Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Finance Department
Finance Department

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:

  • Starting a new business
  • The new owner of an existing business
  • Opening an additional location for your current business
  • Moving your business to a new location

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:

  • Public Safety Building: 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
    • Fire Marshall: (510) 981-5585, Fire@ci.berkeley.ca.us
    • Police Department – when fingerprinting is required (510) 981-5766
      Information on public fingerprinting.

Applying for Your New Business License

Mail your completed application, including a check for the applicable fees to:
Finance Department
Revenue Collection
1947 Center Street, 1st Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704 
Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Customer Service Center is closed to the public until further notice.
  • Refer to the Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC): primarily Title 9, Section 9.04 on Business Licenses and Regulations*

*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:

  • $25 New business license registration fee (1-time)
  • $51 Minimum tax ($77 for all rental property)
  • Nonprofit/charitable organizations must complete the New Business License Application, attach a copy of their IRS exemption letter and pay the $25 registration fee and $26 Minimum tax. 

              Please make all checks payable to: City of Berkeley

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Finance Department, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: finance@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7200
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903