If you don’t see an answer to your question here, please contact us.


Q: Who can I contact to start a small business in San Jose?

A: The City has information posted at BusinessOwnerspace.com a comprehensive overview of how to start a business (including business structure, financing, were you can find individual help). As you consider specific locations for your business, please contact the Office of Economic Development’s Small Business Ally. The Small Business Ally provides guidance on permitting issues, signage and other business requirements related to operating your business in San Jose.


Q: Do I need to register my small business with your office?

A: All persons or companies conducting business in San Jose must pay the business tax, whether or not they have offices located in San Jose. The payment of business tax is required prior to the commencement of business in San Jose and is renewed annually. The City of San Jose’s Finance Department is responsible for collecting the business tax. The business tax forms are located on the Finance Department website or may be picked up at:

City of San Jose – Finance Department
200 E. Santa Clara St., Tower First Floor, Windows 1,2
San José, CA 95113


Q: Can you help me find office space in San Jose?

A: You can conduct your office space research using our site selection tools. Click here for more information.


Q: How can I find employees?

A: The work2future organization has training programs to benefit companies by educating employees in the latest skills, and employees benefit from being able to offer a wider range of valued skills to their employers. Additionally, by using work2future’s employment service network, employers can take advantage of:

  • Job fairs
  • Job training, retraining and up-training
  • Labor market and wage survey information
  • Online job postings
  • Prescreened applicants
  • Recruitment for specific employment needs
  • Tax credits
  • Wage subsidies
  • Workforce reduction assistance


Q: What is my zoning, can I operate my business here?

A: Before you sign a lease you should check the zoning of the property to make sure the business use is permissible or not. You can look up you zoning by simply typing your future business address into the Zoning website to determine your zoning. Once you have determined your zoning, using the zoning tables you can then determine if your business use is permitted or not. If you need further assistance with this, please contact the Office of Economic Development at 408-535-8181.


Q: What do I need to do to start a restaurant or Food Truck?

A: There are a variety of agencies that you will need to coordinate to operate a Food truck or Restaurant. The City of San Jose has identified a general flow chart of the steps involved with the process.  The Small Business Ally within the City of San Jose provides guidance on permitting issues, signage and other business requirements related to operating your Food business in San Jose.


Q: Can I operate my business out of my home?

A: Depending on the type of business you are operating you may or may not be able to conduct business out of your home. The City of San Jose has developed a flyer that outlines the business uses that are eligible or ineligible to operate out of a home. For more information please contact the Planning Department at 408-535-3555.


Q: Do I need a seller’s permit?

A: Retailers and certain other businesses must collect sales taxes on the items they sell. The California State Board of Equalization registers businesses that must collect sales or use taxes in California. Businesses apply for a seller’s permit that allows them to collect sales taxes and report taxes to the State. The permit can be obtained on the Californaia State website.


Q: How do I find a job at the City?

A: Log on to the City’s Career Center.


Q: How do I keep updated about what’s going on in San Jose?

A: Log on to our Events page to see events and activities happen in San Jose.