Apply For A Business License Chico, California

Is your plan to operate a business in Chico, California?

Those wishing to open a business in Chico will need to apply for and be issued a business license from the City of Chico Finance Office. You can request an application for a Chico business license from 411 Main Street in Chico, or you can print one from the City of Chico website. Before purchasing or leasing any business property, you may need to contact the Planning Division at (530) 879-6800 to be certain that your proposed business property is in the correct zone to be used for your business activities. 

What information is needed for your Chico business license?

Your Chico business license is a short, one-page document that collects information on your business, such as a description of your business activities, your business name and ownership type (sole ownership, corporation, or partnership), your business location (home occupation or downtown business), and all business contact information including a mailing and physical address.  You will need to give your driver’s license number and, if you the sole owner, you will need to give your social security number. 

If your business is part of a corporation, you will need to provide a taxpayer’s ID number. If you are operating a non-profit organization, you will need to contact the IRS and have documentation proving your non-profit status. Selling property or tangible goods requires that you have a resale number issued by the State Board of Equalization. There is a section to calculate your business license taxes on the business license application that you will use to determine your taxes that are due for your business license. Your signature is needed to verify that you have provided all true and complete information, that you understand that your business license application and payment do not authorize you to operate your business without all proper approvals and paperwork in place. 

Will you need to contact other agencies for permits and licenses?

You may, depending on the nature of your business. For example, if you are planning to open a business that handles food or certain materials, you will need to contact the Environmental Health Division to discuss obtaining a health permit and/or health inspections. If your business activities include serving or selling alcohol, you will need to visit the Alcoholic Beverage Control website to determine the licensure process. Contact the Chico Finance Department to discuss your business endeavor and to be certain of which, if any, licenses and/or permits you may need to conduct your business. 

Do you plan to use your home for a home business?

A home business is acceptable in the city of Chico, provided that you are in compliance with the conditions and standards found in the Chico Municipal Code: Section 19.20.060. These conditions outline the regulations and restrictions associated with operating a home occupation. You will need to read, understand, agree to and initial each condition on the home occupation permit, which can be printed from the City of Chico website. 

A few of the conditions and standards that you will be expected to be in compliance with include not creating any excessive traffic (more than ten additional visits, daily), whether by vehicle or persons on foot. You may not use more than 400 square feet or 50% (which ever is smaller) of your home to conduct your business. No electrical interference, vibrations, dust, etc should be created in excess of what is normal for a residential neighborhood will be created from your business. These are only a few of the standards that you will need to know and be in compliance with. Contact the Planning Division with any questions regarding your home occupation permit application. They can be reached at (530) 879-6800.

Is your business going to be located in a downtown area?

You may need to file an application for downtown parking and business improvement area (DPBIA) through the Finance Department. You can print this application from the Chico website. It is a brief application that is filed in addition to your Chico business license application. You will need to give all business contact information and then using the number of full time employees you plan to hire and the type of business you plan to conduct, you will calculate your downtown parking and business improvement area taxes. There is a DPBIA boundary map on the City of Chico website. Contact the Finance Department if you are not sure if your business falls under the DPBIA classification or if you have any questions. 

What are the costs associated with a Chico business license?

Expect to pay between $60 and $80 for businesses employing between one and ten people and then add an additional costs for businesses employing over 25 people. You will need to pay a $47 fee for a home occupation permit. Your DPBIA taxes will be calculated using specific information pertaining the number of employees and your business type. There may be additional fees. Contact the Finance Department to be certain you have correctly calculated taxes or if you need assistance.

Do you need more information?

City of Chico's Finance Department
411 Main Street
P.O. Box 3420
Chico, CA 95927-3420 
(530) 879-7320

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