Apply For A Business License Santa Clara, California

Are you going to open a business in Santa Clara, California?

Any person planning to open a business in Santa Clara will need to obtain a business tax certificate by filling out a business tax affidavit form. This form can be found on the City of Santa Clara website, or you can request it in person from the Business License Unit of the Municipal Services Division. They can be found at 1500 Warburton Avenue in Santa Clara. They can be reached by phone at (408) 615-2310. In addition to applying for your Santa Clara business tax certificate, you may want to check the City of Santa Clara website under the Permit page to preview a zoning map for potential business locations for your business activities. It is recommended that you contact the Planning Division staff prior to entering into any real estate transactions on any property that you may want to use for your business. The Planning Division can be reached at (408) 615-2450.

What information is required for a Santa Clara business tax affidavit?

The business tax affidavit is an application to gather information on your business. On it, you will need to give the information such as the ownership type of your business, meaning whether you are involved in a partnership, an LLC, a larger corporation, or are the sole owner. All contact information for your business needs to be provided, including where your business property is located, a mailing address and phone number. All owner(s) contact information and two phone numbers should be provided as well. You may be required to contact the IRS or the California State Board of Equalization to obtain tax ID numbers and/or seller’s permit numbers. If you have a contractor’s license, you will need to provide the number and class of your license. If you are planning to operate a home occupation, you will need to check the applicable box and visit the City of Santa Clara Planning Department to apply for a home occupation permit. They are located at 1500 Warburton Avenue in Santa Clara. A signature is requested to verify that you have provided all true and accurate information on your new business tax affidavit form. Your signature also certifies that you are familiar with and will be in compliance with all federal, state, and local restrictions and regulations associated with operating a business. 

Are there other agencies you need to contact?

There may be, depending on the business you plan to conduct. All businesses that are located in the city of Santa Clara will need to have a fire permit, which will be conducted at a cost to you of $47.00 (or $31.00 for home occupations). You may be required to contact other entities for approvals, inspections, permits or licenses. Some of these might include the Health Department for those handling food or certain chemicals, the Alcoholic Beverage Control board for businesses that serve or sell alcohol or the Santa Clara Police department for businesses with alarm systems. You will need to contact the Santa Clara Business License Unit for information regarding other agencies you may need to contact for additional permits or licenses.

What costs are you expected to pay?

When you complete your business tax affidavit, there is a tax fee schedule included on the affidavit form. You will need to calculate your taxes based on the schedule your business falls under. For example, if your business falls under schedule 100, it would be considered an industrial or commercial business, and you would be expected to pay between $15.00 and $500.00 depending on the number of employees you have, including yourself. Other businesses may have regulatory fees, and there are also fees that are for businesses that are located outside of the city limits. If you need assistance calculating your business taxes, contact the Santa Clara Business License Unit at (408) 615-2310.

Do you need further information?

If you have other questions regarding your business tax certification, you can contact the Business License Unit at (408) 615-2310 or, if you wish, you can visit them in person at 1500 Warburton Avenue in Santa Clara. The City of Santa Clara website has a lot of useful information as well.

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