How to Apply for a County Business License
1. Determine Whether Your Business is Located Inside or Outside the Unincorporated Areas of Contra Costa County.
Not Sure in What Jurisdiction Your Business is Located?
Select Where to go to get a business License to determine which jurisdiction to go to for your business’ property address. If you are referred to a city agency, then your business is located in that city. However, if your business is located in an incorporated city limit and you conduct any business in an unincorporated area of the county, you will need a business license from both the city and the County. If you conduct business only within the city’s limits, you do not need to apply for a County business license.
If your business is located in an unincorporated area of the County, you will first need to contact the Department of Conservation and Development at 925-655-2700 or visit them at 30 Muir Road, Martinez, CA 94553, for zoning and planning requirements and permits. Once zoning and planning approval is secured, you may complete the online Business License application and attach the approval notice.
Note: For a NAICS code number and description of your business, please refer to the North American Industry Classification System codes (PDF).
2. Determine What Documentation You Will Need to Complete the Process
- County Land Use Verification, Home Occupancy Form, or Short-Term Rental Form (If your business is located in the unincorporated area of the county, please visit the Department of Conservation and Development first)
- Fictitious Business Name Statement from the County Clerk-Recorder - if you are using a DBA (Doing Business As)
- Federal Tax ID or Social Security Number
- Secretary of State Corporate or LLC Entity Number
- Seller’s Permit (Required for all retail or wholesale businesses)
- Professional State License Number(s) - (Example: Contractor, Barber/Cosmetologist, Child Care Provider, etc.)
- County Environmental Health Permit
- County Tobacco Vendor License
- Alcohol Beverage Vendor License
Contact information for the documentation above, including additional information, may be found at the following link: Important Notice of Compliance (PDF).
Note: Failure to procure required documentation may deem your Business License void, non-refundable and the business owner subject to penalty in accordance with County Ordinance(s).