New Business Licensing and Permit Contacts

This guide shows major city, county state and federal agencies most frequently contacted by the new business owner prior to "opening the doors" and taking in the first sales dollar.  Some specialized license/permit arrangements should be investigated beyond those appearing here for businesses engaged in such activities as food service, health care, day care and others that may be more than usually sensitive to regulatory authorities. 


  • Register with the California State Board of Equalization, which assesses the amount of sales tax your business will pay.  Retailers put up a surety bond for the sales tax; manufacturers pay a "Use Tax"; both are estimated on projected quarterly income. 
  • Contact the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for the Form SS-4, the IRS assigns a tax adn Employer I.D. number to your business.  The IRS will provide tax withholding schedules and essential small business federal tax information. 
  • If you make up a name for your business, this "Factitious Name" must be recorder with the County Clerk. 
  •  If a business will be selling alcohol they must obtain a permit through the ABC Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Licensing.

 City or County Tax License