Business Licensing & Permits
If you are conducting business in Alameda, you are required to obtain a business license. This includes home-based and online businesses, residential and commercial real estate rentals, and vacation rentals.
There are three basic steps to obtaining a business license in Alameda:
- Obtain zoning clearance for your location (not required for businesses located outside of Alameda). This ensures that your business is allowed in your proposed location. Please visit the Permit Center to apply for zoning clearance. Zoning clearance applications are accepted in the Permit Center Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Apply for a business license. You can apply for a business license online, or visit our Finance Counter on the second floor of City Hall (2263 Santa Clara Avenue, Room 220). The business license office is open Monday-Thursday from 8am-6pm.
- Pay your BIA Assessment (if applicable). Businesses located in Business Improvement Areas are required to pay an additional annual assessment. This will be handled as part of your business license application.
Planning & Building Permits
Are you planning to build, or remodel an existing space? Put-up signs, or change anything about your current building? If so, you will need a permit before you start work.
Visit the Permit Center to get more information about what’s allowed in your space, and what kinds of permits you might need. The Permit Center is located on the first floor of Alameda City Hall (2263 Santa Clara Avenue, Room 190), and is open from Monday-Thursday, 7:30am-3:30pm. Last call for walk-in permit submittals is 3:00 p.m.
Other Licenses and Permits
This is not a complete list of all licenses and permits needed to start a business. You may also need to register with the county, state, or federal government. Please click below to visit our guide to starting a business in Alameda for additional information.