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Permitting and Zoning

Doing business in Sacramento may require you to have the appropriate permitting to operate your business.  Depending on the permit type, it may require you to connect with various departments within the city. 


Permit type Description Contact

Building Permits

Permits are required for all new construction and, in most cases, structural modifications, and replacements and remodeling. Examples of improvements include structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and signage.

Call 311 or visit the Building Permits page

Fire Inspection Permits

Depending on the nature of the business, fire inspection might be needed for legal compliance, followed by annual fire department inspections. Examples of businesses requiring annual fire inspections include restaurants, motels, apartment buildings, auto painting, tire storage, hotels/ motels and dry cleaners.

Contact the Inspection Unit at 916-808-6685 or visit the Fire Inspection Permits page.

Revenue Special Permits

The City regulates certain businesses through the issuance of special permits. Examples of businesses requiring special permits include taxi drivers, fireworks vendors, mobile food vendors and towing companies.

Contact the Revenue Division at 916-808- 5852 or download a permit at the Revenue Division website 

Health Permit

Health permits, issued by the County’s Environmental Health Division, are required for most retail businesses that sell food or beverages to the public. Other businesses that require health permits include swimming pool operators, solid waste facilities, grocery vendors and well water operators.

Call 916-875-8440 or visit

Home Occupation Permit

If working from home, a permit is required.


If you are considering a location for a new business or have questions about specific zoning requirements, contact the City’s Community Development Department. Staff can determine if a location is zoned for your type of business and verify if any special regulations are required. 

Community Development Department

Call 311

Email for zoning:

Business Occupancy Tax

If you are operating a business within city limits, you must have a business operations tax certificate (BOT) from the City’s Revenue Division. The BOT is not a license to conduct business at a specific location, but a tax levied on businesses that operate within the City of Sacramento. This process is quick and can be completed within three days.