What you need to know before you apply:
All persons who conduct business in the City of Oakland and owners of rental property (residential, commercial and industrial) are required to file and pay an annual business tax.
All Oakland based businesses should obtain a Zoning Clearance prior to applying for a Business Tax Certificate. The Zoning Department can be reached at (510) 238-3911.
The $95 registration fee must be paid and filed within 30 days of starting your business. If you file your registration later than 30 days after you start your business, you will need to pay a penalty plus interest for each month beyond the 30 days.
You can apply for get a New Business Tax Certificate online or at the Business Tax Office. You can pay by cash, check, cashier's check, money order, Mastercard, Visa, Discover Card or an ATM/Debit Card. You will get a paper certificate from the Business Tax Office about two weeks after you pay your fee or you can opt to have it emailed to you within 7-10 days.
Business Tax Office
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320
Oakland, CA 94612
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Business taxes must be paid annually, on or before March 1st of each year. It is your responsibility to renew your certificate on time and/or to notify the Business Tax Office if you have not received your annual renewal declaration(s).
All non-profit organizations located or doing business in the City of Oakland are required to register with the City. To register as a non-profit, you must have your 501(c)(3) from the IRS, the Letter of Exemption from the California State Franchise Board, a copy of your Articles of Incorporation, and, if you have a location in the City of Oakland, a zoning clearance for your business location. Once you have obtained the above documents you must complete a Business Registration Application and provide the City with copies of your 501(c)(3), Letter of Exemption, and Articles of Incorporation.