City Business License Regulations

The City ordinance includes regulations concerning business license requirements. For more information, refer to the City's municipal code.

Building Permits

If you plan to do any remodeling to the tenant space you plan to occupy, building permits may be required for this work. For further information, contact the Building Permit Center at 408-586-3240 or  

City Zoning & Land Use Regulations

The City zoning ordinance includes regulations concerning where and under what conditions a business may operate in the City. In some cases a conditional use permit or zoning variance is required. To determine if the business activity you are planning can be carried on at the location you have selected, you should contact the Planning Division. It is absolutely necessary that you provide them with all the facts about the type of business activity you plan to operate now and in the future. For further information please contact the Planning Division at 408-586-3279.

Federal & State Employer Requirements

All businesses that have employees are required to obtain a federal employer identification number from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This is required for purposes of withholding and payment of employee taxes. For more information contact the IRS at 800-829-1040.

As an employer you may also be required to file with the State of California Employment Development Department. This is for the purpose of withholding employee tax, as well as for meeting unemployment insurance requirements. For more information contact the Employment Development Department at 888-745-3886.

Filing a Fictitious Name Statement

A fictitious name or DBA (Doing Business As) is the name a business uses other than the owner's name, or in the case of a corporation one that is different from that registered in the articles of incorporation. If you are using a fictitious name the Civil Code requires that you file a fictitious name statement. It is also important to do this to enable the consumer to know who he/she is doing business with, to entitle you to initiate suits for the protection of the name and because most banks require you have proof of filing to open a business account using the fictitious name. For more information contact the County Clerk at 408-299-5688, ext. 5.

Health & Safety Requirements

For requirements concerning any food or drink establishment, swimming pool, septic tanks, wells or animal facilities, Contact the County Health Department at 408-729-5155.

Home Occupation Businesses

Zoning regulations limit what type of business can be conducted from home and define the manner in which the business can operate. For more information contact the Planning Division at 408-586-3279.

Effective January 1, 2020, per Senate Bill 234, California cities shall not impose Fire Permit nor Business License Fees to Small and Large Family Home Daycares.

State Licenses

Many occupations, such as physician, attorney, real estate broker, construction contractor, etc., require a State license; and you may be required to show proof of this license before a City license is issued. If you are in doubt about State licensing requirements for your business you should contact the State Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-344-9940.

State Sales & Use Tax Permits

If your business involves the sale of tangible personal property either retail or wholesale, you are required to obtain a seller's permit from the State Board of Equalization. As a seller, you must remit sales tax (collected from the consumer at the time of sale) to the Board. The Board will advise you of the time and manner in which taxes are to be reported and paid. Failure to register for a seller's permit and pay taxes in the manner prescribed may result in a fine or other penalty. For more information call the State Board of Equalization at 408-277-1231.

Weights & Measures

Santa Clara County Ordinance Code Section A33-125 through A33-127 permits the Department of Weights and Measures to register commercially used weighing and measuring devices. Such devices are required to be tested and certified by the County Sealer. If you use or are planning to use such device(s) please contact the Santa Clara County Department of Weights and Measures at 408-299-4701.

Other Agencies

  • Milpitas Chamber of Commerce - Offers a New Commerce Packet, SCORE Counseling, and various classes. Call 408-262-2613.
  • Small Business Association - Provides special publications and classes and assistance in management and financing. Call 415-744-6820.
  • U.S. Customs Service - Provides information on import requirements, customs duties, and regulations. Call 408-291-7388.
  • U.S. Department of Commerce - Provides information on export licenses and export regulations. Call 408-998-7470.