Business Licenses

All businesses operating in El Cerrito are required to apply and obtain a Business License in accordance with El Cerrito Municipal Code, Chapter 4.32.

Business License Renewals

Please renew your business license online here beginning July 1, 2022 for Fiscal Year 2022-23. Payments made by E-check are free of charge. If paying by credit card, a 3.5% processing fee will be added to your total payment. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Payments received after July 31 are subject to penalties.

Payments received after July 31 are subject to the penalty schedule below.

Read the business license renewal FAQ for more information. 

For the Rent Registry, please visit


 Information regarding the El Cerrito Minimum Wage Standards Ordinance, including 2022 rates, can be viewed here.

Measure X - Contra Costa County Sales Tax: On November 3, 2020 Contra Costa County voters approved a half cent retail sales tax increase that will take effect on April 1, 2021. This applies to taxable sales in El Cerrito and the tax rate will be 10.25%. There are exemptions, including food sales. More information about Measure X is available here.

Business License Hours

On Tuesday, January 3, 2023, City Hall will be resuming regular public hours of 8 am – 4 pm on Monday and Wednesday, 8 am – 6 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, 8 am – 4 pm on every other Friday. Please visit City’s website at Administrative Hours & Holidays for more information. 

Please email the Community Development Department or call (510) 215-4314.

New Business Licenses

The City of El Cerrito requires anyone who is doing business within city limits (including operation of rental property) to obtain a business license and pay the license tax.

If you are opening a new business in El Cerrito, you can complete a Business License Application and e-mail or mail to the City with the required payment. For faster service, you may e-mail the application to Once received, City staff will get back to you with the next steps in the process within 7 business days. 

If you are applying for a home based  business, you must apply for a Home Occupation Permit through the Planning Division. Please send this application with your business license application to Toni Casados for ALL home-based businesses for review.

If you are a property owner, the City has a centralized website to help you better understand the process for operating rentals in El Cerrito. Please visit for more information.

Please see the Master Fee Schedule FY2022-23 for business tax rates.


The Business License Tax Ordinance defines the business license requirements, process, and tax rates.

Business Search

Search for currently licensed businesses operation in the City of El Cerrito. Please note that certain businesses may be excluded from this list for privacy reasons.
Create a report of currently licensed businesses. 


Email the Community Development Department or call at 510-215-4314 for assistance with completing your business license application and determining the amount of taxes and fees due.