Per Chapter 5 of the Union City Municipal Code, a business license is needed for all businesses, trades, professions, callings, and occupations operating in Union City. Also, if you are carrying out business transactions with customers, clients, and tenants in Union City, then you need a business license.
You must submit a separate Union City Business License Application for each reason listed below:
- New Business
- 2nd Business Location
- 2nd Business Purpose/Same Location as an Existing Business
- New Location for Existing Business
- New Name for Existing Business
- New ownership for Existing Business
The Application Process
The following are steps to apply for a business license (forms are downloadable in links):
- Complete all sections of the Business License Application.
- Complete the appropriate Supplemental Forms that apply to your business operations or location:
- My business is located in a commercial or industrial Site.
- My business operates from or stores business-related vehicles, equipment, or supplies at a residential home, townhouse, apartment, etc.
- I am a general or sub-contractor.
- A majority of my business is Professional Services*.
- I rent residential property to others.
- I, or my company, lease commercial property to others that I or we own.
- My business sells tobacco products.
- My business offers massage services that require the following forms:
- I am a mobile food truck vendor.
- My business offers public transportation services (e.g., Taxicab, Airport Shuttle, etc.).
- I, or my company, performs canvassing or soliciting activities.
- My business will be protected by an alarm system.
- My business will be protected by a security dog, thereby requiring an animal license.
- My business intends to remodel or make physical changes to the business premises (including signage), which requires the following forms:
- The location where my business operates will be used for high-piled combustible storage and will conform to the requirements of Chapter 23 of the California Fire Code, which will require the following forms:
- You can submit your completed application and forms in person at City Hall, by mail or by email (information provided on application).
- Incomplete applications will be returned.
Business license taxes and fees vary based on the type of business that you operate and are shown in the Business License Tax Schedule (January 1, 2018).
Every business located in a commercial location within the City must contact the Planning Department at 510.675.5382 to see if the location you intend to occupy is suitable for your type of business.
The Review Process
The review process typically takes 3 weeks, but this can vary based on the nature or complexity of your business. Download and view our Pre-Inspection Worksheet.
We will verify the status of any other licenses or permits that you are required to obtain from the following:
- Alameda County Clerk Office
- Phone: 510.272.3787
- Alameda County Clerk Office Website
- CA BOE Sales/Use Tax Permit
- Phone: 510.622.4100
- Alameda County Environmental Health (Food Safety) Permit
- Phone: 510.567.6700
- Alameda County Environmental Health Website
- Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
- Phone: 510.622.4970
- California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Website
- Internal Revenue Service
- Phone: 800.829.1040
- IRS Website
- East Bay Small Business Development Center
- Phone: 510.208.0410
- East Bay Economic Development Alliance Website
We will notify you when our review process is completed, and, if approved or conditionally approved, you will be issued a business license. If denied, we will let you know the reasons, and you will have the opportunity to remedy the issues if they can be reasonably corrected.
Steps to Close a Business License
Follow these steps when you no longer need a business license with us:
- Use the Declaration of Closed Business form to deactivate an account that is no longer conducting business in Union City. If more than one entity within a combined group is deactivating the entities' business accounts, complete this form for each entity that is no longer conducting business in Union City.
- Return the Declaration of Closed Business form and necessary documentation to the address, email, or fax number shown below, along with any unpaid business licenses taxes and fees that may be owed to date before closing of business.
- Your business license account will be closed after the Declaration of Closed Business form, necessary documentation, and unpaid business licenses taxes and fees (if applicable) have been submitted and it has been determined by City staff that there is no evidence of continued business practices in Union City.
- If you should resume your business in Union City, please re-apply using the steps shown above.
Quarterly New Business Listing
For a list of new businesses in Union City over the past quarter, please see our New Business Listing. This list will be updated quarterly. If you should need prior listings, please contact Business Licensing at Biz-License@UnionCity.Org.
If you have questions, you can contact us by: