Any business owner must obtain a general business license in the city where their business is located. Some cities in California refer to a business license as a business tax certificate. Obtaining a business license (also known as a business tax certificate) in California varies depending on the occupation and location of your business. The State of California does not require or issue a statewide commercial operating license.
Instead, it regulates some industries and professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. For help deciding the location of your business, contact the California Business Investment Services unit of the Governor's Office of Economic Development (Go-Biz). Your California State Employer Identification Number, also known as your EIN, is used for tax purposes and other state and federal documents to identify your business. The California Business Investment Services unit offers customized site selection services for businesses, real estate executives, and site selection consultants.
Obtaining all of your California business licenses can be a complex process, especially since you may be dealing with multiple jurisdictions and agencies. The California CalGold online resource, from the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development, provides guidance on the types of permits your type of business may need. That means you don't need to have a license from the State of California just to run your business in the state. Typically, you pay a fee to get a local business license in California, but some cities exempt very small businesses from paying fees.
Every county in California has its own rules and regulations, so check with your local city or county government office to determine what state licenses your new business might need. Small businesses represent 99.8% of all businesses within the state and employ 48.8% of the state's workforce, making them a vital part of the Golden State economy. Each city has different California business license forms and business license requirements, however, most of them are very similar. The California Government Online to Desktops offers CalGold Business Permit Assistance, which is a database of regulated industries.
Some businesses need to obtain special licenses and permits from the state, but most only need a general business license from their local county and perhaps their city. Small Business Administration (SBA), Veteran-Owned Businesses Veteran Assistance Programs Office of Business Development for Veterans. State business licenses are government documents that prove that a company has applied for and received permission to trade within its state. However, if the federal government regulates your business activities, you must apply for and obtain appropriate federal business licenses and permits.