The Business License division is a branch of the City’s Finance Department. We are responsible for the licensing of all businesses situated within the City limits and any outside vendor conducting business in our geographic area. Applications are received and sent through a screening process to assure compliance with City regulations and zoning restrictions. After the applications have been approved and applicable fees paid, a certificate is issued. Businesses vary from retail to wholesale, home occupations, solicitors as well as BINGO games.
Locating Your Business
The City of Pittsburg has established various zoning restrictions which control the location and the operation of all commercial activities. A brief check with the Planning Department prior to signing lease agreements or purchasing commercial property may prove to be very valuable. For more information contact the Planning Department at (925) 252-4920.
A person considering the use of a fictitious name (one other than his/her own name) for their business must clear the use of such name through the Contra Costa County Clerk to ensure that such name is not currently be utilizing. For more information contact the Contra Costa County Clerk at (925) 646-2950.
State Identification Number
Businesses are required to obtain a California State Identification Number for the purpose of reporting employee taxes to the State of California. For more information contact the State of California at (916) 654-8706.
Federal Employer Identification Number
This number may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service at 1(800) 829-1040 or www.irs.gov.
A Seller’s Permit Number is required for all persons selling tangible property which is subject to State of California Sales and Use Tax. Contact the State of California Board of Equalization at 1 (800) 400-7115.
For your convenience a “Business License” Directory listing offices for the City of Pittsburg, Contra Costa County, the State and Federal government has been included at the end of this website link.
Filling your Business License Application
Click here to download the City of Pittsburg Business License Application [PDF].
If you are using your home address as a physical business address you must complete both a City of Pittsburg Business License and a Home Occupation Permit Application. Click here to download the Home Occupation Permit [PDF].
Please be sure to complete the application in its entirety. An incomplete application could result in the application being returned to the applicant for completion. After checking that the application is complete and free of errors, the application must be signed by the applicant. Applications may be mailed or delivered along with the appropriate payment to:
City of Pittsburg
Finance Department – Business License Division
65 Civic Avenue
Pittsburg, CA 94565-3814
Business Holding of Ownership
Sole Proprietor: A business owned by a single person who receives all the profits.
Partnership: Two or more persons who are co-owners of a business for profit.
Corporation: An independent legal and tax entity which remains intact even if respective officers and directors change.
Names and Addresses
Include the name and home address of all owners, partners or corporate officers. If these persons are located outside of Contra Costa County, please provide information for a local contact. This information will NOT be made public, but is necessary for fire and police emergency. A license will not be issued to post office boxes. You may have your license mailed to a post office box but a specific street address is required for the business location.
Type of Business
Be specific in the description of the type of business. For example, if you are a consultant, list the field of expertise. If you own a mail order firm, please list the type of products sold. Being very descriptive will aid in the review process of your application.
There are two different payment methods for your Business License Tax. If your business collects gross receipts at the Pittsburg location, you may choose either to pay based on Gross Receipts or a Flat Rate for business ownership plus an amount for each “Professional” person engaged in that business. (See the Tax Schedule information on the back of the license application.) Business License Tax is based upon a calendar year. Be sure you compute your Business License Tax from the date your business began operating in the City of Pittsburg through December 31 of the current year.
Be sure to SIGN AND DATE your application.
Licenses are not transferable. If you sell your business, it is your responsibility to notify this office so your license may be closed. The new owner must apply for a NEW license in his/her name. No refunds are given.
A Business License Tax is due from the date your business commences operating in the City of Pittsburg through December 31st of the current year.
Please notify this office in writing if you move. For your convenience in requesting an address change, please download an application, make the necessary changes and mail the application to this office with a $5 fee for a replacement license.
License forms must be complete with Federal Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number, Seller’s Permit Number and Driver’s License Numbers. Building contractors must supply their State Contractor’s License Number.
A copy of a Contra Costa County Health Department Certificate must accompany all applications for restaurants, convenience stores and ice cream or catering trucks.
Special rules are applicable for some business activities. Contact the Business License Clerk for procedures if your business is: a limousine or taxi service, pawnbroker, gun dealer, private security patrol or door-to-door solicitation or door-to-door selling, fortunetelling, physical therapists, bingo, auctioneers and burglar alarm systems. For your convenience you may view the City’s Municipal Code and click on the Business License and Regulations Title 5 on the website and/or download the respective Business Permit Application [PDF].
If your business requires an alcohol license, please contact the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) at telephone (510) 622-4970 or website http://www.abc.ca.gov. Additionally, you will be required to submit your business plan to the Pittsburg Police Department for approval of your alcohol license. The Police Department will review the operation and nature of your business to determine if your business would serve the public convenience or necessity. The Pittsburg Police Department may place conditions and restrictions upon your business plan based upon the needs of the community and the amount of police resources your business may consume. After reviewing all the information, the Police Department may or may not recommend approval of your application to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.