Do you need a business license to operate in California? The answer is yes, even if you are a small business or home-based business. You can obtain a business license by applying to the right regulatory and licensing agency for your company. If you plan to purchase merchandise with the intent to resell, you must obtain a California Resale Certificate to avoid paying taxes to suppliers. It is important to note that an LLC and a business license are not the same thing, although both are often part of creating a new business in a state.
If your business activities are regulated by the federal government, you must apply for and obtain the appropriate federal business licenses and permits. Additionally, your company in California may need a state license that covers specific industries or professions. The best place to find information about the business licenses required by your type of business is CalGold, which also provides links to issuing agencies. Every county in California has its own rules and regulations, so it is important to check with your local city or county government office to determine what state licenses your new business might need.
If your company carries out activities regulated by the federal government, you will need to apply for the appropriate license or business permit. For example, the City of San Diego requires a business tax certificate for businesses operating within city limits. Typically, you pay a fee to get a local business license in California, but some cities exempt very small businesses from paying fees. A state business license is a government document that proves that a company has applied for and received permission to trade within its state.
It allows you to adjust how taxes are taxed on the money you make with your business and protects your personal assets, such as your home and investments, from business liabilities, such as lawsuits and debts. If you are starting a one-member company in California, you will need to form a single-member LLC. Information relevant to professional licensing can be found on the CalGold website and on the California Business Portal.