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Business Development


Any person, including but not limited to, an individual, corporation or sole proprietor who wishes to conduct either directly or indirectly, any business within the City of San Bernardino must secure a registration certificate. City law states that no person shall engage in business or transact and carry on a business, show, exhibition or game in the city without first having procured a registration certificate from the city to do so, or without complying with any and all applicable provisions of Title 5 of the City Ordinance relating to business registration. A separate certificate is required for each branch or location of business.

EXCEPTIONS: Those businesses specifically exempted by State or Federal Statute.

PROHIBITIONS:. Selling merchandise or food items from any vacant lot or temporary location is not permitted in the City of San Bernardino. Violation of this City Ordinance is a misdemeanor and is strictly enforced.

How to Start a Business

STEP 1: Contact the Business Registration Division to discuss the details of your particular business operation.

Application forms are available at:

Business Registration Division
201 North "E" Street, Space 201A
San Bernardino, CA 92401

(909) 384-5302 Hours: 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM Monday-Friday

Businesses that may require a special use permit:

Acupressure Guard Service
Adult Entertainment Heliport/Helipad
Agricultural Use Hospital
Animal Boarding Hotel/Motel
Armored Car Impound Vehicle Storage Yard
Auditorium Indoor Retail Concession Mall
Bar Liquor Store
Bingo Permits Live Entertainment
Boarding House Massage Parlor
Car Wash Massage Technician
Car, Rv & Truck Sales Mini-Mall
Card Room Misc. Outdoor Entertainment
Cocktail Lounge Misc. Outdoor Recreation
Commercial Stable Mortuary
Convenience Store Nightclub
Convention Hall Outpatient Treatment Program
Day Care Facilities Poolroom
Detective Agency Private Patrol
Dine/Dance Private School
Drive-Thru Dairy Residential Care Facility
Drive-Thru Restaurant RV Park
Educational Services Senior/Congregate Care Facility
Emergency Shelter Service Station
Firearms/Ammunition Single Room Occupancy
Fortune Telling Taxi Driver
Fraternity/Sorority House Theater
Fuel Dealer Trade/Tech School
Funeral Parlor Veterinary Services
Games of Amusement


Golf Course



Read the application thoroughly. All sections of the application form should be completed including business name, business location, business mailing address. If a post office box is used, you must also provide a physical address. Is this a new business, change of ownership, business or address change? State whether your business is owned solely by you, or whether it is a partnership or a corporation. Names and home addresses of the owners or officers of the corporation are also required.

Submit your Business Registration Application along with an approved Zoning Consistency Review to the Business Registration Division. Registration fee may be paid by cash or check. A penalty will be imposed for any returned checks. Your Business Registration Certificate will be mailed to you in approximately two weeks.

STEP 2: Inquire about city zoning requirements for your type of business and its planned location. An approved copy of a Zoning Consistency Review must be presented at the time of submitting your application for a Business Registration Certificate. This approval is required even if you are purchasing an existing business or moving into an existing building previously used for the same type of business. A Zoning Consistency Review can be obtained from the Planning Division of the Community Development Department. (909) 384-5057


Contact the Burrtec Waste Industries, the City's franchise refuse hauler, at the time you complete your Business Registration in order to arrange for refuse service. Health and Safety laws require that each business operating within the City must receive a minimum of once per week refuse service. Additional information is available by calling (909) 804-4222.

Contact the Internal Revenue Service for a Federal Employer Identification Number. The IRS will provide a Businessman's Kit, seminars for new businesses, additional information and forms. (800) 829-1040

Contact the State Franchise Tax Board to obtain forms if you intend to have employees or to obtain a Form 540ES for estimating State Withholding Tax for yourself. (800) 852-5711

Contact the State Employment Tax Department to obtain a State Employer Identification Number if you have employees and withhold State Income Tax, Disability and Unemployment Insurance. (888) 745-3886. Contact the EDD on the web at https://www.edd.ca.gov/

Contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board if you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. (909) 782-4400


If you are using a fictitious business name ,contact the County Recorder's Office and your local newspaper with regard to publication of notice, etc. You may wish to contact them by telephone first at (909) 387-8306.

If your business activity may require a Seller's Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number) ,from the State Board of Equalization. To obtain such a permit, you must apply in person at one of the local district offices. You may wish to contact them by telephone first to determine if your business requires such a permit. (909) 680-6400.

Contact the San Bernardino County Department of Environmental Health if your establishment intends to prepare and/or sell food of any type. For the business of catering or ice cream trucks and or carts, you must present a copy of your health permit to obtain your Business Registration Certificate. (909) 884-4056

If you own single family residences and commercial properties that are rented or leased, you are required to obtain a registration certificate from the Business Registration Division. (909) 384-5035

If you use your residential property for business purposes, you may require a Home Occupation Permit. Information regarding the Home Occupation Permit may be obtained through the Community Development Department. (909) 384-5057



GROSS RECEIPTS Businesses which have a physical location within the City of San Bernardino shall pay a fee based on gross receipts. The schedule of fees shall be set from time to time by Resolution of the Mayor and City Council.

FLAT RATE Businesses which are not located within the City of San Bernardino, but provide a service within the city, (i.e. contractor, janitorial service, etc.), may be assessed a flat rate which shall be set from time to time by Resolution of the Mayor and City Council.


All Business Registration Certificates must be displayed on the premises in a conspicuous place (i.e. in plain view). For those not having a fixed business address, the certificate must be physically carried by the person and presented upon request. NOTE: Photo copies are not valid.


Once you have obtained a registration certificate, a courtesy renewal notice will automatically be forwarded to you before your expiration date. You will have a 30 day period in which to renew. If you do not receive a renewal notice, please contact the Business Registration Division. Failure to receive a renewal notice does not relieve the business owner's responsibility to renew the business registration.


A Business Registration Certificate is not transferable. The certificate is terminated when business ownership changes. Advise the Business Registration Division should you relocate or terminate your business for any reason.