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Doing Business in Campbell

New Business Tips

Below are some helpful tips on starting a business in Campbell. Joining the Chamber is also a great way to network and market your product or service. We invite you to learn more about us and how we can be a value asset to your success.


  1. Prepare a Business Plan A business plan is not required to obtain a Campbell Business License, but a well detailed plan is regarded as a valuable tool for starting a business and will provide a roadmap for your growth and success. A detailed plan can also facilitate raising capital and is usually required for a loan or to attract financial investors. On-line websites offer sample business plans.
  2. Determine your Business Structure Your legal structure will define your overall tax and liability exposure for your business. It is always best to consult with a professional when making these types of decisions. The chamber has many reputable Attorneys and Tax Consultants to assist you in this process.
  3. Find a Location for your Business Select a space or building that meets the size, location and financial requirements that were outlined in your business plan. A commercial real estate broker can assist you with site selection, lease negotiations, and formulating the lease agreement. Some general information on availability can be found at Silicon Valley Economic Development Alliance. A current listing of commercial properties is available here!
  4. Verify Zoning Regulations Before finalizing your business location or signing a lease, contact Campbell’s Planning Division to determine if your business is an eligible to use a specific location and whether any special approvals are required. Contact the Campbell Planning Division at 408-866-2140
  5. Start-Up Capital If you are seeking funding, a well-crafted business plan will increase your odds of success. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan options or you can contact one of our local banks.
  6. Register a Fictitious Business Name A fictitious business name is defined as a name that does not include surnames of all owners or a business or, in the case of a corporation, does not include the corporate name. You may file a fictitious business in Campbell with The Campbell Express newspaper located at 334 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, CA 95008. 408-0374-9700.
  7. Apply for a Business License Applications are available in Campbell’s Finance Department. The business license registration fee varies for different types of businesses. Licenses may not be transferred or assigned. Businesses operating out of a residential location or home are also required to obtain a business license. Businesses located outside of Campbell, but doing work in Campbell (including vendors, consultants and contractors), must have a valid Campbell Business License. Charities and Public Utilities are exempt from fees. Proof of nonprofit status is required and may require Police Department and City Council approval prior to issuance. Contact the Finance Department at 408-866-2174.
  8. Obtain Other Permits and Licenses:
  • Building Permits In Most cases, a Campbell Building Permit is required for demolition and replacement of existing construction, additions, expansions, alterations, or remodeling. Contact the Campbell Building Division at 408-866-2130.
  • Sign Permits A permit is required for any sign on the outside of the building including permanent and temporary signs or banners. Contact the Campbell Planning Division at 408-866-2140
  • Seller’s Permit/Resale Number If you are engaged in business in California, intend to sell or lease tangible personal property (wholesale or retail), a permit is required from the California State Board of Equalization at 250 S. Second St., San Jose, CA 95113 408-277-1231. More information about seller’s permits is available here. You can also apply for a permit online.
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) You must register for an EIN, also known as a Federal Income Tax Identification Number. State Employment Tax Office 1-888-7453886. Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-1040 or apply online.
  • Restaurant and Food Vendor Permits If you will be selling food, a permit is required from the County Environmental Resources Agency, Department of Environmental Health at 1555 Berger Dr. Ste. 300, San Jose, CA 95112 408-918-3400
  • Sale of Alcoholic Beverages If you will be selling alcoholic beverages, a license is required from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, at 100 Paseo de San Antonio, Room 119, San Jose, CA 95113 408-277-1200
  • California Department of Consumer Affairs License Many professional businesses such as accountants, engineers, doctors, and dentists require a State license. Businesses such as barbers, cosmetologists, security services and auto repairs are also required to obtain a State license. To find out if your business must be registered, call the California Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-344-9940
  • Import/Export Permit If you business will involve the import or export of products with other countries, you may need an Import/Export Permit from the United States Customs Service at 415-782-9210.
  • Insurance You’re required to carry both Workers compensation and general liability insurance. Contact a local insurance agent to discuss all your options.

Local utilities and other agencies:

  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) 1-800-743-5000 or 1-800 468-4743
  • San Jose Water Company 408 279-7900
  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District 415-771-6000
  • West Valley Collection trash pick-up and recycling: 408-283-9250
  • Campbell Post Offices Main Post Office at 500 W. Hamilton Ave., Campbell, CA 1-800-275-8777 or the Heritage Village Branch at 51 E. Campbell Ave. Ste. #129, Open Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM and Noon – 4:00 PM (Closed 11:00 AM – Noon, daily) 408-374-0402
  • West Valley Sanitation District waste water collection, treatment and disposal at 100 E. Sunnyoaks Ave. Campbell, CA 408-378-2407
  • Santa Clara County Fire Department at 408-378-4010 AT&T telephone at 1-800-750-2355
  • Comcast internet service at 1-800-comcast
  • Campbell Chamber of Commerce is located at 267 East Campbell Ave. Suite C, Campbell, CA 95008 (behind Starbucks in downtown) 408-378-6252
  • Score counselors to America’s Small Business. Provides free and confidential business advise and low-cost workshops