City of Oakland
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Non-Profit Organizations


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 first 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 (please contact the Zoning Division to obtain zoning clearance).

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.

Please note: 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. This includes all Non-Profit organizations and exempt businesses. If you have any questions regarding the State Mandated fee, please see the following web sites.

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:

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