Business License

During the COVID-19 shelter in place order, we are accepting Business License applications and renewals by mail, or electronically along with a credit card authorization form or in the tan City of San Pablo drop box.  You can contact us at or call 510-215-3030.

Durante la orden de refugio COVID-19, aceptamos solicitudes y renovaciones de Licencias de Negocios por correo o electrónicamente junto con una forma de autorización de tarjeta de crédito o en la caja broncear ubicada afuera del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Drop Box). Puede contactarnos en o llamar al 510-215-3030.


The City of San Pablo welcomes your business to our community and appreciates the opportunity to serve you. We wish you success!

There are many things you should consider when starting a business, it's good to be aware of the resources available to you as well as the regulations of local, county, state and federal government agencies. 

Please use the resources below to complete your business license process or call (510) 215-3030. After you've completed the procedure below, visit the San Pablo Economic Development Corporation to help get your business off the ground!


  1. Any person who conducts business in the City or is based in the City must obtain a business license on or before the date the business commences. The first thing to do is to verify that the use you intend for your business is allowed in the Zoning District where your business is located. Questions? Call a Planner at (510) 215-3030.
  2. Bring your completed Business License Application, your business license feesand all necessary licenses/permits (i.e. Seller's Permit, Alcohol License, Health Permit, etc.) to the Development Services Department (Building 3) at City Hall.
  3. All commercial businesses require an inspection of the building/unit by the Contra Costa Fire Protection District and City of San Pablo prior to issuance of a business license. 
  4. If you plan to conduct your business out of your home, a Home Occupation Permit is required. Inspections are not required.
  5. After all paperwork and fees have been received, and inspections have been completed, staff at City Hall will issue you your business license.
  6. Business licenses are valid for one year. It is your responsibility to renew the business license on time even if the courtesy reminder notice is not received. Penalties are assessed for delinquent accounts, regardless of whether or not you receive a renewal notice.  If you do not receive a notice two weeks prior to the expiration date, contact the city staff immediately. 
  7. If you decide to change the location of your business, the new information must be supplied to the City of San Pablo.
  8. Business licenses are not automatically canceled. Please let us know if your business is closed by sending a written notification or give us a call.               


Business License Brochure
         Business License Application

         Business License Inspection Checklist 

  Business Start-Up Checklist

         Apartment Business License Application/Renewal Form

         Credit Card Authorization Payment Form 
Business License Fee/Tax Schedule

         Home Occupation PermitSpanish 

AB 3002 Business License, Building Permit Model Notice (Multi-language Translations)
City of San Pablo, Community & Economic Development (510) 215-3030
1000 Gateway Avenue
San Pablo, California  94806


Fictitious Business Name Statement

All business need to file a Fictitious Name Statement (also known as a "DBA" which is short for "Doing Business As") to ensure the name is suitable, that it's not already being used, and to legally disclose that the owner is doing business under another name (e.g., Joe Smith is starting a company called Acme Pizza).  To file a DBA, contact the Contra Costa County Clerk's office. 
Contra Costa County Clerk's Office          (925) 335-7900
555 Escobar Street
Martinez, California  94553

Contractors' State License Board

Many professions, such as auto mechanic, day care operator, etc., require certification. Check with the Contractors' State License Board to find out if you need a specialized license to work in your field.

Contractors' State License Board
(916) 255-3900
 9821 Business Park Drive
Sacramento, CA  95827  

Sales & Use Permit/Seller's Permit

If you sell tangible goods/property in California, you must apply for a Seller's Permit through the California Department of Tax & Fee Administration.
CA Dept. of Tax & Fee Administration          (510) 622-4100
1515 Clay St., #303
Oakland, California   94612

Alcohol Beverage License

If you plan to sell alcoholic beverages from your business, apply for this license through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. 

Dept. of Alcohol Beverage Control          (510) 622-4970
1515 Clay St., Suite 2208
Oakland, California  94612
Environmental Health Permit

A health permit is required for businesses that dispense food to the public. This permit is needed prior to opening or being issued a business license and is available through the County Health Department.
Contra Costa County Health Dept.          (925) 646-5225
2120 Diamond Blvd, #200
Concord, California  94529

Fire Protection District

A fire inspection is often required at the business location. Please contact the County Fire District for more information.

Contra Costa Fire Protection District          (925) 941-3300
4005 Port Chicago Hwy, Suite 250

Concord, CA  94520-1180

State Income Tax / Corporate Income Tax

Businesses in California are required to submit an annual tax statement to the Franchise Tax Board. 

Franchise Tax Board          (800) 852-5711
1515 Clay Street, Suite 305
Oakland, California  94612-1445

Federal Income Tax

For information regarding employee withholdings, self-employment tax, sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporate taxes, contact the Internal Revenue Service. 

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)     (800) 829-1040

Worker's Compensation

State legislation requires proof of valid current workers' comp certificate of insurance or self-insurance. This is not needed if you do not have any employees.

Dept. of Industrial Relations          (510) 622-2866
1515 Clay St., 6th Floor
Oakland, California  94612

Employer Registration

If you hire employees, you must register with the State Employment Development Department within 15 days of employees' hire dates.

Employment Development Dept.          (925) 671-4500
4071 Port Chicago Hwy, Suite 250
Concord, CA  94520

After January 1, 2018, the State has increased the one dollar ($1) fee charged on all Business Licenses to four-dollars ($4) for the CASp Certification and Training Fund.  This is a State mandated fund used to facilitate compliance with construction requirements for disability access and for the training and retention of certified access specialists within the jurisdiction.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public.  You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws from the following agencies:

  • The Division of the State Architect at  or (510)622-3101
  • Department of Justice ADA Guide for Small Businesses at or (800)514-0301
  • The California Department of Rehabilitation at or (916)324-1313                                                       
  • The California Commission on Disability Access at or (916)319-9974