including “Professions, trades, and occupations and all and every kind of calling whether or not carried on for profit.”
Prior to operating a business within the City of Anderson, all new business owners must complete a Business License Application. The application along with appropriate payment can be returned to the City of Anderson’s Finance Department at 887 Howard Street, Anderson, CA 96007. For questions regarding the Business License Application, please contact the Finance Department at (530) 378-6626.
Any home-based business operating within the City limits is required to have a current Business License as well as an Occupancy Permit to ensure Compliance with the standards set forth in City of the Anderson Municipal Code.
Do you need a Taxpayer Identification Number?
Any business operating as a Corporation or a Partnership is required by the Internal Revenue Service to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number. A business operating as a Sole Proprietor must report the business owner’s Social Security Number on the application in lieu of a Taxpayer Identification Number. To obtain more information regarding Taxpayer Identification Numbers, please visit the local IRS office at 1935 Ridgewood Drive, Chico.
Do you need a Seller’s Permit?
According to the State Board of Equalization, you must obtain a seller’s permit if you are engaged in business in California and sell or lease merchandise, vehicles, or other tangible personal property that is subject to sales or use tax. Making taxable sales without a valid permit is a misdemeanor under California’s Sales and Use Tax Law and is subject to fines and penalties.
To apply for a Seller’s Permit you must contact the State Board of Equalization at (800) 400-7115 to request an Express Registration package.
Fictitious Name Statements:
If you are working under a fictitious name, you Must file a Fictitious Name Statement with Shasta County Clerk/Recorder (530) 225-5730.
To receive additional information regarding a City business license, please contact us at (530) 378-6626. Permits may also be required from the Departments and Agencies listed above.