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Business Licenses

Any resident or non-resident doing business, in the unincorporated areas of Placer County, is required to obtain a business license. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any business in the unincorporated areas of the County without first having a business license. (Ordinance 101, Chapter 5, Section 5.12)*

* If you are only conducting business within the city limits of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin or Roseville, you do not need a Placer County business license.  If you are unsure if you are located in the city or unincorporated area, please contact our office.

If you have any questions regarding Business Licenses, please call (530) 889-4120.

How Do I Apply?

Application forms are available at the Tax Collector's Office at 2976 Richardson Drive, 2nd Floor, in Auburn. The telephone number is (530) 889-4120. The Tax Collector will accept the application and process it. If necessary, the application will be sent to various County departments for review and approval. The Tax Collector will notify the business owner when the process is complete. Make checks payable to Placer County Tax Collector.

Business License Application

You will also need to fill out either the home-based business or commercial questionnaire. These are also available online by simply clicking on the appropriate image.

Home Questionnaire

Commercial Questionnaire

Adobe Reader may be required to open these documents in PDF format.


Any person who receives a salary from an employer and has taxes taken from that salary is exempt as are agricultural operations for stock or poultry farms.

Types of Business Licenses:

Three Categories:

  1. A business operating in a commercial location in Placer County requires a General Business license. ($131 application fee, $20 annual renewal)
  2. Any home-based business requires a General Business license . ($111 application fee, $20 annual renewal)
  3. A business that requires additional regulation and review by the County Sheriff's Department, certification of compliance by other county departments, and/or state and federal regulation not typically required of a General Business License requires a Special Business License. ($111 application fee, $20 annual renewal - Home based) or ($131application fee, $20 annual renewal - Commercial)

Nonrefundable Fee:

The fee is not refundable and must be paid at the time of application submittal. Prior discussion regarding a new business with the appropriate departments is recommended. Depending on the type of business proposed, it may be advisable to contact the Planning Department, Building Department, Engineering and Surveying and/or Department of Environmental Health.

Veterans and Non-Profit:

There is a $4.00 state mandated fee collected for veterans or non-profit organizations. We do, however, require submission of a DD Form 214, showing your character of service as Honorable, for veterans and tax exempt forms from the Secretary of State for non-profit organizations. Please submit these forms with your license application and questionnaire.

What Is Required?

All license applications must obtain approval from the Planning, Building, Environmental Health and Facilities Departments of the County. Home business must comply with all restrictions, regulations and zoning ordinances required by the Tax Collector, Planning Department and other County departments. Certain special businesses will be reviewed by the Fire Department and Sheriff's Department.

Are There Any Restrictions?

Yes, home occupations are permitted only in the main residence and allow only the residents of the home and one employee, to work on the premises. In addition, other restrictions apply to home occupation types of businesses (Section 1774 of the Placer County Zoning Ordinance). Contact the Planning Department for additional information.

Commercial businesses must comply with zoning laws which include a variety of regulations which may:

  • Limit the size and number of signs.
  • Restrict outdoor storage or display of materials.
  • Require a minimum number of parking spaces.
  • Require special permit requirements, etc.

Design Review Committee approval must be obtained for any visible change to properties in many commercial and industrial areas. This includes the required review and approval of signs, landscaping, color changes etc.. Contact the Planning Department for additional information regarding the Design Review process.

The Building Department must approve any structural changes, and building codes must be met for various sizes and types of operations.

Roadside vending is not permitted in the unincorporated area.

Additional Contacts:

State Board of Equalization, 1-800-400-7115
The Contractors Board, Roseville branch, (hours 8 to 11 am), (916) 782-1610
Fictitious Name Department, Recorder's Office, (530) 886-5600
Planning Department, (530) 745-3000
Building Department, (530) 745-3010
Engineering and Surveying, (530) 745-7500
Tax Collector, (530) 889-4120
Sheriff's Office, (530) 889-7800
Environmental Health Department, (530) 745-2300
California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (415) 703-4810 Informational Document