Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC


  ( Division 7 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 61. )


  ( Part 1 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 61. )

CHAPTER 2. Licensing by Counties [16100 - 16105]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 61. )


(a) The board of supervisors may in the exercise of its police powers, and for the purpose of regulation, as herein provided, and not otherwise, license any kind of business not prohibited by law, transacted and carried on within the limits of its jurisdiction, including all shows, exhibitions, and lawful games, and may fix the rate of the license fee and provide for its collection by suit or otherwise.

(b) No license fee levied pursuant to subdivision (a) that is measured by the licensee’s income or gross receipts, whether levied by a charter or general law county, shall apply to any nonprofit organization that is exempted from taxes by Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 23701) of Part 11 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code or Subchapter F (commencing with Section 501) of Chapter 1 of Subtitle A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the successor of either, or to any minister, clergyman, Christian Science practitioner, rabbi, or priest of any religious organization that has been granted an exemption from federal income tax by the United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or a successor to that section.

(c) Before a county issues a business license to a person to conduct business as a contractor, as defined by Section 7026, the county shall verify that the person is licensed by the Contractors’ State License Board.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 936, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1997.)


(a) (1) A county that licenses businesses carried on within its jurisdiction shall accept a California driver’s license or identification number, an individual taxpayer identification number, or a municipal identification number in lieu of a social security number if the county otherwise requires a social security number for the issuance of a business license.

(2) A county that licenses a business carried on within its jurisdiction shall require the applicant to provide an address where the individual consents to receive service of process. An acceptable address for this purpose shall include a post office box or private mailbox that complies with paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 17538.5. This address shall be available for public inspection.

(3) Personal information collected for purposes of issuing a business license by a county shall be confidential, shall not be available to the public for inspection, and shall not be disclosed except as required to administer the licensure program or comply with a judicial warrant, subpoena, or court order.

(b) For purposes of this section, “personal information” means all of the following:

(1) An applicant’s residential address if the applicant provides a different address pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(2) A California driver’s license or identification number, an individual taxpayer identification number, a municipal identification number, and a social security number.

(3) Income and tax information.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 388, Sec. 3. (AB 2184) Effective January 1, 2019.)


Notwithstanding Section 16100, no county or city and county shall require a regulatory license or impose a regulatory license fee with respect to cafe musicians.

“Cafe musician,” for the purposes of this section, means any person playing a musical instrument in any place or establishment where food or alcoholic beverages are sold, offered for sale or given away, who is an employee, or independent contractor, of such place or establishment. “Cafe musician” does not include an owner, manager, or operator of such place or establishment.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 969.)


(a) Notwithstanding Section 37101 of the Government Code, Section 7284 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, or Section 16000 of this code, no county or city and county shall require a regulatory license or impose a regulatory license fee with respect to the solicitation of donations for the support of veterans by federally chartered veterans’ organizations specified in Title 36 of the United States Code.

(b) This section shall not be construed to prohibit licensing and regulation of business-related activities, such as those involving the sale or exchange of goods or services.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 138, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1999.)


The boards of supervisors in their respective counties may for the purpose of revenue license individuals acting as hawkers, itinerant peddlers or itinerant vendors, other than merchants having a fixed place of business in the county, their employees, and farmers selling farm products produced by them.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 61.)


Every soldier, sailor or marine of the United States who has received an honorable discharge or a release from active duty under honorable conditions from such service may hawk, peddle and vend any goods, wares or merchandise owned by him, except spirituous, malt, vinous or other intoxicating liquor, without payment of any license, tax or fee whatsoever, whether municipal, county or State, and the board of supervisors shall issue to such soldier, sailor or marine, without cost, a license therefor.

(Amended by Stats. 1941, Ch. 646.)


No license fee may be collected from, nor any penalty for the nonpayment thereof enforced against, any commercial traveler whose business is limited to goods, wares and merchandise sold or dealt in at wholesale in this State.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 61.)


No license requiring a fee greater than 3 cents ($0.03) per head shall be imposed by the board of supervisors of any county on the business of raising, grazing, herding or pasturing sheep, nor shall any such license tax be applicable to or on account of lambs under eight months old.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 67.)


Any license issued to a business pursuant to this chapter shall be revoked for violation of Section 24185 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to human cloning.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 821, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

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