Check Zoning and City Licenses & Permits


Planning on opening a business in Oakland? New apps in English, Chinese & Spanish can quickly inform you whether a business venture is allowed at a specific address, what types of City licenses & permits are required & what the fees will be.

Before you sign a lease on your new location, be sure you understand the business, zoning, planning, and building permitting needs of your business and the space you have selected.

  • What kind of location is the best for your target customers? Who walks by and who comes to visit the neighborhood you are considering?
  • How much space will you need for your business?
  • What kind of space will you need? Will you have special plumbing or electricity needs? Will you need a kitchen?
  • What are the terms of the lease?
  • How much can you afford to pay for your location? Are there specific problems or issues you will need to address in the lease?
  • How much parking do you need?

City of Oakland staff, commercial brokers, website listings and shopping district leaders can all help you find a good location for your Oakland-based business. Contact the City of Oakland Business Assistance Center (BAC) for market analysis, neighborhood profiles, demographic reports, and other kinds of advice and support.