Apply For A Business License Modesto, California

Are you planning to open a business in Modesto, California?

Anyone who conducts business within the city of Modesto, California will need a business license. The city of Modesto classifies businesses into three categories and you will need to obtain the correct your license for your business classification. The three categories are:

  1. Commercial Business
  2. Home Business
  3. Outside Business

Each of these business types has its own Modesto license, and you will fill out the one that best matches your business activities. A Modesto commercial business is one that is located within the city limits and does not take place in a residence. A home business is a business located within the city limits, but is based out of a home. An outside business is a business that has a business located outside the city limits, but conducts business within the city, such as a delivery service, or a contractor located in another city. Each of these business license applications can be requested in person at the Finance Department at 1010 Tenth Street, suite 2100 in Modesto, or you can print any of the applications from the City of Modesto website.

  1. The Modesto Commercial Business License Application

    asks for information including, but not limited to your business name, a corporate name and phone number (if applicable), and a physical address for your business. You need to provide a business mailing address, business phone number, and a business fax number. You must describe your business activities and supply any applicable federal and state tax numbers. You need to declare your ownership type, meaning whether you are a sole owner, in a partnership, part of a corporation or an LLC. All owner names, home addresses, contact numbers, social security numbers and valid driver's license numbers will need to be given as well as an after-hours emergency contact name and phone number. There is a brief section of four ‘yes or no’ questions and a space for your signature. Note that your signature is a declaration that you have read, agree to and will comply with all regulations and requirements at federal, state, and local levels concerning operating a business, and that you have provided true and complete information. When you have completed your commercial business license application, it should be returned to the Finance Department at 1010 Tenth Street, suite 2100 in Modesto.

  2. The Modesto Home Business License Application

    is a supplement to the the commercial business license, meaning you are required to file both applications with the City of Modesto. It is a brief application where you will provide your home business information, including your address and contact phone numbers, your cross streets, and a description of your proposed business activities. Your business will need a name and you will need to give hours of operation and days of operation of your home business and the number of visitors you will expect to have on any given day and each week. The application outlines Section 10-2.505 of the Modesto Municipal Code which gives regulations and restrictions concerning a home-based business. You will be expected to comply with all of these conditions and if you are found to be in non-compliance, you could risk your home business license being denied or revoked.  You will need to provide a signature stating that you are in agreement.

  3. The Outside Business License Application

    is virtually the same application as the commercial business license.

Will you need additional licenses or permits?

You may, depending on the type of business you plan to conduct. You will need to contact the Finance Department at (209) 577-5389 to discuss your business plans and to determine if you will need any additional licenses or permits. 

What are the fees associated with receiving your Modesto business license?

Because the business license year begins on July 1 and ends on June 31, the month that you receive your business license will determine your fees. All business license fees require a $100.00 deposit, and then depending on the month your business license is issued, you can expect to pay between $50.00 (in July) and $4.20 (in June). 

Who should you contact if you need more information?

You can visit the Finance Department at 1010 Tenth Street, suite 2100 in Modesto or by phone at (209) 577-5389. The City of Modesto website is full of useful information for those seeking to open their own business as well.

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