Apply For A Business License Redwood City, California

Looking to open a business in Redwood City, California?

According to the Redwood City Ordinance number 2016, 2, 5-7-90, you will need a business license to operate a business in Redwood City. You can apply for your business license (also called a business tax application) by visiting the City of Redwood City Revenue Department at 1017 Middlefield Road in Redwood City. You can also print the application from the Redwood City website.

Will your Redwood City business need zoning approval?

All Redwood City business properties should be zone-approved before commencing operations. The building you plan to use will also need to meet fire and safety standards. Contact the Planning Department prior to signing a lease or purchasing any business property. This is for your protection, so that you are not locked into a financial contract on a business property which can not be zone-approved and is essentially useless for your proposed business. The Planning Department can be reached at (650) 780-7234. 

What information is expected to complete a Redwood City business license application?

The application for a business license is brief and can be completed with fairly general information about yourself as a business owner and the business that you plan to conduct. Please be aware that there are other applications and forms that will likely accompany your business license application that may be more lengthy and require more information. Your business license application information includes a name for your business, and a physical and mailing address for the business, as well as a business telephone number. You will need to describe your business activities, give a date for opening, and give the number of people that will be employed at your business (including owners and partners). You may need to procure a seller’s permit number from the California State Board of Equalization. All business owners need to be named and their home phone and address information will need to be provided. You must state the type of ownership of your business, meaning whether your business is owned by a sole owner, a partnership, an LLP/LLC, a trust, a corporation, or the government. Depending on the ownership type, you may need to contact the IRS for a FEIN (federal employer’s ID number). They can be reached by calling (800) 829-1040 or you can visit a local tax office to pick up the appropriate forms. You will need to have an emergency contact for your business in the event that you are unable to be reached in an emergency. By signing your application, you are stating that you have provided true and accurate information. 

Is your Redwood City business going to operate from your home?

Home occupations are acceptable in Redwood City, providing that you are in compliance with Section 2.50 of the Redwood City Ordinance. You can review this document online at the City of Redwood website. The ordinance states several conditions associated with home occupation, including that you not store materials or supplies for your business, that your business does not change the appearance of your home in any way, that less than 25% of your overall floor space is dedicated to your home business, etc. Before your business commences, you will need to contact the Planning Department at (650) 780-7234 to determine if you will need a business license.

Are there costs associated with applying for a Redwood City business license?

You will be expected to pay a non-refundable fee. In addition, there may be other costs, depending on your business type, if you plan to hire employees, etc. Contact the Revenue Department at (650) 780-7214 to discuss any other fees you may be required to pay. 

Do you need more information?

Contact the City of Redwood City Revenue Department for information on business licenses at (650) 780-7214, or visit them in person at 1017 Middlefield Road. The City of Redwood City website has useful information as well.

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