Business Licenses

All businesses operating in El Cerrito are required to apply and obtain a Business License in accordance with El Cerrito Municipal Code, Chapter 4.32. The Business License Tax Ordinance defines the business license requirements, process, and tax rates. Read the business license renewal FAQ for more information. Most business licenses are valid annually between July 1- June 30. 

FY23-24 Business License Renewals

As of July 1st, 2023, the City began processing business license renewals for Fiscal Year 2023-24. Payments made after July 31 may be subject to delinquent fees. Please see the chart below. If you missed our deadline, please reach out to Toni Casados to discuss.

23 24 Penalty chart- Bl

Please renew your business license online here beginning July 1, 2023 for Fiscal Year 2023-24. Payments made by E-check are free of charge. If paying by credit card, a 3.5% processing fee will be added to your total payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. 


Assembly Bill 783Effective January 1, 2024:  State law requires all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. Click here for the full text of the legislation.

Information regarding the El Cerrito Minimum Wage Standards Ordinance, including current rates, can be viewed here.

Business License Hours

On Tuesday, January 3, 2023, City Hall will be resuming regular public hours of 8 am – 4 pm on Monday and Wednesday, 8 am – 6 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am – 4 pm on every other Friday. Please visit City’s website at Administrative Hours & Holidays for more information. 

Please email the Community Development Department or call (510) 215-4314 for assistance with completing your business license application and determining the amount of taxes and fees due.

New Business Licenses

Please note: all new business license applications (excluding contractors) may be delayed based on volume during the months of July and August 2023. The turn around time may be up to 14 business days. 

The City of El Cerrito requires anyone who is doing business within city limits (including operation of rental property – commercial/residential) to obtain a business license and pay the license tax. To learn more about How to Start a Business in El Cerrito, click here. We look forward to welcoming your business to El Cerrito!

If you are opening a new business in El Cerrito, the first step is to contact the Planning Division to determine if the proposed location is zoned for the proposed business use. Once Zoning is confirmed, complete the Business License Application and submit via e-mail, mail or drop-off to the City. For faster service, please e-mail the application to Once received, City staff will get back to you with the next steps in the process, including fees due and payment options, within 3-5 business days. 

If you are applying for a home based business, you must apply for a Home Occupation Permit as required by the Planning Division. Please send this form along with your business license application to Toni Casados for ALL home-based businesses for review.

If you are opening a new business in a commercial location, you must submit a Zoning Information Form as required by the Planning Division to determine is the proposed location is zoned for the proposed business use. Please send this form along with your business license application to Toni Casados for review. A business license inspection may also be required as part of this process.

If you are a rental property owner, the City has a centralized website to help you better understand the process for operating rentals in El Cerrito. Please visit for more information. For the Rent Registry, please visit 

If you are a family childcare home provider, your business is generally exempt from the City's business license tax in accordance with Senate Bill 234 - Keeping Kids Close to Home Act - effective January 1, 2020. 


Effective July 1, 2023, please see the Master Fee Schedule FY2023-24 for business tax rates.

Business Search

Search for currently licensed businesses operation in the City of El Cerrito. Please note that certain businesses may be excluded from this list for privacy reasons.
Create a report of currently licensed businesses. 


To learn more about economic development in El Cerrito, visit or