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Frequently asked questions
You are not alone if you have questions about how to start, expand or operate your business in San José. Continue reading below for answers to a number of common business questions.
Is San José a good place to start or expand a business?
Yes, for many types of businesses. Business owners say that locating in San José puts them close to their customers, suppliers, high-quality employees and important business networks. And, the City of San José is business-friendly. Although the ideal location for companies differs, more than 15,000 people are working on starting a business in San José on any given day.
I am just thinking about starting a business, or am in the early development stages. Is there anywhere I can go for start-up advice?
Yes. The City and other business assistance partners participating in
offer advice to people just thinking about starting a business. BusinessOwnerSpace.com can now speak your language! With the help of a translation service we can now connect you with business assistance organizations offering no- and low-cost services specific to your needs. Your business has more support than you think and now you can find out more in 20 different languages ranging from Arabic to Vietnamese.
What if I have a home-based business- do any City business requirements pertain to me?
Yes. If you are starting a business within your home, you must make sure your operations are allowable for your types of
Like any other business operating in San José, you must obtain
with the City.
Other federal, State and County requirements
may pertain as well.
Do I need a business license to operate a business in San José?
Businesses operating in San José must obtain a
, which must be renewed annually.
If my business is located outside San José city limits, do I need a business registration to conduct business in San José?
Yes. All companies conducting business in San José must obtain a
, which must to be renewed annually.
How often must I renew the business registration for my company?
Companies doing business in San José must renew their
I need to hire employees for the first time. Where do I get information about how to do that?
The City and local small business assistance providers help businesses navigate the steps to hiring employees. Go to
I have a new retail business in San José. How do I get a sales tax license?
The City does not issue sales tax licenses. Businesses with retail sales must obtain a
from the State of California.
Is there anything I should do regarding the City before signing a lease or purchasing a business property in San José?
Yes. In addition to obtaining other advice about your lease or purchase, the City recommends checking the allowable
for that property before leasing or buying it
I need to build, expand or remodel a building or offices for my business. What is my first step in working with the City?
The first step to a successful building or expansion project is to verify that your business location is zoned for your desired
or change in operation. Next, learn how to manage City
plan review, permits and inspections
Does the City provide loans to small businesses?
No, but there are small business loan programs available to companies in San José.
has information about these opportunities. BusinessOwnerSpace.com can now speak your language! With the help of a translation service we can now connect you with business assistance organizations offering no- and low-cost services specific to your needs. Your business has more support than you think and now you can find out more in 20 different languages ranging from Arabic to Vietnamese.
I already have a business and am opening a new location in San José. What do I need to do?
Every business operating in San José must obtain a
for each branch location with the City. You will also need to follow many of the same steps as other companies to make sure your
fits the requirements of your business location, plus meet other City requirements.
Is there a checklist for all of the things I need to do to navigate City requirements for my business?
At a Glance
" outlines the basic steps to starting or expanding a business in San José. The City also mapped out the detailed steps for entrepreneurs starting or expanding
There is also a
to assist you in getting started with a property evaluation, a project application and other related tasks.
Of course, your business situation is unique, which is why you might want to contact a
; who can help you prepare a customized checklist for your company.
San José is a good place to open or expand your business!
15,000 people are working on starting a business in
San José on any given day.
200 E. Santa Clara St.
San José, CA 95113
408 535-3500 Main
408 294-9337 TTY
The City of San José
is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community’s expectations by providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public.
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