How to Obtain Your New Business License

Welcome to the City of Berkeley business community! You will need a new Business License if you are:

The following information will help you through the application process for your new Business License, and complements additional information from Planning & Development on Business License Review. Depending on the kind of business you have, the application process may take a few days to several weeks or more.

When applying for your new business license, you may need to contact one or more of these City offices:

Applying for Your New Business License

Documents in .pdf format, require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. You can download a free copy of Acrobat Reader from GetAdobeLogo

*Note: For access to the Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC), links will take you to the City’s BMC site where you can browse the BMC in .pdf format, or search using Records Online. Search tips are available from the site.

See also:

Address Verification

Before accepting your Business License Application, staff must verify that the address of your business, including the suite number, if applicable, is in the City's database. For verification of an address, contact Customer Service or use the City Parcel Conditions Database. If it is not in the database, you need to apply for an Address Assignment. Please see the Planning Department for important information about addressing assignments and land use regulations. Contact staff at the Permit Service Center (PSC) to discuss these requirements.

Fees for Your Business License Application

Your new business license tax payment, submitted as part of the application process, is usually $51 – $77, plus a 1-time registration fee of $25. The application process may take 3 days to 6 months, depending on approvals.

Approvals Required for Your Business License Application

If your business is physically located in Berkeley, you must obtain all necessary approvals &/or permits before the City issues your new Business License. These are based on the kind of business you are going to operate and may include those from Land Use Planning/Zoning, Building & Safety, Environmental Health, Toxics, Fire, and Police (if fingerprinting is required).

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Information Required to Complete Your New Business License Application

  1. Type of business – This will determine your classification and tax rate

  2. Location in Berkeley (specific physical location with street address)

  3. Name of business (proof of DBA/fictitious business name, if applicable)

  4. Name of owner

  5. Mailing address

  6. Business and emergency phone numbers

  7. Federal Tax ID or Social Security #

  8. Form of ownership (Partnership, Corporation, Sole Owner)

  9. State Seller's Permit/Resale # (if applicable for your kind of business)

  10. State contractors license # and expiration date (if applicable)

  11. Number of employees working in Berkeley

  12. Number of business vehicles operated in Berkeley (up to 4 decals will be issued for business vehicles, which allow business loading/unloading for a maximum of 20 minutes in yellow zones)

  13. If the business is female or minority owned

  14. If the business will sell tobacco products

  15. Date the business fiscal year ends: If you establish a fiscal year other than the calendar year, you must consistently report your annual gross receipts using this 12-month period

  16. Email address

  17. Payments due when filing your new business license application:


              Please make all checks payable to: City of Berkeley

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