Apply For A Business License Sacramento, California

I want to open a business in Sacramento, California. Do I need a business license?

The city of Sacramento does not require a business license to operate a business in their city. They do however have a business operation tax (BOT) that each business owner needs to apply for and be issued. You can download your BOT from the City of Sacramento website or visit the Revenue Division at 915 ‘I’ Street, in Sacramento. The BOT is a short document that requests information about your business including your business name, a description of your business activities, a business address, and the date you started your business in Sacramento. Your business zone needs to be stated, whether residential or commercial. If it is residential, you will need to provide your home occupation permit number. You will need to give contact information for the primary owner of your business, including a social security number. You should declare the ownership type, meaning whether you are the sole proprietor, in a partnership, or part of a larger corporation. If it applies to your business, you may need to obtain a federal employer’s ID number from the IRS, a state employer’s ID number, and a sales & tax permit number. You need to estimate the first year’s gross receipts and gross payroll, give the number of years you have held a license from the state of California, the number of professional employees who are licensed by the state, and/or the number of rental units you have. Your signature is verification that you provided only true and complete information and that you will comply with all local ordinances.

I want to operate a business from my home. Is this allowed in Sacramento?

Operating a home business in Sacramento is acceptable, providing that you plan to conduct activities that fall into an approved home occupation. There is an application for home occupation which can be downloaded from the City of Sacramento website or you can contact the Community Development Department at (916) 264-5011. The categories of business that are considered home businesses include some of the following: tailoring, artist, tutoring, mail ordering, etc. 

What other information would be helpful?

  1. The city of Sacramento encourages businesses that qualify to certify with them in order that you may be eligible for incentives for businesses, bid preferences, etc. Check out the City of Sacramento website for more information and to apply.
  2. Though the city does not require a business license, you are in no way alleviated of your responsibility to obtain federal, state and local licenses or permits to operate your business legally. Contact the Revenue Division to discuss whether you will need any additional permits or licenses.
  3. Zoning clearance should be verified before you purchase or lease any business property. You can contact the Community Development Department at (916) 264-5011 for more information.
  4. The City of Sacramento Revenue Department keeps hours that are not typical, including furlough days and being closed from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., having no phone service between 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., etc. You may want to plan your phone calls and visits after checking the City of Sacramento website for the hours of operation. 

I have more questions. Who should I contact?

Visit the City of Sacramento Revenue Division, 915 ‘I’ Street, Sacramento CA, 95814-2604 or call
(916) 808-5852. You can also visit the city website at

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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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