The annual cost to do business in the unincorporated area of the county is $100 plus $10 per employee.

New businesses shall have fees pro-rated from the beginning of the quarter in which the business is established.

Your license is current for the license year in which you obtain it and must be renewed each July 1 as long as you are in business. A 25% penalty charge and 18% per annum interest rate are imposed if license tax is not paid on time.

The County of Contra Costa Business License Division makes every effort to expedite the timely processing of your business license application. However, please be aware that there may be circumstances that will delay the processing of your application.


Every business must meet zoning and building requirements to ensure that its business category and site are compatible before signing any leases and moving in.

Check with County Zoning / Planning Department to make sure you locate your business at an address where it is allowed and that it does not heavily impact the neighborhood or require special parking consideration.

If your business name is anything other than your surname or has more than one owner, like a partnership, association, or company, you may need to file a fictitious business name with the County Clerk's Office, 925-335-7900. You should do this before you apply for the business license. If you should accidentally "infringe" upon another business, you may face legal action and will have to pay for the refiling of your business license.