Business Registration

Beginning September 1, 2018, all businesses operating in the City are required to obtain a business registration certificate prior to commencing business operations. 

The purpose of the Business Registration Certificate is to maintain a record of businesses operating in the City in order to develop planning recommendations relating to the operation of businesses; better coordinate with businesses regarding a range of issues including parking, transportation, economic development, and event programming; assist in zoning compliance; establish and maintain contact information which can be used to notify businesses regarding public safety issues as they arise; and gather statistical information for other City purposes.

How to Register Your Business

Register your business or renew your current registration online at

If you need assistance or help registering your business, please contact or by phone at (925) 374-5885.

A business registration certificate is valid for the calendar year it was issued and must be renewed every year by January 1st. The City will send annual renewal notices; however, it is the business’ responsibility to renew on time. Penalties are assessed for delinquent accounts.

Search Registered Orinda Businesses

Exempt Businesses

The following types of businesses are exempt from the Business Registration Certificate requirements, but may voluntarily elect to register:

  1. Businesses with gross receipts of less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) per year from operations in the City;
  2. Businesses exempt from registration based on State of California or Federal law;
  3. Public agencies and their contractors;
  4. Businesses that sell and/or deliver goods to locations within Orinda, but have no other operations in the City (e.g., water delivery services, suppliers to retail stores);
  5. Businesses that have completed and/or obtained one of the following within the past twelve (12) months:
    1. Short-term rental registration (see Section 17.3.12).
    2. Temporary event permit (see Chapter 17.37).
    3. Other annual permit or registration issued by the City (not including public health licenses; see Chapter 8.08).
    4. Solicitor registration (see Chapter 5.32).
  6. Those selling products or services under the auspices of another registered business (e.g., vendors at the Farmers Market, stylists at a hair salon, technicians at a nail salon);
  7. Those representing that they are engaged in expressive rather than commercial activity. For purposes of this Chapter, "expressive activity" means conduct, the sole or principal object of which is the expression, dissemination, or communication by verbal, visual, literary, or auditory means of opinion, views, or ideas, whether or not that conduct involves a request for funds or any other thing of value.

Family Child Care Homes

Family child care homes are not required to obtain a Business Registration to operate in the City of Orinda. 

Business Resources

Orinda Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Orinda Chamber of Commerce is to promote businesses and business interests in the City of Orinda by providing information, communication, and activities that benefit and enhance the community, citizens and City of Orinda. To learn more, please visit the following link: Orinda Chamber of Commerce.

City Planning Department

For information regarding the City’s zoning regulations, please contact the Planning Department at (925) 253-4210. Staff can help explain whether special requirements, if any, might apply.

For more information regarding building permit requirements, please contact the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development at (925) 655-2700.

Fictitious Names

If you plan to use a fictitious name (a name different from your own), be sure and check with the County Clerk to make sure that no one else is using that name. You can contact the County Clerk at 925-335-7900, 555 Escobar Street, Martinez or visit the following link for more information: Contra Costa County Fictitious Name Information

State of CA Seller’s Permit (Sales Tax)

For any business selling tangible property that is subject to State Sales and Use Tax, a Seller’s Permit Number is required. For more information, call the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) at 510-622-4100 or visit the following link: State Sellers Permit Information

Federal and State Tax Identification Numbers

If you need to obtain a State Identification Number and a Federal Employer Identification Number to report employee taxes, please visit the following visit the following link: IRS-Employer ID Numbers. For more information, contact the State at 1-800-338-0505 and the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-3676