Apply For A Business License Berkeley, California

How do I obtain a business license in Berkeley?

If you are planning to open a business in Berkeley, CA, you are required to obtain a Berkeley business license.  Even if you are buying a business that is already in operation, you will be required to apply for a new license, as Berkeley business licenses are non-transferable.  Whether you are opening a business in your home, whether you own rental properties, whether you are changing locations or your current business, you will still be required to apply for a business license to conduct any business within the city.

How do I apply for my Berkeley business license?

You must first contact the Finance Department either by going in person to the City of Berkeley at 1947 Center Street, 1st floor, or by calling them at (510) 981-7200.  Once you have your license application, you will need some specific information in order to completely fill it out.  You will be required to submit the physical address of your business, your business name as well as your own name and contact information. You will be asked to state whether your business is female or minority owned. You must disclose what type of ownership of your Berkeley business has, whether it is solely owned, part of a joint venture, or a larger corporation.  If you are a contractor, you will need to have your contractor’s license number, if you do not have your contractor’s license, you cannot apply for your business license until it is issued.  Your FEIN (Federal Employers ID Number) or social security number will be required and whether you plan to sell tobacco products. 

This is the extent of your business license application. When you have completed it, you will mail or hand deliver it to Finance Customer Service, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704. If you plan to run your business from your home, in addition to your business license, you will need to contact Current Planning at the Permit Service Center (510) 981-7410.  Your business license will need to be renewed on January 1st of each year, whether or not you receive your courtesy reminder.  If your Berkeley business closes, or you transfer ownership, you must contact Customer Services at (510) 981-7200 to file a closing business statement. 

Are there fees associated with Berkeley business licenses?

Most businesses have a New Berkeley Business License Tax of $51.00. For a rental property business, the fee is $77.00.  There is also $25.00 license registration fee.  Depending on what type of business you are opening, there may be other fees.  You can contact the Finance Customer Service Center at (510) 981-7200 to speak to them about other fees or if you have any questions.

What else should I know before opening my Berkeley Business?

Many businesses will need additional Berkeley permits and/or Berkeley licenses, and it is your responsibility to know what permits and licenses you might need.  Your Berkeley business license could be revoked or denied if you do not follow strict guidelines in obtaining it.  If you are not certain whether you need additional Berkeley permits or Berkeley licenses, you must call the Permit Service Center at (510) 981-7500.  Your business must meet planning and development regulations, you can speak to the Permit Service Center about whether you business is in regulation.  If you handle food, you must have an inspection from the Environmental Health Department. The department can be reached at (510) 981-7460.

Who should I contact for more information?

For questions about your Berkeley business license application, you should contact the Finance Customer Service Center at (510) 981-7200.

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