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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:
  1. 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.
  2. Submit a completed business license application with payment. Please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics toll free at 866-240-3665 or for forms and payment information.
Existing Businesses

Renewal notices are sent out to those businesses that have an active license from the prior year during the month of December. 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.

If you misplace a renewal form or do not receive one and need to renew your business license, you may download/print and complete one of the below forms. You may also contact Avenu Insights & Analytics toll free at (866) 240-3665 or

Reopening a Closed Account

Businesses that were previously licensed by the City but closed, sold or moved outside of the City and need to reopen their previous account must complete a REOPENING OF CLOSED ACCOUNT APPLICATION.

Such businesses must also 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. 


To procure a business license with the City of Hercules, please submit the following:

• Peddler/Solicitor License Form 
• 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. Peddler/Solicitor business licenses cannot be issued until Police Department approval has been received and all applicable fees have been paid.

Temporary or Special Event Business Licenses

Events such as the ones listed below are considered temporary or special events. Such events must obtain a business license for the City of Hercules before the event commences.

Boxing and Wrestling Matches

Portable Skating Rinks


Traveling Advertising & Sales Promotion


Traveling Exhibitions

Dances with Admission Charged

Traveling Theatrical



  1. Obtain the necessary use permit. All businesses—including home-based, mixed-use, and live-work businesses .
  2. Submit a completed business license application with payment. Please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics toll free at (866) 240-3665 or at for forms and payment information.
Location Changes

If your business has a change of physical address, you must complete a new business permit application and obtain approval from the Planning Department before a license can be issued for the new location. You must also complete a LOCATION CHANGE business license application. Upon approval and receipt of all applicable fees, your business license can be issued. 

Name Change or Change in Business Ownership

If your business name has changed or added/removed owners, we need to hear from you. Please notify Avenu Insights & Analytics by completing a NAME CHANGE OR CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP form. You may also contact Avenu Insights & Analytics toll free at (866) 240-3665 or

If there is no change in FEIN, then a business license fee normally does not apply for making updates to your account. However, if the FEIN changes for your business, it is considered a new business. New business fees will apply. 

Closed or Sold Businesses

Business licenses ARE NOT automatically canceled. We need to hear from you. You may email Avenu Insights & Analytics at , send written notification or call us toll free at (866) 240-3665. Please be prepared to provide the date that the business closed/sold and the new owner’s contact information if applicable. 

CASp Fee Information

On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1186 (SB 1186) into law. SB 1186 is intended to increase disability access, encourage compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements, develop education resources for businesses, and facilitate compliance with Federal and State disability laws. From January 1, 2013, and until December 31, 2017, cities and counties were required to collect a State mandated fee of $1.00 from “any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, and from any applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument or permit.” Assembly Bill 1379 was passed on October 11, 2017, which extends the assessment of the fee indefinitely and the State mandated fee from $1.00 to $4.00 from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2023.

Municipalities are required by law to inform you of the following: 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: 

The Division of the State Architect 
The Department of Rehabilitation 
The California Commission on Disability Access

Other Agencies

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:

Alcoholic Beverages
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
(510) 622-4970

Contra Costa County Clerk
555 Escobar Street
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 335-7900

County Tax Collector
625 Court Street, Room 100
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 646-4122

Environmental Health
2120 Diamond Boulevard Suite 200
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 692-2500

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. 

Health Permits
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).

Import Businesses
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
(800) 432-2829
(800) 400-7115

State Employment Development Department
478 Buskirk Avenue, Suite 215
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 977-8265

State Identification Number
If you have employees, you need to apply for a State Identification Number.

Sales Tax
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.

Better Business Bureau

(510) 238-1000 
California Secretary of State
Main number
Limited Liability Co., Limited Partnerships, Trade and Service Names
(916) 653-3595

Contractors State License Board             (800) 321-2752
Child Care Licensing & Fingerprinting
Community Care
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1102 
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-2602

Small Business Development Center  
(Formerly called Business Resource Center, Private Industry Council of CCC)
(925) 646-5377