The City of Hercules welcomes new business enterprises, and values the many businesses that have made Hercules their home.
As mandated by City of Hercules Municipal Code, Title 8 Chapter 6 (PDF), the City of Hercules requires all organizations operating within the City to have a business license. This applies to businesses operating from a place of residence (i.e., home-based businesses) or a commercial or office space. Home-bases businesses are businesses where operations are completed out of the owner’s or an employee’s residence. Operations include but are not limited to computer tasks, telephone calls, paperwork, appointments, financials, sales, etc. Businesses located in Rodeo should contact the Contra Costa County Tax Collector at 925-646-4122.
To apply for a business license:
- Obtain the necessary use permit. All businesses—including home-based, mixed-use, and live-work businesses—require either an administrative or conditional use permit. For more information or to apply for a use permit, contact the Planning Department. A separate fee is required for the use permit.
- Submit a completed business license application. You can download the business application form here (PDF), or you can obtain one from the reception counter at City Hall. Completed applications may be dropped off at the reception counter or mailed to 111 Civic Drive, Hercules, CA 94547.
- Pay the business license fee. Once reviewed, the Finance Department will notify you as to the status of your application and the fees due. Business license fees, as set by the Master Fee Schedule (PDF) are paid on a calendar basis during the month of January and can be paid by check, cash or credit card. The fee is based on the business average gross receipts earned in Hercules and is prorated for the first year.
For additional Business License information, please call the Finance Department at (510) 799-8200 or complete our online comment form. “PLEASE NOTE, DUE TO RECENT STAFF REDUCTIONS, WE CAN NO LONGER OFFER SAME DAY PROCESSING/RENEWALS.”
Renewal notices are sent out to those businesses that have an active license from the prior year during the month of January. Renewal notices are only sent as a courtesy and businesses are still responsible for renewing their business license even if they do not receive a renewal notice. Failure to pay the annual business license fee before January 31 may result in late fees.
To procure a business license with the City of Hercules, please submit the following:
1) Peddler/Solicitor License Form
2) Business License Application
Please complete a peddler/solicitor license form for each individual conducting door-to-door sales. A $60 background check fee will be assessed for each person soliciting in City limits. Please note that all peddlers & solicitors must go through the required background check to operate in Hercules, regardless if their business is located in Hercules and/or whether they have previously obtained a standard City business license.
The Police Department will conduct the background checks and notify the Finance department of clearance. Once approved by the Police Department, Finance will contact you and provide the appropriate business license tax fee due. Upon receipt, the business license will be processed in 5-10 business days.
Listed below are some other agencies you may need to contact in order to start your business.
For business licenses in areas outside of Hercules:
If you serve alcoholic beverages, you may need to apply for a liquor license with:
Alcoholic Beverage Control Licensing
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2208
Oakland, CA 94612
Contra Costa County Clerk
555 Escobar Street
Martinez, CA 94553
County Tax Collector
625 Court Street, Room 100
Martinez, CA 94553
2120 Diamond Boulevard Suite 200
Concord, CA 94520
Federal Identification Number
If you have employees, you need to apply for a Federal Identification Number. Contact the local IRS Office or call toll-free (800) 829-1040.
Fictitious Business Name
In most cases, you must register your business name with the County Clerk. Before you file your Fictitious Business Name Statement, research the name to insure that the name is not currently being used by someone else. While this is highly recommended by the City, it is not a requirement for obtaining a business licenses.
If you have a restaurant, catering, or food-handling business, you may need to file for a Public Health/Licensing permit through the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department (formerly Health Services).
If your business will involve the import or export of products with other countries, you may need to obtain an Import/Export Permit.
State Board of Equalization
1515 Clay Street, Suite 303
Oakland, CA 94612
State Employment Development Department
478 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 215
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
State Identification Number
If you have employees, you need to apply for a State Identification Number.
If you charge sales tax, you will need to apply for a Sales Tax Number or Resale Number.
For more information, contact the U.S. Customs Import Specialist at (415) 705-4440.
|Other Agency Phone numbers
Better Business Bureau
California Secretary of State
Limited Liability Co., Limited Partnerships, Trade and Service Names
|Contractors State License Board
|Child Care Licensing & Fingerprinting
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1102
Oakland, CA 94612
|Small Business Development Center
(Formely called Business Resource Center, Private Industry Council of CCC)
The Hercules Chamber of Commerce may also be helpful as a resource should you have additional questions.