Apply for a Business License

Applying For A Business License

The issuance of a Business License is not necessarily the only permit, license, certificate and entitlement for use required by the City's ordinance and other laws. You are responsible for ensuring that all necessary permits, licenses, certificates and entitlements have been obtained.

Complete the appropriate forms below and submit to the City of Ripon.  If you have any questions, please contact the office at (209) 599-2108 or [email protected]

Business License Application

Home Occupation Permit Application (All businesses need a physical location.  If your business location is a home address within Ripon City limits, you also need to submit this form.)

Other Helpful Information:
Business License Fee Schedule
Disability Access Requirements and Resources
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

If you would like to pay by credit/debit card, submit your completed application to [email protected] After approval, you will receive a reply with a link to make your payment.  Please note there is a 3% or $2 minimum charge for credit/debit card transactions. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who must get a Business License?

Anyone wishing to carry on commerce within the corporate City limits must first obtain a City Business License; the business doesn’t have to be physically located in Ripon. (Ord. 477 § 2 (part), 1991)

Issuance of a business license evidences that the person(s), firm or corporation has paid the applicable fee required by the City of Ripon Code. Issuance of a business license does not relieve the applicant of the requirements to comply with other regulations of city, county, state or federal government agencies, nor does it constitute endorsement of the applicant, his/her employees or product by the City or its employees.

What is the Cost?

The License Fee is based on business type such as retail, service, professional, contractor, manufacturer, solicitor, etc.

One owner and spouse are included in the Base License Fee; any other owners, partners, etc. are considered employees. An annual fee is charged per employee working in Ripon. In accordance with the Bay Area Consumer Price Index, license fees vary from year to year. Please refer to the “Business License Fee Schedule” for current rates.

How long is my Business License good for?

Business Licenses are issued in January of each year and expire on December 31st the same year. For new Business License Applicants, fees are not prorated. The total annual fee is required regardless of the date applying; however, any completed Applications received after November 30th of the current year will be processed for the next year. Renewal notices are mailed in December as a courtesy reminder. Payment is due on January 1st and considered delinquent if not received by January 31st. A late charge will be assessed if not received by January 31st.

If you are no longer conducting business in Ripon, you must notify the Business License Division in writing; otherwise, it will be assumed that you are still conducting business in Ripon and you will continue to receive notices requesting payment. 

What if I have more than one Business?

Separate Business Licenses, including appropriate fees, are required for each business carried on at the same location or elsewhere within City limits. Proof, however, may be submitted to the City Clerk of the City of Ripon that a particular business which is carried on at the same location is not in fact a separate and distinct business operation, and that the business activities of said business are connected with, a part of, and necessary to the operation and performance of other licensed business activity for which a business license is required which is also carried on at the same business location. (Ord. 507 §2, 1992)

Can I operate from my home?

Certain types of businesses are allowed to operate from the home. They are generally limited to those which use equipment normally found in the home.

For home based businesses, a Home Occupation Permit is required in addition to a Business License. This permit is good for two calendar years effective January 1st. Fees are not prorated.  For more information on Home Occupation Permits, contact City Hall.

How long does it take before I receive my License?

Please allow one to two weeks for processing and approval of your Business License Application. When a Home Occupation Permit is required, please allow an additional two weeks.

Fictitious Business Name

If you plan to use a fictitious name for your business, you must obtain a Fictitious Business Permit from the San Joaquin County Recorder’s Office (209) 468-3939.

Are there exemptions?

Exemptions from the business license requirements are granted to those engaged in the following:

Banks and Financial Institutions.

Churches, religious societies, fraternal societies, patriotic societies or charitable societies located within the city; provided no other person, firm, co-partnership or corporation derives any profit, compensation or direct benefit from any business enterprise by any of the foregoing undertaken or joined in. Those churches, religious societies, fraternal societies, patriotic societies or other charitable societies located outside the city shall file a Non-Profit Business Permit Application with the city for obtaining a free license for soliciting within the city limits.

Doctors, lawyers, architects, dentists and other similar professional persons not having a fixed place of business within the city who are called upon to come to the city to render occasional isolated services unless on a regularly scheduled basis.

Farmers, Poultrymen or Horticulturists who may sell exclusively their own produce grown by themselves, either at their homes or farms or by house-to-house sale.

Insurance Companies.

Trucking, transport or hauling companies, or deliverymen who are called upon to come into the city to render occasional services for another entity.

NOTE: Exemption from the business license requirements does not exempt you from other permits/licenses that may pertain to your business. 

Division of Labor Standards Enforcement

Are you required to be certified by the Department of Industrial Relations? READ

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