How do you get a California business license?


Quick Answer

To obtain a California business license, go to the city office or city hall in the city where the business is located, or visit the California Department of Consumer Affairs website and fill out a business license application. Some professions require more than one license, and some Californian cities have multiple license requirements.

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Full Answer

In addition to the basic business license, California businesses must have a license for the business name from the Department of Insurance. Some specific fields require specific licenses. For example, a sales business must have a Seller’s Permit from the California State Board of Equalization. Small businesses require a special small business license and home-based businesses require other licenses or permits. Corporations must apply to the Office of the Secretary of State.

To apply for a general business license, the following information is required: a business name, a business address, a mailing address, a phone number, the type of business (LLC, corporation, partnership or sole proprietor), a federal tax identification number or Social Security number, a seller's permit number, each owner’s name, address, phone number and driver’s license number, the number of employees and projected annual sales. There is a fee associated with obtaining most business licenses, and some licenses require annual payments.

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