Starting a Business

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Starting a Business

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.

New businesses located in the incorporated are of San Leandro, are required to apply over the phone with the City of San Leandro's contractor for business license support, the HdL Business License Support Center at (510) 809-3133 or online at prior to applying for zoning conformance with the Planning department.

To Apply On-line Click Here


Zoning Conformance

New businesses planning to locate in San Leandro or any existing businesses changing addresses in San Leandro will be sent a zoning conformance form once a business license account number is assigned. Businesses must submit a completed zoning conformance form in order to proceed with their application. 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 or leave a detailed message at (510) 577-3325.


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/leases to tenants for purposes other than dwelling, sleeping or lodging.

To Apply On-line Click Here

Application Packets

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

You may also obtain business license and zoning applications by calling the HdL Business License Support Center at (510) 809-3133. 

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.

1106 Madison Street, 1st Floor

Oakland, CA 94607.

(510) 272-6362

Seller's Permits

Retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers must obtain seller's permits from California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

1515 Clay Street, suite 303,

Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 622-4100

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.

1131 Harbor Bay Parkway

Alameda, CA 94502

(510) 567-6700 

(510) 567-6754  for mobile food vendors


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