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Applicants will be issued a business license upon completion of the Finance Department-Revenue Division's review of the application and payment of the business license tax. However, if your business requires one or more permits from other City or County departments, start of business must wait for those departments to issue the required permits.
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The City of Napa requires everyone doing business in the City of Napa to pay a business license tax. The tax on most businesses is based on gross receipts earned and must be renewed at the end of the applicable period. Licenses are issued for revenue purposes only. It is not a permit to operate a business in violation of City, County, State and Federal Laws.
To get information on business tax requirements, contact the Finance Department.
Businesses that are located in the City of Napa or that are located outside the City but generate receipts within the City limits are required by City Ordinance to pay a business tax to the City.
To obtain a business license, a completed application (PDF) with information about the business and an estimate of gross receipts to be earned in the City of Napa during the first period is required. If the business is located in the City of Napa, a zoning clearance or a home occupation use permit from the Planning Division is necessary. Certain applicants may also require clearance and special permits from other City or County departments.
The initial tax is based on your estimate of gross receipts and multiplied by the applicable rate, depending on the business. At the end of each reporting period, a renewal form will be mailed to the business and the new tax calculation will be based on the prior period’s actual gross receipts.
The business license application (PDF) is processed by the Finance Department-Revenue Division for the issuance of the business license. Additionally, the application will be referred to the Planning, Fire Prevention, Code Enforcement, Building and Police Departments as necessary. Inspections may be required as part of the approval and clearance process for those department's permits. If the business is a food establishment, a permit from the County Health Department will also be necessary.
A current business license can be re-issued for a $10 fee by requesting in person or by letter with payment to:
955 School Street
P.O. Box 660
Napa, CA 94559
The business license will be mailed to the business address on record.
We are unable to provide copies of prior year licenses. However, a letter can be prepared stating how long your business has been licensed. For faster service, send request via email or call or write us at the Finance Department-Revenue Division. The letter will be mailed to the current business address on record.
If you conduct business using a name other than your legal name (DBA), you are using a fictitious business name. Contact Napa County Recorder's Office for more information. If you sell tangible property, you are required to obtain a Seller's Permit from the State Board of Equalization (BOE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California. View additional information on sales and use tax.
If you have employees and withhold State Income Tax, Disability and Unemployment insurance, contact the State Employment Development Department (EDD) to obtain a State Employer ID number. If you intend to have employees or to obtain a Form 540 for estimating State Withholding Tax for yourself, contact the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). If you plan to sell or serve alcoholic beverages, contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC).Depending on the type of business being conducted, please consult the Department of Consumer Affairs. Many professions, including Building Contractors, need to obtain California State Licenses. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a federal employer ID number, a businessman's kit, seminars for new businesses, additional information and forms. If your business uses a weighing or measuring device, a (PLU) price lookup system or scan gun system for retail sales, a permit from the Napa County Sealer of Weights and Measures will also be necessary. Call Weights and Measures at 707-944-8714 for assistance.