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FAQs


How can I get a copy of my business license?
Can I use my license to do business in another city?
What if I move my business to a new location?
I just purchased an existing business. Can I use the previous owner’s business license?
If my business license expires, does that mean my business is closed?
How do I renew my license?
How long does it take to get a business license?
Where can I get a business license application?
Who is required to have a City of Santa Clara business license?
How can I verify if a business operation in Santa Clara has a current business license?
Do I need a license if I run a business out of my home?
What is a business license?
Do you offer any rate assistance?
How can I pay my bill?
How often am I billed?
If the power is already on, do I have put the services under my name?
Can I have services at two different addresses?
Is there a fee to start service?
I just moved into the City of Santa Clara. How can I start service?
What utility services does the City of Santa Clara provide?
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Q: How can I get a copy of my business license?
A:
A written request and a $6.00 fee is required to obtain a replacement copy of your certificate.
Q: Can I use my license to do business in another city?
A:
No, the Business Tax Certificate is for doing business in the City of Santa Clara only. If you plan on doing business in another city, you must contact them in order to obtain their requirements for a business license.
Q: What if I move my business to a new location?
A:
Any changes to your business (i.e., location, type of business, business entity, ownership, etc.) will require a new Business Tax Affidavit to be submitted. If the business is no longer located in the City of Santa Clara, a written notification from the business owner must be submitted to close the Business Tax Certificate.
Q: I just purchased an existing business. Can I use the previous owner’s business license?
A:
No, unless a business is a corporation and the Tax ID is not changing, a Business Tax Certificate is non-transferrable. As a new owner, you are required to submit a completed New Business Tax Affidavit to cover the business operation under your ownership.
Q: If my business license expires, does that mean my business is closed?
A:
Business Tax Certificates are not automatically cancelled. We require written notification from the owner in the event of a closure or sale. Please mail your written notification to: City of Santa Clara, Business Tax Unit, 1500 Warburton Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050.
Q: How do I renew my license?
A:
It is the responsibility of each business to renew their Business Tax Certificate before it expires. As specified in Santa Clara City Code, if the Business Tax Certificate is not renewed within 30 days of the expiration date, a penalty equal to 100 percent (100%) of the total tax will be assessed. Renewal notices are mailed out approximately one month prior to your expiration date.
Q: How long does it take to get a business license?
A:
Once a Business Tax application is approved and all fees have been paid, it takes approximately two weeks to receive your certificate in the mail. There are multiple departments that need to approve an application. Approval of an application for a business located in the City of Santa Clara takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks.
Q: Where can I get a business license application?
A:
Applications may be obtained at the Business Tax window in the Finance Department. You may also download a New Business Tax Affidavit form from our website: http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=1731
Q: Who is required to have a City of Santa Clara business license?
A:
The Santa Clara City Code requires that you obtain a Business Tax Certificate to conduct business in the City of Santa Clara or when you occupy a space in the business community within Santa Clara city limits.
Q: How can I verify if a business operation in Santa Clara has a current business license?
A:
There is a list of current and new business licenses on the City of Santa Clara website. For more information, please visit our website at http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=1732. Additionally, you may call our Business Tax unit at (408) 615-2310 and provide the name and street location of the business, and they will verify whether or not the business has a current business tax certificate.
Q: Do I need a license if I run a business out of my home?
A:
Yes, a home-based business is required to obtain a Business Tax Certificate. Businesses operating out of the home are required to apply in-person at City Hall for Planning Department approval; they are located in the Permit Center, across the hall from the Municipal Services Division.
Q: What is a business license?
A:
The City of Santa Clara issues Business Tax Certificates to conduct business in the City of Santa Clara.
Q: Do you offer any rate assistance?
A:
Yes. We offer a few options for customers who qualify for rate assistance. For more information, visit the Silicon Valley Website at siliconvalleypower.com or contact Municipal Services at (408) 615-2300 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays and furloughs.
Q: How can I pay my bill?
A:
We offer many options to pay your bill. Please visit the Silicon Valley Power website at siliconvalleypower.com or contact Municipal Services at (408) 615-2300 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays and furloughs.
Q: How often am I billed?
A:
A meter read is taken each month, then billed to the customer. You will receive your bill shortly after your meter has been read.
Q: If the power is already on, do I have put the services under my name?
A:
Yes. When the new responsible party moves into a property, they are fully responsible for the bill. Per the Municipal Services Rules & Regulations, the new responsible party must notify Municipal Services within five (5) business days of any change in name and/or ownership of a property.
Q: Can I have services at two different addresses?
A:
Yes. Service can be provided at multiple addresses. A connection fee will be charged for each meter at each location.
Q: Is there a fee to start service?
A:
Yes. There is a connection fee charged for each meter located on the property.
Q: I just moved into the City of Santa Clara. How can I start service?
A:
If you need to start service, you will need to contact the Finance Department’s Municipal Services Division at least one business day before you will need service at your new address by calling 408-615-2300 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays and furloughs.
Q: What utility services does the City of Santa Clara provide?
A:
The City of Santa Clara provides electric, water, garbage, recycling, and sewer services. PG&E provides gas service and can be reached at (800) 743-5000.
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