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Business Licenses and Permits

General Information

All businesses engaging in transactions within Chico's city limits are required to have a current business license. This includes businesses from a home-based office. Business licenses are renewed annually. If you are not sure which type of license you need, click this link for more information.

According to Section 3.32.040 of the Chico Municipal Code, a business is defined as including "…professions, trades, and occupations and all and every kind of calling whether or not carried on for profit".

Please be advised that in addition to payment of the tax, you must also comply with all other provisions of the Chico Municipal Code, including but not limited to, building, parking, zoning and fire safety requirements.

It is suggested that you check with the City of Chico's Building Department to verify compliance with the Building and Land Use Codes. (411 Main Street, Second Floor, (530) 879-6700).

If you operate a business that is food related, you must contact the Butte County Health Department at (530) 891-2727 for additional information.

Business License Reports

For a report of Chico businesses with current business licences, click this link.

New Businesses

Prior to operating a business within the City of Chico, all new business owners must complete a Business License Tax Application. The application along with the appropriate payment can be returned to the City of Chico's Finance Department at 411 Main Street or via mail at P.O. Box 3420, Chico, CA 95927-3420. For questions regarding the Business License application, please contact the Finance Department at (530) 879-7320.

If you have a Home-Based business, your Business License cannot be issued until a Home Occupation Permit Application has been reviewed, as described below.

Home-Based Businesses

A home occupation is a limited business activity in a residential, Office Residential or Office Commercial zoning districts. A person engaged in a home occupation shall comply with the standards set forth in Section 19.20.060 of the Chico Municipal Code. All home-based businesses are required to complete a Home Occupation Permit Application , which is reviewed by the Planning Services Department. If a permit is required, a fee will be charged. Please call the Planning Division at (530) 879-6800 for further information.

Businesses Located in Downtown Chico

Those businesses operating in the Downtown Parking and Business Improvement Area (DPBIA) area are subject to an additional license tax and must complete a DPBIA Tax Application along with the Business License application. Please click on the following link for a boundary map of the Downtown Business District.

Boundary Map

Taxpayer Identification Number

Any business operating as a Corporation or a Partnership is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number. A business operating as a Sole Proprietor must report the business owner's Social Security Number on the application in lieu of a Taxpayer Identification Number. To obtain more information regarding Taxpayer Identification Numbers, please visit the IRS Web-Site or the local IRS office at 1395 Ridgewood Drive.

Seller's Permit

According to the State Board of Equalization, you must obtain a Seller's Permit if you are engaged in business in California and sell or lease merchandise, vehicles, or other tangible personal property that is subject to sales or use tax. Making taxable sales without a valid permit is a misdemeanor under California's Sales and Use Tax Law and is subject to fines and penalties.

To apply for a Seller's Permit, please vist the State Board of Equalization at (800) 400-7115 to request an Express Registration package.

Download Seller's Permit Application

Fictitious Name Statements

If you are working under a fictitious name, you must file a Fictitious Name Statement with the Butte County Clerk/Recorder (530) 538-7691. The filing forms may be obtained from either the Enterprise-Record (400 E. Park Avenue) or the Chico News and Review (353 E 2nd Street).

Download Fictitious Name Statement Form

Food Related Businesses

Any person, business, or organization that prepares, sells, or gives away food to the public needs a permit issued by the local Health Department. This includes restaurants, markets, liquor stores, coffee shops, bars, mini markets, discount variety stores that sell only packaged foods, schools, bed & breakfasts, catering trucks, ice cream trucks, hot food trucks, food carts, caterers, farmers markets, etc. To obtain such a permit the owner/operator of the food facility must submit an application and fee to the Environmental Health Division and must show that the facility meets minimum requirements of the California Retail Food Code.

State of California Department of Industrial Relations

The State of California through statutory mandates requires that certain businesses and/or individuals obtain a license, registration or certification through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement prior to commencing business and to maintain that license in good standing.

Download State of California licensing requirements