Starting a Business

Starting a Business

Starting a new business can be exciting and challenging. The City of San Leandro provides the information below to help you learn what to do to start a business in the City of San Leandro.

All new commercial businesses that plan to operate in San Leandro or sell goods or services within San Leandro city limits must obtain a business license and pay the applicable business license fees. This includes businesses dealing with residential and commercial real estate rentals or individuals who operate home-based businesses.

In addition, commercial businesses that will be located within San Leandro must complete a zoning application and pay the applicable fees. And any home-based business in San Leandro must obtain a home occupation permit in addition to the standard business license, with applicable fees paid for both.

Business Licenses

Anyone conducting any type of business activity in the incorporated portion of the city of San Leandro is required to obtain a City business license prior to commencing any such activity. You must complete and submit a City of San Leandro Business License Application and pay the appropriate fees. Depending on business classification, the business license fee is either a flat annual fee or includes a base fee and a per unit fee. See fee schedule and fee calculation worksheet.

To Apply On-line Click Here 





Zoning Approval

New businesses planning to locate in San Leandro or any existing businesses changing addresses in San Leandro must apply in person to obtain zoning approval prior to submitting a complete business license application packet to the Finance Department. Businesses not located within San Leandro are NOT required to obtain zoning approval and therefore are not required to submit their application in person.

To determine if your proposed business location is zoned for your type of business, contact Planning Services at (510) 577-3325. Zoning approval can be obtained by visiting Planning Services at the City's One-Stop Permit Center. Click here for the Permit Center hours of operation.

For Commercial Zoning application (business located in San Leandro) - click here

For Home Occupied Zoning application (business located in San Leandro) - click here

For Home Cottage Food Zoning application (business located in San Leandro) - click here

For  Large Family Day Care Zoning application (business located in San Leandro) - click here

Residential and Commercial Rental Property Businesses

Rental property is classified as a business and is subject to business license taxes. Examples include apartments, single-family house rentals and duplexes, condominiums, townhouses, hotels/motels, mobile home parks and rooming or boarding house rental units. Commercial rental property includes warehouses, ministorage and industrial, commercial and office building rentals to tenants for purposes other than dwelling, sleeping or lodging.

To Apply On-line Click Here

To Print Rental Application, Click Here 

Application Packets

Please click the links below for the appropriate application for your business type:

West San Leandro Shuttle Business Improvement District (BID)

The West San Leandro Shuttle Business Improvement District (BID) was first established by the participating businesses and the San Leandro City Council in 2005 and re-authorized in 2014 to partially fund the West San Leandro Shuttle service known as LINKS.  LINKS provides free shuttle service from the Downtown San Leandro BART Station to the western industrial area of San Leandro.

 The BID funds approximately half of the total cost of the LINKS service.  Regional transportation and air quality agencies and the City of San Leandro provide the remainder of the funding.

 Businesses located within the LINKS service area (within one quarter mile of the LINKS route) pay an annual BID assessment fee based on the number of employees including owners.

 Businesses with three or fewer owners and employees, rental property owners, home businesses, and nonprofit businesses are exempt from the fees.

 For information about the annual BID fee, please call the Business License Office at (510) 809-3133.  For additional information about the LINKS Shuttle service visit


Fictitious Business Name Statement

Most businesses are required to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Alameda County Clerk's Office in Oakland.

A fictitious business name, in the case of an individual, means a name that does not include the last name(s) of the individual(s) or a name that suggests the existence of additional owners.

In the case of a corporation, a fictitious business name is any name other than the corporate name as shown in its articles of incorporation. Many banks are now requiring their business customers to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement.

If you need to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement, you are required to do so within 40 days of the time you first begin transacting business. The forms can be obtained and filed, in person or by mail, at the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder's Office at 1106 Madison Street, 1st Floor, Oakland, CA 94607.

Please contact the County of Alameda for further information at (510) 272-6362 or visit

Seller's Permits

Retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers must obtain seller's permits from the California State Board of Equalization, located at 1515 Clay Street, suite 303, Oakland, CA 94612. If you require additional information, please call (510) 622-4100 or visit

Health Permit

If you plan to sell food as part of your business, you will need to obtain a permit from the Environmental Health Services of the County Health Care Services Agency, located at 1131 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda, CA 94502. If you have any questions, please call (510) 567-6700 or, for mobile food vendors, call (510) 567-6754 or visit


If you plan to hire employees, there are several requirements that must be met. You will need to contact the Internal Revenue Service and the Employment Development Department for further information.


Internal Revenue Service (federal taxes)
1301 Clay St., Suite 1605
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 637-2487 or (800) 829-1040


Employment Development Department (state employment tax)
7700 Edgewater Dr., Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94621
(510) 577-2395 or (888) 745-3886


Franchise Tax Board (state income taxes)
1515 Clay St., Suite 305
Oakland, CA 94612
(800) 852-5711