How to Get a California Business License

Many people are launching their own businesses these days, and I’m sure 2017 will be no exception. If you’re doing business in California, you’ll need to apply for a business license, which may not be quite as straightforward as you might hope. GOBiz was created to improve this process, providing all the information needed, from incentives to starting a business, to relocating to California, and makes it as simple as possible for anyone to make the leap into building their own empire. They offer services such as business investment services, international business development, permit assistance, and many others.

Apply for a General Business License

Also referred to as a business tax certificate, there isn’t a statewide business license in California, however, if you are conducting any sort of business you must obtain one in the city where your company is located. If you have businesses in multiple cities, you may be required to obtain multiple licenses, one for each city. Depending on the city or county, you’ll be able to register online, by mail, or in person. Costs for this will range from a flat fee, a percentage of your gross sales, or some combination of these.

Special CA Business Licenses for Regulated Industries and Professions

The first step will be registering a business in California, whether that be an LLC, partnership, corporation, etc. with the Secretary of State office. Here they also share tax filing tips, forms and certificates you may need, penalty notices, and many other helpful topics.

Some businesses in various specialized industries may be required to obtain further licenses (eg. environmental and other regulatory mandates) and CalGOLD provides a permit database to help ensure you don’t miss anything!

For those of you who sell or lease out products of any kind, a seller’s permit is something you’ll be needing, and you can register online today with the Board of Equalization.

If you don’t require a seller’s permit, but receive at least $100,000 gross in receipts, you may need a use tax account. More info on this at

D.B.A. Requirements (“doing business as”)

If your company uses a separate name other than what your entity is called (eg. Smith Inc. D.B.A. Smith’s Plumbing Services), you will need a fictitious business name statement or a D.B.A. filing and this must be renewed in the county where you operate.

If your company is ready to go, needs assistance with any of these steps, or is ready for an expansion and needs financing, contact Worldwide Capital Management. We are a trusted local California source for small business funding, as well as a host of other financial services, and our friendly staff is ready to assist you. Fill out our simple application, and you could be funded in as little as 5 days!

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