•  Q:  Do I need a Business License Tax Certificate?
    • A:  City of Stockton Municipal Code Section 5.04.040 states that no person shall engage in any profession, trade, calling, occupation, or business without first having procured a license. Self-employed persons and independent contractors are also required to pay the Business Tax. Persons described herein who engage in such profession, trade, calling, occupation or business in the City without the required license shall, in addition to the penalties provided herein, sustain a penalty of 25 percent of the license fee due.
  • Q: How can I file for a Business License Tax Certificate?
    • A:  The application is available online. You can mail, fax or bring the application into the City of Stockton Administrative Services, Business Licensing Department.
  • Q: How much does a Business License Cost?
    • A:  An annual registration tax applies for each license, and depending on the business activity, each business will also pay a mill tax, a flat rate, or a combination of both. 
  • Q:  I have several business locations. Can I apply for just one Business License Tax Certificate?
    • A:  A separate Business License Tax Certificate must be obtained for each business location.
  • Q:  Do I need a Business License Tax Certificate for residential property?
    • A:  Yes. Persons engaged in the business of renting or letting rooms, apartments, or other accommodations for dwelling, sleeping, housekeeping, or lodging, where such persons have a total of three (3) or more such units. 
  • Q:  Do I need a Business License Tax Certificate for commercial property?
    • A:  Yes. Any person engaged in the business of renting or leasing nonresidential real estate as a lessor or sub-lessor in the City of Stockton is required to obtain a Business License Tax Certificate.
  • Q:  Do I need to display my Business License Tax Certificate?
    • A:  Yes. Any person or entity engaged in business at a fixed place of business shall keep the certificate posted in a conspicuous place upon the premises where such business is conducted. Any person engaged in business in the City of Stockton, but not operating from a fixed place of business, shall keep the certificate issued to him or her at all times while engaging in such business.
  • Q:  How do I transfer my Business License Tax Certificate?
    • A:  A Business License Tax Certificate is not transferable in the case of a change of ownership. It is the responsibility of the owner to advise the Business Tax Division of ownership changes, relocation, or termination of business.  
  • Q:  My business ownership status has changed (became a corporation, changed from partnership to sole proprietorship, etc.).  Do I need to contact your office?
    • A:  Yes.  Any change in entity requires a new Business License Tax Certificate.
  • Q:  I conduct business in several cities. Can I get one Business Tax Certificate to do business in ALL of them?
    • A:  No. Each city has its own Business Tax requirement and you must have a certificate from the jurisdiction business is being conducted in.
  • Q:  Do I need a Business License Tax Certificate if I work out of my home?
    • A:  Yes. Businesses operated from the home also require payment of a Business Tax Certificate.
  • Q:  I do a small amount of consulting and all my clients are located outside the City. Does this require a Business License Tax Certificate?
    • A:  Yes. If your consultancy is based from a location in the City, a Business Tax Certificate will be required for that location. The number of clients and where they are located does not have any bearing on whether a Business Tax Certificate is required since the requirement applies to your business.
  • Q:  What date is the Business License due?
    • A:  It is due (30) days after the Business License Tax expiration date. 
  • Q:  My business license will expire soon and I have not received a renewal notice; what should I do?
    • A:  If it is not due to expire in less than 30 days, you should wait to receive your renewal notice in the mail. If, however, you do not receive it within thirty days before expiration date, please contact the business license division.
  • Q:  I have not received a renewal notice yet and my license has expired. What do I do?
    • A:  If your address has changed since your last renewal, please provide updated information as soon as possible.
  • Q:  What are the payment options?
    • A:  Cash, check, money order, debit card, MasterCard or Visa credit card.
  • Q:  Do I need a Seller's Permit?
    • A:  If you sell tangible personal property, you are required to obtain a Seller's Permit from the State Board of Equalization (SBE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California.
  • Q:  Do I need to apply for a Fictitious Business Name?
    • A:  Any person who regularly transacts business for profit, under a Fictitious Business Name in the County of San Joaquin, is required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Recorder/County Clerk within 40 days of first transacting business.


External Links

Stockton Municipal Code

State Board of Equalization (SBE)

San Joaquin County Recorder/County Clerk


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 9/6/2017