WELCOME TO BUSINESS LICENSING AT THE CITY CLERK'S OFFICE

STARTING A BUSINESS IN THE CITY OF REDDING

The City of Redding welcomes you to its business community. Starting a business can be exciting and challenging. We wish you success in your new venture!

There are many things you should consider when starting a business. This web page attempts to help the new business owner understand the Business License process. Included are answers to the questions most frequently asked regarding requirements for starting a business, other related permits and licenses, and different agency responsibilities.

The Licensing staff is here to help. If you need further business license assistance, you are welcome to contact us:

City Clerk's Office at City Hall
777 Cypress Avenue, 3rd Floor
Redding, California 96001
(530) 225-4056

Note: To view our online "PDF" file ( Business License Application ) you need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader software, available for free downloading at Adobe Systems, Inc. web site:


TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is a business license? A business license is an annual tax for doing business within the incorporated area of the City of Redding (City). Redding Municipal Code requires that you obtain a license when you conduct any business activity within the City even if your business is located OUTSIDE the city limits or you have a business license from another city.

The business license certificate, is evidence only that your tax has been paid. Other permits may be required to open your business.

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Who is required to have a license? Any person who conducts business in the City or is based in the City must obtain a business license on or before the date the business commences. Conducting business in the City without a license can result in penalties, violation notices, citations, and finally, court action.
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Why must I pay a tax to do business in the City? By City Ordinance, the tax imposed through the taxing power of the City is solely for the purpose of obtaining general revenue. Business taxes help pay for city services like roads, fire, police and other community services. These services benefit businesses, business owners and the general public.
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How long is this license good for? The business license is valid for one year from the month it is obtained. It must be renewed annually.
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What if I have more than one business or more than one location? If you own more than one business, a separate business license is required for each type of business and for each location.
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I just purchased this business. Can I use the business license from the previous owner? No. A business license cannot be transferred or assigned. As a new owner, you need to apply for a business license in your name.
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What if I close or sell the business? Business licenses are NOT automatically canceled. We need to hear from you. You may send written notification, call or come in. Please be prepared to provide the date the business closed or sold and the name of the new owner, if applicable.
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What if my business also conducts business in the unincorporated area of the County of Shasta, the City of Anderson or the City of Shasta Lake? A business license is not required for the unincorporated area of Shasta County, however, other requirements may apply. If you have questions, please contact Shasta County. City of Anderson business license information may be obtained by calling (530) 378-6626. City of Shasta Lake business license information may be obtained by calling (530) 275-7460.
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I conduct business in several cities. Can I get just one license to do business in ALL of them? Unfortunately, no. Each city has its own business license requirements. It is important to know that most California cities have a business license tax ordinance. However, each city has its own tax rate, structure and requirements. Check with the appropriate City or County for their rules and regulations.
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Will the City notify me when it is time to renew my license? Yes. However, it is your responsibility to renew the business license on time even if the courtesy reminder notice is not received. Penalties are assessed for delinquent accounts, regardless of whether or not you receive a renewal notice. If you do NOT receive a notice two weeks prior to the expiration date, contact staff immediately.
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What happens if I pay late? A 10% per month penalty up to 50% of the license fee is assessed on delinquent accounts. Delinquent accounts are referred to a collection agency and owners who refuse to comply are cited by the Redding Police Department.
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What if I want to move the business? Always check with the City's Planning Division to verify that the new location is zoned properly for the intended use and whether a use permit or other type of approval is required.

Notify our office whenever you change your address, phone number, business activity or ownership information. We will be happy to update the information on your account at no cost. If you want a printed copy of the business license with the new information there is a $10 fee.

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But, I don't make much money. It's a very small business. Part-time, limited or hobby related businesses with gross receipts * less than $1,250 per quarter or $5,000 per year are exempt from business license fees. However, anyone claiming exemption must provide written proof in the form of tax returns, audited financial records or equivalent documentation. * Gross receipts are the total income received before any expenses are paid.
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How long will it take to get my business license? The actual process to obtain the business license takes only a few minutes. When the application is complete and payment is received we issue a temporary business license. The permanent business license will be mailed in about two weeks.
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Do I need a D.B.A. or Fictitious Business Name? If your business name is anything other than your surname or has more than one owner - a partnership, association or company - you may need to file a fictitious business name statement with the Shasta County Clerk's Office. Should you accidentally "infringe" upon another business name you may face legal action. So, it is a good idea to do this before you apply for the business license.
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Must I apply in person or can I apply by mail? You may apply in person or by mail. However, if you use the mail, take care in determining your business category and calculating your tax. Category and calculation errors delay the process. So, if you are not sure give us a call.
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Can I apply over the Internet? Not at this time. You can download and application form but we will need your signed application form and payment in order to process the business license.
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Are there any restrictions on where I do business? Every business must meet zoning requirements to ensure that the business activity and site are compatible. BEFORE SIGNING any lease or rental agreement, check with the City's Planning Division to make sure your business activity is appropriate for the zoning and that it will not heavily impact the neighborhood or require special parking considerations.
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What about commercial business locations? Check with the City's Permit Center to determine what building modifications, if any, may be necessary for your business type.

Usually, a fire inspector will visit your business in order to verify that your building or tenant area meets Fire and Building Code requirements and will issue a Certificate of Occupancy.

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Do I need a license if I work out of my home? Yes. Businesses operated from the home require a business license and must comply with the City's Zoning Ordinance. Types of home-based businesses and the manner in which they may operate are regulated by the Zoning Ordinance. Prior to staring a home-based business, owners must read and sign a Home Occupation Affidavit. This serves as an agreement to abide by the conditions.

Home Occupation Affidavits are available from the Business License Office and the Permit Center. If you have questions regarding zoning, please contact the Planning Division.

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Do State Licensed Contractors need a Business License too? Any person licensed as a contractor by the State Contractor's Board must obtain a business license if
  1. conducting business in the City, or
  2. based in the City, whether conducting business in or outside the City.
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When do I need a Seller's Permit? Every business intending to sell tangible goods - wholesale or retail, commercial or home based, sales or repair oriented - requires a California Seller's Permit. To apply, contact the Board of Equalization.
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Do Non-Profit Organizations need a business license? Yes. Non-Profit organizations located within the City limits are required to obtain a business license. However, upon presentation of proof from the Internal Revenue Service or the California Secretary of State of nonprofit status, the business license fee is waived.
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I am paid on a "1099" basis with my employer (not as an employee), do I need a business license? Yes, if you are not an employee, you are considered an independent contractor. Providing services to, or on behalf of a business, may be an employee/employer or an independent contractor relationship depending on the nature of work and span of control involved. Determining the relationship between you and your employer (or employee) can sometimes be confusing. However, put simply, if you are not paid as an employee, you are considered an independent contractor and are required to have a business license .

Fortunately, the State Department of Employment Development (EDD) has a very helpful booklet highlighting specific guidelines to follow in determining the correct relationship between you and your employer/employee. Contact EDD if you are unsure of the relationship. Once a determination has been made that your relationship is not that of an employee/employer, then by default, it is that of an independent contractor subject to a business license.

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What if my business has employees? Contact the Employment Development Department for their requirements regarding State Withholding Taxes, Disability and Unemployment Insurance.
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What if I'm self-employed? If you have NO EMPLOYEES, contact the Franchise Tax Board regarding Withholding Taxes and Corporate State Taxes.
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What about selling food? If selling or preparing food, apply for a health permit from the County Environmental Health Department in addition to the business license.
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I have this neat idea for a great sign! Please check with the Planning Division before using or installing ANY type of sign, flag or banner, even balloons. Permanent and temporary signs require review and approval prior to issuance of permits and installation.

Posting signs, handbills, or flyers on any utility pole, traffic pole, fence, tree, pier, bridge, mailbox or other public structure is prohibited .

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What if my business is located downtown? If your business is located within the Downtown Redding Business Improvement District, a special assessment will be mailed to you in April of each year. Please contact our office or the Downtown Redding Business Association at (530) 241-6051 for a brochure explaining the privileges and responsibilities of locating in this exciting area.
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Should I post the business license? Yes. The business license certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous location on the premises of any business open to the public. Businesses without a fixed place of business must carry a copy of the business license at all times while carrying on business activities within the City.
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I want to leave handbills at homes to advertise my business. Is that covered by the business license? No. A handbill permit is required in addition to the business license. Please contact our office before distributing any handbill or flyer.

Distribution of handbills or flyers on car windshields is always prohibited .

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I want to sell merchandise outside. What do I need to do? Selling merchandise on any public roadway, sidewalk or on public property is prohibited .

Selling merchandise in public parks is restricted to nonprofit organizations and requires special permission from the Recreation Department.

In addition to a business license, selling outdoors on private property requires a use permit issued by the Planning Department. Approval of the Fire Department may be required as well.

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When I get the business license it means everything is ok and I don't need anything else. Right? No. The issuance of a business license does not entitle the licensee to engage in any business which for any reason is in violation of any law, the Redding Municipal Code or other ordinance.

Issuance of a business license does not constitute zoning approval. Prior to opening any business, it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure that the business is in compliance with the City's Zoning Ordinance and applicable building code requirements. A visit to the City's Permit Center is strongly recommended.

You may also need the approval of other City departments, and County, State and Federal government agencies.

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What else do I need to do? Because of the vast variety of business types, we can't cover every possibility. However, the list of agencies at the back of this booklet should get you on your way.
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How much does a business license cost? There are seven categories of businesses. The amount you pay is based on the type of business.
  1. Retail, Wholesale and Miscellaneous

    Base Fee = $50.00 plus per employee fees of $8.00 for each of the first 4 employees and $4.00 each for remaining employees.

  2. Manufacturing and Processors

    Base Fee = $50.00 plus per employee fees of $4.00 for each of the first 24 employees and $2.00 each for remaining employees.

  3. Professional

    Base Fee = $90.00 per professional member plus per employee fees of $6.00 for each of the first 8 employees and $4.00 each for remaining employees.

    How do I determine the number of employees ?

    The number of employees is determined by the average number of employees (full or part-time) employed or to be employed during the license period. The business owner is not counted as an employee. If you aren't sure, staff will be happy to help you determine the correct number.

  4. Contractors, Subcontractors, Builders

    $90.00 per year or $30.00 per quarter.

  5. Hotels, Motels, Apartments, Houses, Rooming Houses and Trailer Parks

    $5.00 per unit per year

  6. Lease/Rent Commercial Property

    Commercial Floor Space:

    0 - 999 square feet No License Fee
    1,000 - 2,000 sq ft $20 per year
    2,001 - 3,000 sq ft $40 per year
    3,001 - 4,000 sq ft $60 per year
    4,001 - 5,000 sq ft $70 per year
    5,001 - 6,000 sq ft $80 per year
    6,001 - 7,000 sq ft $90 per year
    7,001 - 8,000 sq ft $100 per year
    8,001 - 9,000 sq ft $110 per year
    9,001 - 10,000 sq ft $120 per year
    Commercial Floor Space in excess of 10,000 sq ft is calculated as follows: First 10,000 square feet @ $120.00 plus $5.00 for each additional 1,000 square feet.

  7. Special Business Types

    1. Hospitals and Convalescent Hospitals

      Base Fee = $90.00 plus per employee fees of $2.00 for each of the first 25 employees and $1.00 each for remaining employees.

    2. Coin-Operated Machines Gross Receipts:

      From Up To License Fee
      $ 0.00 $ 50.00 $ 0.00
      50.00 500.00 10.00
      500.00 2,500.00 20.00
      2,500.00 5,000.00 30.00
      5,000.00 7,500.00 40.00
      7,500.00 and over 50.00

    3. Amusement Coin Operated Devices

      $10.00 per machine per year

    4. Entertainment

      1. Billiard rooms, pool halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, play lands, and batting cages $100.00 per year
      2. Carnivals $25.00 per day
      3. Circuses $50.00 per day
      4. Dancers, dance troupes, dance halls: $100 per year
      5. Motion Picture Theaters:

        Seating up to 500 $100.00 per year
        more than 500 $150.00 per year
        more than 1000 $200.00 per year

      6. Parade and special event vendors: $10 per day per employee
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Wow, that's a lot of categories. How do I know which category fits my business? If you aren't sure in which category your business fits, just call our office. We will ask you a few questions about your business and determine the proper category. Don't hesitate to call. We are here to help!

Certain types of business activities require additional steps in the licensing process. If you are involved in any of the following business activities call our office for more detailed information.

  • Solicitors, Peddlers and Itinerant Vendors
  • Vehicles for Hire and Drivers
  • Card Rooms & Employees
  • Public Dance
  • Bingo Games
  • Public Transportation
  • Secondhand Vendors
  • Firearms Sales
  • Agency Listing
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I want to apply for a business license now. What do I do? If you would like to apply for a business license, download the following application form, complete it and mail it in with your payment. Or, you may call or come into our office and we will be happy to assist you in obtaining a business license.

Thank you for your interest in a City of Redding business license. We wish you success in you business endeavors.

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