Apply For A Business License Union City, California

I am looking for information on opening a business in Union City, California. Where do I start?

To operate a business in Union City, you will need to apply for and be issued a business license from the Business License Department. They are located at 34009 Alvarado-Niles Road. If you prefer to fill out a business license online, you can fill one in and print it off of the Union City website. Regardless of the way you choose to apply, when your application is complete, you will need to return it to Union City Planning Division at 34009 Alvarado-Niles Road. Approximately ten business days after returning your application, you can expect a letter that will inform you of the status of your license.

You may need to fill out additional forms which will be included in the packet, if applicable. The forms will then be returned with your business license fee and providing that everything is completed and in order, you will receive a receipt that will be used as a temporary business license until your official license is received within fifteen business days. Please note that you should not open a business until you have received your temporary license. You may need additional permits or licenses beyond local requirements, such as a FEIN (federal employer’s ID number) from the IRS, a seller’s permit from State Board of Equalization, a license to sell or serve alcohol from the Alcoholic Beverage Control department, or a health permit for handling food and other materials from the Alameda County Health Services. These are a few of the additional agencies that you may need to contact. To find out more, contact the Business License Department by calling (510) 487-9361.

What information is necessary for completing a business license application?

To complete your application, you will need to provide some of the following information:

  1. Owner(s) name, contact phone numbers, home address, email address, and social security number
  2. Ownership type (corporation, sole proprietor, partnership, etc.)
  3. Business name, physical and mailing address, email address, website, phone number, and fax number
  4. If applicable, provide a FEIN, state ID, state sales tax number, state contractor’s license number, and expiration date
  5. Date of estimated business opening
  6. Detailed description of business activities
  7. Any insurance information
  8. Alarm permit number (if applicable)
  9. Signature certifying that you have provided all true and accurate information to the best of your knowledge

Is it acceptable to operate a Union City home business in Union City?

To operate a home, you will need to apply for a home occupation permit, read and be familiar and in compliance with the provisions for home occupation, and pay any fees that are associated with a home occupation permit. All of these conditions are in addition to obtaining your business license.  The application for a home occupation gathers information on your business activities and how you plan to use your Union City home as a base for your business. The provisions for home occupation outline the restrictions and regulations regarding a home business. If you are not able to abide by these conditions, you may need to consider operating a commercial business. Some of these provisions include that you should not alter the appearance of your home to suit your business, that there will be no outward display or advertising for the business activities taking place within your home, that you should not store materials or equipment in your garage or any outbuildings for your business, that you will not use your home for professional commercial uses such as barbering, massage related activities, photography, etc.

When you have completed your Union City home occupation permit application along with all supplemental forms and applications, you will return it to the Planning Division. They will review your paperwork and will notify you within five working days of approval or denial of your application. When you receive approval, you will pay your business license and home occupation fees and use your receipt as a temporary license until you receive your official license within fifteen working days. It is illegal to operate your business before your temporary license is granted. 

What are the costs that I am expected to pay?

Your Union City business license costs are calculated based on your estimated gross receipts and the classification that your business falls under. The schedule for business license fees can be found on the Union City website. If you need assistance calculating your fees, or are not sure which classification your business falls under, contact the Union City Business License Division at (510) 487-9361. 

I still need more information. Who should I contact?

The Union City Business License Division is available to answer questions and give assistance to those applying for their business license. Call (510) 487-9361 or visit the office in person at 34009 Alvarado-Niles Road. There is also a very informative Union City website that you can visit for more information.

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