2019-20 Business License Renewal Frequently Asked Questions

When is my payment due?

Beginning July 1 through July 31, 2019. Penalties apply to payments received after July 31, 2019.

How much do I owe?

The tax you owe can be calculated using the rates on your renewal notice. You can also see the FY 2019-20 schedule of tax rates (Section V), approved by the City Council and effective July 1, 2019. You must also pay a $25 administration fee and the $4 State AB1379 fee.

What if my payment is late?

The tax portion of a renewal payment is subject to penalties if received after July 31, 2019. See your renewal notice for penalties and the dates that they apply, and add the penalty due to your late payment. You can contact the Finance Department at 510-215-4335 for assistance.

Can I renew my business license online?

YES! You can renew and pay online by credit card, debit card, or echeck beginning July 1.

Can I renew my license by mail?

Yes, but mailed renewal payments can only be made by check. The City can no longer accept mailed credit card information. Complete, sign, and return the renewal form with your check in the envelope that was enclosed with your renewal form to:

City of El Cerrito
Finance Department
Attn: Business License
10890 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Can I fax in my license renewal or provide my credit card information by phone?

The City can no longer accept renewals or payments by fax or phone. Please check out our new online option.

What if I want to renew my license in person? 

Bring your renewal notice and visit City Hall at 10890 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito during business license hours.You can pay by credit card, check or cash.

Business License Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Friday* 8:00am to 4:00pm
Tuesday & Thursday 8:00am to 6:00pm

*City Hall is closed every other Friday. Please see City Hall hours for a list of Fridays and Holidays. 

The online renewal website is asking for my Account Number and Security Code. Where can I find this?

This information can be found at the top of the renewal notice that was mailed to you.

What if I lost my renewal notice? how do I access my account number and security code?

Email the Finance Department to receive this information.

When is my license valid?

Your annual business license renewal will be valid upon receipt of full payment of the tax, fees and any penalties due.

When will I receive my business license certificate?

Business license certificates will be mailed out approximately 30 days after receipt of your full payment.

My business has changed locations. Do I need to notify the City?

Yes, update the information for your business location serving El Cerrito on your renewal form, or with your online renewal. If you have already completed your renewal form, you can update your location separately by submitting a business license information update.

I received a renewal notice, but no longer do business in El Cerrito.

If your business closed, changed owners, or no longer operates in El Cerrito, complete the closure information on the renewal form you received, sign, and return in the enclosed envelope, or fill out the Business License Change of Information/Closed Business Form.

What is the Administrative Fee?

In 2004, the City performed a cost recovery analysis to update fees charged for all programs and services, including determining the cost to the City of administering the business licensing process. In 2005, the City Council approved fees to cover the cost of issuing new business licenses and renewals. This fee is separate from the tax assessed on a business license under the provisions of the El Cerrito Municipal Code Section 4.32.

What is the AB 1379 Fee?

AB1379 was imposed by the state to increase the $1 state mandate fee to $4.00 for licensing years 2018 thru 2023. The State of California enacted SB1186 in 2012 which imposed a $ 1.00 State fee on every applicant for a local business license or renewal (including all in-city commercial and home-based, all exempts, all non-profits, landlords, out -of-city, and all contractors) and is required to be collected by all cities and counties throughout California, including the City of El Cerrito.  

Do I have to sign the declaration on my renewal form?

Yes, the El Cerrito Municipal Code requires a sworn statement by the business license renewal applicant regarding the accuracy of business information used to determine the amount of tax owed.


For more information, you can email the Finance Department or call 510-215-4335.