Apply For A Business License Santa Cruz , California

Are you interested in opening a business in Santa Cruz, California?

Those wishing to open a business in Santa Cruz, CA will need to obtain a business license tax certificate from the City of Santa Cruz Finance Department. They are located at 809 Center Street, room 101 in Santa Cruz. The City of Santa Cruz website has the application for the business license tax certificate which can be filled in and printed. You will also need to check in with the Planning Department to determine if your business property is properly zoned. The Planning Department can also determine if you need any additional permits or approvals to operate your business. They can be reached at (831) 420-5434. 

What information is needed on the application for a Santa Cruz business tax certificate application?

The application for your Santa Cruz business license tax certificate is a relatively simple application that asks questions to gather information on your business and on you as the owner. Some of the information includes the type of ownership your business is under, whether it is a partnership, a corporation, trust, or sole ownership. You will need to provide a business name, a physical location, and mailing address of your Santa Cruz business. You will need to give your full name, social security number, home address, and home phone number as well. Depending on the ownership type, you may need to provide this information for additional owners, too. You will need to declare your business type, the date you start business, the number of rental units (if your business includes rental properties), the square footage of your business, and (if applicable) your state ID number, federal tax ID number, and/or state contractor’s license number. When you have completed your application, you will need to sign it to verify that you have provided true and complete and that you have obtained all permits, approvals, and inspections. After you have completed your application, you will print it and return it to the Finance Department at 809 Center Street, room 101. If you have any questions or need assistance completing your application, you can call the Finance Department at (831) 420-5070. 

What other information will you need?

You should be aware that if you are using a building inside the city of Santa Cruz, you will need a ‘life-safety inspection’ from the Santa Cruz Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau. You will be expected to incur the cost of this inspection, the initial fee being $90.00 and an additional fee of $45.00 per half-hour for any re-inspections that may be needed for your business. This inspection may be repeated every three years. Certain Santa Cruz businesses may require you to obtain other permits or pay additional fees to operate your business in compliance with local requirements. Contact the Finance Department for a list of these businesses and to determine whether you may need any additional Santa Cruz permits or licenses.

What fees should you expected to pay?

Each Santa Cruz business license tax certificate will have a basic tax of $145.15. You will add a percentage onto the base tax for late penalties and additional fees for each employee that you plan to hire. Your business tax class will determine the dollar amount per employee that you will be charged.  Contact the Finance Department if you are having trouble calculating your tax fees.  

Who should you contact for more information?

The City of Santa Cruz has a very informative website for those seeking information on opening their own business. If you wish to visit them in person, they are located at 809 Center Street, room 101, in Santa Cruz. The office telephone number is (831) 420-5070.

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