Business License Information
Who Needs a Business License?
Anyone conducting business within the City of Antioch needs a current business license. A new business license is also required if the business changes location, ownership or name.
What to Do
Before you apply for a business license or enter into any lease agreements there are several matters you must first check.
Zoning and Planning
The City's zoning ordinance regulates land uses. Some businesses are not allowed in certain zones or require Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission approval. Parking requirements for the business will also need to be considered. If you plan to operate a business in your home, a home occupation use permit is required before obtaining a business license. Contact the Planning Department on the second floor of the City Hall for more information.
Any remodeling or construction planned for the business may require a building permit. Before doing any construction check with the Building Department.
If you plan to put up or change a sign, first contact the Planning Department. Some buildings or commercial centers may have an approved sign program. If a sign program has not been approved, a sign permit may be required. Most often sign applications can be reviewed by planning staff, but some will require Design Review Board approval.
All food service businesses, including restaurants, snack bars, delis, and grocery stores must be licensed by the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Services. If you plan to serve or sell alcoholic beverages, an alcoholic beverage license is required through the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Businesses, such as photographic processing, chrome plating or service stations, which generate small hazardous waste or require underground storage of hazardous materials, require a permit from the Contra Costa County Occupational Health Services.
Fictitious Business Names
Any name used other than your personal proper name (i.e.; Jim Smith, D.D.S.) must be filed with the County Clerk's office.
Retail Sales Permit
Sales or use tax may apply to your business activities. You can obtain more information on this by contacting the State Board of Equalization.
Tax Identification Numbers
If you are self-employed, you have to make your Social Security contributions through the self-employment tax. If you are planning to have employees, you will need an employee tax ID number from the Federal and State governments. Contact IRS and EDD.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
All employers are required to carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance. It covers your employees for work-related injuries.
Completing the Business License
Business License applications can be obtained through the Finance Department on the first floor of City Hall. It can also be downloaded from our website. Once you are ready to apply, complete the form and take it to the Planning and Building Departments for review and approval. When this is complete, return the application to the Finance Department with a check for the appropriate fees.
Massage therapists and/or establishments are required to complete a City of Antioch Registration of Massage Therapist form and provide copies of state certifications with the business license application. Applications will not be processed without these documents.
Effective January 1, 2013
On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB-1186 which adds a state fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license or renewal thereof. The purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws, as specified. Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
Effective January 1, 2013, all business license applications and renewals are subject to the $1 fee excluding those business currently exempt from annual license fees under the Municipal Code (i.e., non-profit organizations, etc.).
Receiving the Business License
The Finance Department will process your application in approximately four weeks. Once the application is processed, the business license will be mailed to your business location.
To help promote your business, the Chamber of Commerce, located at 324 G St, is available to assist you.
(This explanation does not constitute final or complete interpretation of all legal requirements which may apply to your particular business.)
Click here for Small Business Information Center
Click here for Business License Application
Click here for Registration of Massage Therapist Form
Click here for Transient Occupancy Tax Form