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Permitting & Licensing

Local Regulations

An overview of licensing and permitting requirements follows this list of city and county contacts.

City of Biggs
City Hall, 3016 Sixth Street, Biggs, CA 95917
(530) 868-5493

City of Gridley
City Hall, 685 Kentucky St., Gridley, CA 95948
General: (530) 846-5695 (business license)
Planning: (530) 846-3631(zoning, environmental review)
Forms Online: www.gridley.ca.us/documents/index.php

City of Chico
411 Main Street, P.O. Box 3420, Chico, CA 95928
Planning: (530) 879-6800
Finance Office: (530) 895-4837 (business license)
Forms Online: www.chico.ca.us/Finance/Business_License_Info.asp

City of Oroville
1735 Montgomery Street, Oroville, CA 95965
Community Development: (530) 538-2408 (planning, building, business license)

Town of Paradise
5555 Skyway, Paradise, CA 95969
Community Development: (530) 872-6291 (building, zoning)
City Clerk: (530) 872-6291
No business license is currently required. Contact the city clerk for information on required permits.

Butte County
Planning Department: (530) 538-7601 (zoning, other permits)
7 County Center Drive, Oroville, CA 95965
Forms Online: www.buttecounty.net/dds/Planning/planning.htm

Business License

If your principle place of business is within the boundaries of an incorporated city, you must apply to that city for a business license in most cases. If your business’s principle offices are located within an unincorporated area, there is no business license requirement. If you do a large portion of your business in another city, it is a good idea to have a business license from that city, as well. (See contacts above.)

Fictitious Business Name

If you are operating under any name other than your own, you must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the county. It is also referred to as a DBA (Doing Business As). A fee is required when the statement is filed. Also, once filed, the statement must be published in a local newspaper of general circulation. This statement must be filed with the County Recorder’s Office.

Butte County
Recorder’s Office: (530) 538-7691 (Fictitious Business Name)
25 County Center Drive, Oroville, CA 95965
Forms Online: clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/recorder/online.html


Other County permits may be required whether you operate in a city or unincorporated area (e.g., use permits including: health, taxi service, kennels, junkyards, etc.). You should consult the County Building and Planning Department for further information regarding these requirements. (See contacts above.)

Zoning Requirements and Restrictions

Prior to determining a location for your business, contact the zoning office of the city or county in which you intend to place your business in order to determine if your location is zoned properly for your type of business. (See contacts above.)

Food Vendors

If you are going to be engaged in a business that sells food, you need a permit from the Public Health Department.

Butte County Dept. of Public Health
Environment Health Division-Oroville
7 County Center Drive, Oroville, CA 95965
(530) 538-7281
Environmental Health Division-Chico
411 Main Street, Chico, CA 95928
(530) 891-2727

Liquor License

If your business sells alcoholic beverages, you need a license. The fee is determined by the kind of business you own. Contact the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to find out which stipulations apply to you.

Butte and Glenn Counties
Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control
1130 Civic Center Blvd., Suite F, Yuba City, CA 96993
(530) 751-8570

State Regulations

Seller’s Permit

Every individual or business engaged in selling tangible personal property must apply to the State Board of Equalization for a Seller’s Permit (Form BT-400). This permit provides you with a registered resale number, which is required for conducting business. There is no fee for this permit, but you may be required to make a security deposit for future sales tax payments to the state. The permit 1) exempts you from paying sales tax on the merchandise you purchase for resale through your business, and 2) authorizes you to collect sales tax from your customers.

State Board of Equalization
2881 Churn Creek Rd, Suite B, Redding, CA 96002
(800) 432-2829 or (530) 224-4729

Excise Tax

If you sell cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, energy, motor vehicle fuel, or hazardous substances, you must pay an excise tax. Contact:

Excise Taxes Division. State Board of Equalization
P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-0056
(800) 400-7115 or (916) 327-4208

State Employer Account Number

All businesses that hire employees must register with the Employment Development Department to obtain an employer account number.

Employment Development Department
Account Services Group, MIC 28
P.O. Box 826880, Sacramento, CA 94280-0001
(888) 745-3886

Occupational License

To maintain set standards of performance and protect consumers, most states regulate entry in specific occupations or professions. These include the health services, cosmetology, accounting, and real estate. If your business is in any of these regulated fields, you must first meet the standards set forth by the state licensing board and then obtain a license. Licenses are usually valid for one or two years and are renewable. To find out if an occupational license is required for your business activity, contact:

California Department of Consumer Affairs
400 R. Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 952-5210 or (916) 445-1254 or TTY (916) 322-1700

Federal Regulations

At the federal level, regulations pertaining to businesses focus on taxation, employer responsibilities, consumer protection, and the registration of trademarks, patents, and copyrights. An excellent summary is IRS Pub. 334, Tax Guide for Small Businesses. It is available online www.irs.gov/publications/index.html or free from the Internal Revenue Service by calling (800) 829-3676. The IRS also provides an online guide to operating a business at: www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=99930,00.html

Employer Identification Number (Federal ID #)

Businesses with one or more employees are required to obtain a Federal ID Number from the Internal Revenue Service by filing form #SS-4. This enables the government to verify that you are paying all appropriate employer taxes and withholding the proper amounts from your employees’ checks. In compliance with the IRS regulations, you will be liable for federal withholding taxes, FUTA, and FICA. There is no fee.
Apply online at: www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=102767,00.html

Consumer Protection Regulation

The federal government regulates business practices in a variety of areas to protect the rights of consumers. Businesses engaging in mail order sales or selling products in more than one state are subject to regulation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Interstate Commerce Commission, and/or the U.S. Postal Service. The FTC also oversees product packaging and labeling, product warranties, and advertising claims. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) becomes involved if the product includes nutritional supplements, health care, or cosmetics. For financial services, you must contact the Securities and Exchange Commission: www.sec.gov.

The Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580