Apply For A Business License San Diego, California

What is the process of obtaining a Business Tax Certificate in San Diego, California?

If you are going to operate a business within the City of San Diego you will need a Business Tax Certificate. The Business Tax Certificate is the "business license" in San Diego. All businesses that operate in San Diego need a Business Tax Certificate, even if the business is located in your home, if you are operating individually and not through a corporation, or even if your business does not yet have revenues.

What information do you need to apply for a San Diego Business Tax Certificate?

In order to apply for a San Diego Business Tax Certificate for your business you will need the following information:

- Entity (You can be a sole proprietor or you must have formed a corporation, partnership, LLC, or other entity type)
- Federal Tax ID Number (or Social Security Number if you are a sole proprietor)
- Seller's Permit Number (if you are selling goods, as opposed to services)
- Name, address and other contact information of the principles of the business, or if incorporated, the officers of the corporation, including their social security numbers. This information is not released to the public without a subpoena.
- Number of employees (estimated for new businesses, or the average number over a 12-month period for established businesses)

When do you need to apply for the San Diego Business Tax Certificate?

You are required to apply within 15 days of starting your business operations or you may face late fees and penalties.

How much does a San Diego Business Tax Certificate cost?

The cost of the Business Tax Certificate depends on the number of employees that you have. The City of San Diego charges a fee for a business with 12 employees or less. If your business is larger, you will pay a lerger fee plus an additional fee for each employee. There are also additional zoning fees that apply depending on your business location, as well as an application fee.

Are any other San Diego licenses or permits required?

In addition the San Diego Business Tax Certificate, depending on the type of business you operate, there may be additional permits required. For example, street vendors are required to obtain a Police Card Registration from the Police Department. You may also need a Conditional Use Permit from the city if the business is not located in the correct zone that allows for that type of business activity. A Zoning Use Clearance fee is assessed against each applicant for a San Diego Business Tax Certificate. If zoning clearance is not obtained, then the business will need to take additional steps and pay additional fees, or move the location in order to obtain clearance.

Where do you apply for the Business Tax Certificate in San Diego?

If you want to get a Business Tax Certificate (business license) in the City of San Diego go here or contact the City of San Diego Business Tax Program

1200 Third Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 615-1500
Fax: (619) 533-3272

How long will it take to receive your San Diego Business Tax Certificate?

Providing that all required paperwork is in order and all the proper legwork was done on your part, your San Diego business tax certificate could be mailed to you in as little as two weeks. If there are problems processing your business license tax certificate application or additional fees and taxes are required, you will be notified by mail.

Where do you apply for a San Diego business license in unincorporated areas of San Diego?

If you want to get a San Diego business license in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County go here: All other areas of San Diego County will need to go to the website of the specific city in the county. The unincorporated areas of San Diego County include cities such as Ramona, Valley Center, Spring Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, Lakeside, Julian, and Fallbrook.

Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

Alameda Alhambra Anaheim
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Yorba Linda    

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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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