City Tax Information
The City of Fresno Finance Department works with over 25,000 businesses and events annually. The Business License sections of the Fresno Municipal Code state the requirements and regulations under which all businesses shall operate [FMC Sections 5-101 and 5-102].
There are usually questions by our customers about the term "license" according to the Fresno Municipal Code. The term is not meant to construe a professional certification of an ability or accredited diploma by this municipality. Rather, it is a term referring to the ability of the City to gather revenue in the form of taxes where persons carry on any trade, calling, profession, or occupation in the City.
The term "permit" refers to the business activities engaged by persons or groups identified by the City Council as needing to be regulated or controlled for the good of the citizenry at large. See the Business License Checklist for further information on who needs to obtain a business license.
Therefore, as identified by the Fresno Municipal Code, particular businesses will be required to have both business license/tax certificate(s) and specific permit(s) for those activities stipulated by the code.
Please note there are other agencies and/or departments within the City system as well as county, state and federal governments, that may have requirements for permits [example, conditional use permits] that are in addition to and/or need prior approval.
In order that the city maintain service commitments, it is important that you provide accurate and complete information on the application[s] you submit. Modified, or incomplete information may cause delays and/or stop us from complying with your requests to legally conduct business within the City of Fresno.
Some basic questions asked by applicants:
Who must obtain a business license?
Please see the Business License Checklist for further information.
Why are business taxes assessed?
To help fund government services such as police, fire, streets, parks, economic developments and general administration.
When do business taxes come due?
With few exceptions, taxes are due within 30 days following the end of a business license/permit period. Most licenses are renewed quarterly and some on an annual basis. Tax return forms are provided by the city. Late fees of at least 20 percent are assessed for tax balances not paid by the due date based on postmark. This percentage is cumulative and applied to every 30 day period [not to exceed three  periods or 90 days].
How are business taxes determined?
Taxes are either flat rate or based on gross receipts dependent upon appropriate tax code classification assigned at time of application by information provided. The tax return will provide specific instructions of how to determine the proper taxes due.
Where are business taxes paid?
If your tax return cannot be mailed and postmarked by the due date, you can bring it to our office in Fresno City Hall anytime between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
How do I update my tax records or get information?
Most transactions can be accomplished by phone [621-6880]. There may be certain aspects of a transaction on your tax account that may require your presence. Additional taxes and/or permit fees may be required if your business is located and/or covered within certain code jurisdictions such as hotels and motels, taxicabs, cardroom, dance halls, billiard rooms, mobile food vendors to name a few.
- City of Fresno Finance Department, 2600 Fresno Street, Room 2156, 621-7001, FAX 488-4636
- City of Fresno Planning and Development Department/Zoning 2600 Fresno Street, Room 3043 621-8111
- State of California Board of Equalization 5070 N. Sixth Street, Suite 110 248-4219
- County Clerk Fictitious Names 2221 Kern Street 488-3003