California business license

Questions about the business license: 

Before applying for a business license in California, there are some common questions that arise in your mind. Here are some answers to those common questions.


Do I need a business license? 

This is the first question that arises in your mind when you think of starting a business in California. Well, yes you are required to have a California business license to operate any type of business. This applies to both home-based businesses, low-cost businesses, and small businesses. In short, no matter how small your business is, you need a business license. 


Why business licenses are required? 

To initiate a business in every city, you need a business license. The reason is that each city in California has all the rights to charge fees for the business located in its jurisdiction as part of the tax collection mechanism and to track economic development statistics. For every business location, you need a separate business license. Large retail chains and franchises are the biggest problems for most businesses when filing for a business license as they charge huge taxes. 

To not make you confuse, the general business license is required for each city and another type of license applies to businesses in different countries and the state of California. These licenses are required to protect public health and safety, such as tattoo artists or gun dealers. To get this license you should contact the California state board of equalization. 


Where can I get a business license? 

For this purpose, you need to fill a business license application that you get from the city’s office or city hall. Most of the California states give you an online option to download, print, and mail to the city office with a fee of between $50 and $100. The fee of the business license forms depends on the type and size of the business. Most of the business in California is a small business and all are required to have a small business license or home-based license permits that don’t cost you much. Nowadays, technology is growing fast that they even allow the large business to apply for business license applications online. Therefore, to get a business license have become easy. For the cities that do not provide any California business license service online, they allow you to apply for it over the internet. All you have to do is to visit your city’s business license website and select your city from the given option. 


What is the information required to fill out a form? 

Every city or state has different business license forms and requirements but most of them are the same. Some of the information that is expected to ask from you is: 

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Phone Number
  • Federal Tax ID Number (Employer Identification Number or EIN) obtained from the IRS (If you are a sole proprietor, this is your social security number)
  • Type of Business (LLC, Corporation, Sole Proprietor or Partnership)
  • Mailing Address 
  • Type of Business to be conducted
  • Expected Annual Sales
  • Driver’s license number
  • Sellers Permit Number 
  • Each owner’s name, address, and phone number
  • Number of Employees