Business License

Prior to starting your business, you should review the following information to determine which sections apply to your business. Contact the appropriate agency before submitting your City of Milpitas Business License Application. Contact (408) 586-3100 with questions about the Business License process.

Building Permits:

If you plan to do any remodeling to the structure you plan to occupy, building permits may be required for this work. For further information contact the Public Services Counter at (408) 586-3240.

City Zoning/Land Use Regulations:

The City zoning ordinance includes regulations concerning where and under what conditions a business may operate in the City. In some cases a conditional use permit or zoning variance is required. To determine if the business activity you are planning can be carried on at the location you have selected, you should contact the Planning Division. It is absolutely necessary that you provide them with all the facts about the type of business activity you plan to operate now and in the future. For further information please contact the Planning Division at (408) 586-3279.

Federal and State Employer Requirements:

All businesses that have employees are required to obtain a federal employer identification number from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This is required for purposes of withholding and payment of employee taxes. For more information contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040.
As an employer, you may also be required to file with the State of California Employment Development Department. This is for the purpose of withholding employee tax, as well as for meeting unemployment insurance requirements. For more information contact the Employment Development Department at (888) 745-3886.

Filing a Fictitious Name Statement:

A fictitious name or DBA (Doing Business As) is the name a business uses other than the owner's name, or in the case of a corporation one that is different from that registered in the articles of incorporation. If you are using a fictitious name the Civil Code requires that you file a fictitious name statement. It is also important to do this to enable the consumer to know who he/she is doing business with, to entitle you to initiate suits for the protection of the name and because most banks require you have proof of filing to open a business account using the fictitious name. For more information contact the County Clerk at (408) 299-5688 press number 5.

Health and Safety Requirements:

For requirements concerning any food or drink establishment, swimming pool, septic tanks, wells or animal facilities, Contact the County Health Department at (408) 729-5155.

Home Occupation Businesses:

Zoning regulations limit what type of business can be conducted from home and define the manner in which the business can operate. For more information contact the Planning Division at (408) 586-3279.

State Licenses:

Many occupations, such as physician, attorney, real estate broker, construction contractor, etc., require a State license; and you may be required to show proof of this license before a City license is issued. If you are in doubt about State licensing requirements for your business you should contact the State Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 344-9940.

State Sales and Use Tax Permits:

If your business involves the sale of tangible personal property either retail or wholesale, you are required to obtain a seller's permit from the State Board of Equalization. As a seller, you must remit sales tax (collected from the consumer at the time of sale) to the Board. The Board will advise you of the time and manner in which taxes are to be reported and paid. Failure to register for a seller's permit and pay taxes in the manner prescribed may result in a fine or other penalty. For more information call the State Board of Equalization at (408) 277-1231.

Weights and Measures:

Santa Clara County Ordinance Code Section A33-125 through A33-127 permits the Department of Weights and Measures to register commercially used weighing and measuring devices. Such devices are required to be tested and certified by the County Sealer. If you use or are planning to use such device(s) please contact: Santa Clara County Department of Weights and Measures (408) 299-4701.

Other Agencies:

Milpitas Chamber of Commerce:

Offers a New Commerce Packet, SCORE Counseling and various classes. (408) 262-2613

Small Business Association:

Provides special publications and classes and assistance in management and financing. (415) 744-6820

U.S. Customs Service:

Provides information on import requirements, custom duties and regulations.
(408) 291-7388

U.S. Department of Commerce:

Provides information on export licenses and export regulations. (408) 998-7470


Finance Department Hours:
455 East Calaveras Boulevard Monday-Friday: 8:00 am-5:00 pm
Main Phone: (408) 586-3100  
Business Licenses: (408) 586-3100