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Where should I locate my business?
There are several resources to help you find a business location in Oakland, including City staff, commercial brokers, website listings, and shopping district leaders. To find out more information please visit the Business Assistance Center’s website. When considering a business location, you should also consider zoning requirements & regulations. Contact the Zoning Division to obtain zoning clearance for your business location.
How can I find out what licenses and permits I need for my business?
The California Government: On-line to Desktops (CalGOLD) will help determine which local, regional, state and federal licenses and permits you will need for your business operation.
Will I need a business tax certificate from the City of Oakland?
Yes, all businesses, residential rental properties, and commercial properties in Oakland must obtain a business tax certificate. Contact the Business Tax Unit for detailed information and applications.
Who can I contact for business loans?
In addition to commercial lenders, the City of Oakland offers help in financing new or on-going business ventures, inventory purchasing, and commercial real estate acquisition or rehabilitation project. The OBDC Small Business Finance offers loans in amounts up to $249,500.
How can I lower my State income taxes?
Business located in the Oakland Enterprise Zone can take advantage of hiring and equipment tax credits and other tax benefits to lower their State business income tax.
Is there assistance to rehab or renovate my building?
Yes. The Federal Historic Preservation program offers two investment tax credit programs for "substantial rehabilitation" of older commercial buildings – 20% for properties on the National Register of Historic Places and 10% for other pre-1936 buildings. The City of Oakland's Façade Improvement Program provides matching grants and design services for improvements to commercial building exteriors in targeted sections of downtown and neighborhood commercial districts. The Tenant Improvement Program is an incentive program that offers matching grants to property owners and new business owners for improvements to the interiors of vacant commercial spaces. The program is available for commercial spaces that have been vacant for six months or longer and that have a prospective tenant.
What does the Redevelopment Division do?
The Redevelopment Division plans and directs major redevelopment projects to improve economic conditions throughout the City of Oakland by reversing deteriorating trends, remedying blight, and creating a new image for the City. Redevelopment projects can rehabilitate property, build new homes, create jobs, simulate private business & development, and stimulate new investment.
What does it mean if my home or business is in a Redevelopment Area?
Please refer to the Citizen’s Guide to Redevelopment published by California Redevelopment Association.
Where can I find additional information on Redevelopment?
For general Redevelopment information not found on this website, visit the California Redevelopment Association website.