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Obtain Permits and Licenses

Apply for Required Operating Permits

The type of business you want to open will determine the permits and licenses you need to establish a legal business. Depending on your business type, you may need to obtain these permits or licenses before you can get a City business license.

Certain types of businesses require special permits, licenses or inspections. Find requirements for each of the following business types:

Pawn shops, massage parlors, tattoo and piercing parlors, card rooms

Businesses such as pawn shops, massage parlors, tattoo and piercing parlors, and card rooms require operating permits from the Sunnyvale Public Safety Department. Call 408-730-7117 for additional information.

Restaurant and food vendors

Restaurant and food vendors require health inspections. Contact the Santa Clara County Environmental Health Department at 408-918-3400 to arrange for an inspection, or to request information and advice regarding health and environmental safety issues.


Obtain City Business License

You must have a City of Sunnyvale business license before you can open or operate your business. All businesses, including home-based businesses, must have a City business license.

Business licenses are renewed on a two-year cycle. To receive your Business License Tax Certificate, you must pay tax for both years.

  • Business license registration and tax amounts vary for different types of businesses and total number of employees.
  • If you have an active business license, make sure to keep it updated with your current business address, contact information, and number of employees

Learn more about business licenses or update an active license

Call the One-Stop Permit Center, 408-730-7444.

Last Updated: Jun 25, 2021
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