Apply For A Business License Oakland, California

Are you interested in opening a business in Oakland, California?

The city of Oakland has a business tax program that each business will need to apply for and be issued to be in compliance with the city requirements for operation. You can download the application for a new business from the City of Oakland website, or if you wish to request one in person, you can visit the City of Oakland Revenue Department. They are located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320 in Oakland.

Do you need to check for zoning approval for your business?

You will need to check for zoning approval before applying for your business tax certificate. Oakland has an incentive program for those opening a business in their Oakland Enterprise Zone which offers tax breaks for California state income taxes and sales and use tax credits, business expense deductions and net operating loss carryovers. Contact the Zoning Division at (510) 238-3911 to discuss your business location and to determine if you will qualify for any of these tax incentives. 

What information do you need to supply for a business tax certificate application?

Your business tax certificate application request specific information regarding your business and owner information. Some of the information includes (but is not limited to):

  1. Business name
  2. Business address, mailing address, and phone number
  3. Business start date
  4. Number of full time employees you plan to hire
  5. Ownership type (one owner, partnership, corporation, trust, LLC, or LLP)
  6. Whether you own or rent your business property
  7. Website and/or email
  8. Owner(s) name, social security number, and valid driver’s license number
  9. If applicable, Federal tax ID number, PUC number, zoning permit number, California state seller’s permit number
  10. Credit card information for processing fees
  11. Whether you are running a fast food business restaurant, gas station, liquor store, or convenience store
  12. If your business will be located in Montclair or Rockridge
  13. Detailed description of the business you plan to conduct
  14. A signature certifying that all the information that you have provided is true and complete

When you have completed your application for a business tax certificate, you can return it to the Oakland Business Tax Section of the City of Oakland at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320.

Will you need to obtain additional Oakland permits or Oakland licenses?

You may need to apply for and be issued additional licenses or permits depending on the type of business you will be conducting. You will need to contact the Revenue Department to discuss your business activities. They will help you to determine which, if any, licenses and/or permits you will need before you commence business in Oakland.

Who should you contact for more information?

You should contact the Revenue and Business Tax Section of the City of Oakland at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320 for more information and to discuss your business proposal. They can be reached by phone at (510) 238-3704. The City of Oakland website is an excellent source of information with links to applications and other entities that may be helpful to you in your business endeavor.

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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.


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