This page was developed to provide the business community with information regarding Business Tax requirements.
WHO IS REQUIRED TO FILE?
All persons conducting business within the City of Oakland. Included are commercial/industrial and residential rental property owners, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, service companies, self-employed persons, independent contractors and businesses conducted within one's home, and non-profit organizations. If your business office is located in Oakland, you need to obtain a zoning clearance from the Zoning Division prior to commencing your business. They are located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd floor, (510) 238-3911. When applying, please allow yourself enough time to complete your transaction. Taxpayers are assisted on a first come, first serve basis. Staff will make every attempt to assist you as quickly as possible. For applications, click here.
WHAT AM I REQUIRED TO PAY?
With your initial application, you are required to pay a non-refundable registration fee of $61. This includes the mandatory State Mandated Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund fee of 1.00. In addition, you may elect to furnish a first year estimated tax base and pay a first year estimated tax.
On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB-1186 which adds a state fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license or similar instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. The purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws, as specified.
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 how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
o The Division of the State Architect at www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Home.aspx .
o The Department of Rehabilitation at www.rehab.cahwnet.gov .
o The California Commission on Disability Access at www.ccda.ca.gov .
HOW OFTEN AM I REQUIRED TO PAY?
Business Tax must be paid ANNUALLY , not later than March 1st of each year. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to renew the business tax on time .
l. If you are using a fictitious business name, contact the Fictitious Business Names Office at 1106 Madison Street, (510) 272-6363.
2. If you intend to sell or solicit door-to-door or along city streets, you must obtain a peddlers and/or solicitors application from our office. Complete the application and take it to the Oakland Police Department located at 455-7th St., Room 306 for processing. When Peddler/Solicitor ID card is issued, return to our office to apply for your Business Tax Certificate.
3. All food establishments are required to obtain a health permit (prior to submitting your application for a City of Oakland Business Tax Certificate) from the Alameda County Environmental Health Office, 1131 Harbor Bay, Alameda (510) 567-6700.
4. Business owners intending to sell alcoholic beverages must obtain applicable licenses (prior to applying for the Business Tax Certificate) from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208; (510) 622-4970.
5. Those persons engaged in retail or wholesale activities should contact the State Board of Equalization, 1515 Clay Street, Suite 303; (510) 622-4100 (State Sales Tax Requirements).
TRANSFER OF BUSINESS TAX CERTIFICATE
Upon approval of the Business Tax Section a taxpayer may transfer the Business Tax Certificate under the following conditions:
1. The transferor must have a current Business Tax Certificate that has been issued for the calendar year in which the request to transfer is made.
2. The transferee must assume Business Tax Liability retroactive to January 1st of the year in which a transfer is made, i.e., the tax base to be used for renewal in the immediate following year must include that of the transferor from January 1 to the date of transfer, and of the transferee from the date of transfer to December 31 of the year in which the transfer occurs.
3. Pay a Transfer Fee of $15.00.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL TO COMPLY?
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE BUSINESS TAX ORDINANCE REQUIREMENTS IS A MISDEMEANOR VIOLATION. A NOTICE OF VIOLATION AND/OR CITATION MAY BE ISSUED. A LIEN IS FILED ON RENTAL PROPERTY.
This page does not constitute final or complete interpretation of all legal requirements that may apply to your particular type of business. There are other taxes and/or fees that may apply. Please give complete and accurate information when submitting your application.
WHERE TO REGISTER AND PAY BUSINESS TAX (in person or by mail)
CITY OF OAKLAND
FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT AGENCY
BUSINESS TAX OFFICE
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 1320
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone (510) 238-3704
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, ATM and ATM check cards accepted.