Every business needs a license, and permits may also be required for specific activities. We provide tools and advice to make the process of finding what you need and applying as straightforward as possible.
New Business Applications
Planning to start a business? Obtaining a business license is an important step in the process. For most businesses, the business license fee is a fixed rate depending on the number of employees. You can check the fee schedule here.
Take advantage of our online filing and payment portal. You can file your business license and pay for it online with Visa, MasterCard or Electronic Check.
Some businesses may need a special permit from the Police Department – follow the links below for further information.
- Charitable Contribution
- Commercial Solicitation
- Concealed Weapons Dealer
- Fortune Telling, Palmistry, Occult Arts or Bingo
- Police Permit Fee Schedule
- Private Detectives, Private Police, Watchmen
- Home Occupation
- Insurance Agents / Brokers
- State of CA Application for Secondhand Dealer or Pawnbroker License
Business License Renewals
Business licenses are renewable annually. You can now renew your business license online. Be sure to have your renewal notice with you in order to access the renewal system. This system will also allow you to update information about your business (e.g. phone number, email address, etc.).
Changes of Status
If there is a change of ownership, business name or location, you are required to obtain a new business license and are subject to any associated fees and approvals.
If your business is sold or discontinued, please complete the Declaration attached to the City Business License issued to you and return by mail.
On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB 1186. Beginning on January 1, 2013, until December 31, 2018, an additional state fee of $1 is imposed on any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. Its purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and develop educational resources for businesses to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws.