Per Chapter 5 of the Union City Municipal Code (UCMC), a Business License is required for all businesses, trades, professions, callings and occupations operating in Union City or having business transactions with customers, clients, tenants, etc. in Union City. Please review Chapter 5 of the UCMC carefully to verify your requirements that are applicable to your particular business. You are required to 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
- Location Change for Existing Business
- Name Change for Existing Business
- Ownership Change for Existing
Steps to Apply for a Business License
*Note: If you see words underlined in blue or purple, they are links directing you to other web pages or Adobe Acrobat files which can be downloaded and many times completed on your PC before printing and submitting to the City.
- REQUIRED: Complete all applicable sections of the Business License (BL) Application. Most all sections need to be completed fully, but read notes on application carefully. Incomplete business license applications may be returned before they can be processed further.
- REQUIRED SOMETIMES: In addition to your Business License Application, the completion of additional supplemental forms may be necessary depending on the nature of your business and its location. Please use the checklist below to determine the additional supplemental forms that you may also need to complete and return with your Business License Application. Please only complete those supplemental forms that apply to your business operations or location. More than one (1) may be necessary and on average 1 - 2 are required. This checklist can also be printed out separately at Business License Forms and Materials and is also found on page 1 of the Business License (BL) Application.
Supplemental Forms Checklist
*A list possible Professional Services is given on page 2 of the Business License Tax Schedule.
- REQUIRED SOMETIMES: In addition to the supplemental forms shown above, you may also be required to complete additional forms that need to be returned with your Business License Application. Additional informational materials to review are also shown below. These forms and informational materials are less common than those listed above. Please download and complete only those forms and informational materials that apply to your business. This checklist can also be printed out separately at Business License Forms and Materials.
Additional Less Common Forms and Materials Checklist
OPTIONAL: Review the City’s list of Additional Useful Business Information. For instance, if your business will have a fictitious business name (i.e., Doing Business As (DBA) Name), you will have to contact the Alameda County Clerk’s Office before beginning operations in Union City. Contact information for the Alameda County Clerk’s Office as well as other City, County, State, District, School, Housing, Utility, and Misc. Business resources can be found in this file.
- REQUIRED: Calculate and Pay your Business License Taxes and Fees owed using the Tax Calculation & Payment Form. Please return this completed form with your Business License Application and supplemental materials. Business License Taxes and a complete and approved Business License Application packet with all necessary supplemental forms are due before a business can operate in Union City. If application, supplemental materials, and business license taxes are not received within 30 days of the business start date, penalties are added on at a rate of 10% for every thirty (30) days late up to a maximum of 5 months; 50%.
Business License Taxes and Fees vary based on the type of business that you operate and are shown in the schedule below:
All rates are per year (i.e., annual) unless otherwise noted and business licenses usually must be renewed on the annual anniversary of your business’ opening.
Payment of the business license tax does not relieve the applicant/business of the requirement to comply with zoning, health, safety and other state, federal, and city regulations.
Please note that On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law SB-1186 which adds a State fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license or renewal thereof. The City is required to collect this fee; effective January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2018. The purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws, as specified.
Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:
Once you have completed and return your Business License Application, supplemental materials, and payment, your application will be reviewed by several City departments and divisions which may include Administrative Services (for completeness), Planning, Economic Development, Environmental Programs, Fire Services, and Police. If any have questions about particular areas of your application, they will contact you directly. Approval is not guaranteed and if approved, there may be conditions attached to your approval which will be relayed to your business. The review process typically takes 2 weeks, but can vary based upon the nature or complexity of your business. The City will notify you when its review process is completed and if you are approved or conditionally approved, you will be issued a Business License. If you are denied, you will be presented with the reasons for denial and you will have the opportunity to remedy those reasons if they can reasonably be corrected given your business operations, City zoning restrictions, Union City Municipal Code provisions, and other local, county, state, and federal regulations.
If you have questions, you may visit us in person at the following address or contact us by phone, fax, or e-mail:
City of Union City
Administrative Services Department | Revenue Division
34009 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City, CA 94587
Phone: 510-675-5312 | Fax: 510-489-5074
The City’s Hours of Operation are Mon – Thurs 8:30am to 6:00pm; Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm; City Hall is CLOSED ALTERNATE FRIDAYS. This is our Calendar of Days Open.