Business License Information

Business License Program Overview:

The Community Development Department administers the City’s Business License program, which is essential for operating a business within the City. Business owners must comply with the City’s Municipal Code, including the Zoning Code and the City’s Sign Ordinance. Properties in the Downtown area are also subject to the Downtown Specific Plan. Moreover, conducting a business from your home requires meeting certain eligibility requirements and obtaining a Home Occupation Permit.

Business License Tax:

The Business License tax covers the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).  New businesses opening after the start of the fiscal year prorate the Business License Tax amount due by quarters:

July, August, September                      $100 plus $10.00 per full-time employee

October, November, December             $75 plus $7.50 per full-time employee

January, February, March                     $50 plus $5.00 per full-time employee

April, May, June                                  $25 plus $2.50 per full-time employee

To download a Business License Tax application Click Here.

Tax Exemptions:

Exemptions from the business license requirements may be granted under specific circumstances. To request an exemption, please complete the business license tax application and provide acceptable proof demonstrating eligibility based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • The business qualifies as a nonprofit organization according to Section 501 (c)(1), (2), or (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. – Must attach copy of 501(c)(1), (2), or (3) certification.
  • The business is exempt from local taxation under the Constitution or applicable U.S. or California statutes.
  • The business anticipates annual gross receipts of less than $20,000. – Must attach Schedule C from the prior tax year.
  • The business is that of a residential landlord with no more than four residential dwelling units.
  • The business is a public utility paying a franchise tax to the City based on gross receipts. – Applies only to the business conducted under the franchise agreement.
  • A peddler, solicitor, or other person entitled to exemption on the grounds of unreasonable burden or conflict with U.S. Congress regulations regarding interstate commerce.
  • A business involved in growing livestock or agricultural products for self-sale or disposal by the growers themselves.
  • The business is a home-based childcare facility. Family daycare homes (small or large) operating from residential properties are exempt from business license fees as per California SB 234.

Mandatory State Fee (SB 1186):

Government Code Section 4467(a) requires that effective January 1, 2013, jurisdictions must collect a $4 fee on all business license applications and renewals to fund increased certified access specialist (CASp) services in that jurisdiction and to facilitate compliance with construction‐related accessibility requirements. The fees shall also be used to establish and maintain oversight of the CASp program and to moderate the expense of CASp certification and testing.

Required Disclosure: Section 4469: “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 compliance with disability access laws at the following agencies:

The Division of State Architect at

The Department of Rehabilitation at

The California commission on Disability Access at

Home Business Permits:

The Home Business Permit Fee is $109. Once approved, a home occupation permit is valid for the approved business as long as it remains at the permitted address. The Home Occupation Permit Application form contains relevant regulations.

To download the Home Business Permit application, Click Here.

Application Submission:

Completed applications, along with the applicable tax or fee, can be submitted to the City of Oakley by mail, email, or in person. Please make checks payable to the City of Oakley Attn: Business Licenses, 3231 Main Street, Oakley, California 94561.

Approval Process:

The approval process involves:

  1. Confirming that the business and location comply with City zoning and, if applicable, an attached home occupation permit application.
  2. Reviewing the application and fees paid.
  3. Issuing the Business Tax Certificate.

Certificate Issuance:

Normally, an approved Certificate is mailed to the business owner within two to three weeks from the date of receipt.

Business License Renewal Requirement:

Business Licenses expire on June 30 annually and must be renewed for as long as the business remains operational in Oakley. Renewal notices are sent via mail as a courtesy, yet the ultimate responsibility to renew on time lies with the business owner. In the event that the City’s courtesy notice isn’t received at least two weeks before the expiration date, please promptly contact City staff. Please be aware that penalties are imposed for delinquent accounts, irrespective of whether the courtesy renewal notice was received or not. It’s important to note that Business licenses aren’t automatically canceled or closed out. If the business ceases operations, kindly notify the Business License Division in writing or by calling to ensure appropriate closure of the license.

Required Disclosure: Obtaining a Business License Tax Certificate is mandatory for operating a business in the City. However, it does not grant permission to operate a business otherwise prohibited by law or regulations. The use of the term “License” in describing the business license program is not an authorization to operate the business but indicates that the business has paid the Business License Tax and agreed to operate lawfully.

To learn more about starting a business in Oakley click here to download a new business guide.