Santa Barbara, CA asked in Business Formation and Business Law for California

Q: Do I need 2 separate business licenses for different products?

I am a sole proprietor offering graphic design services and stationery in CA. Now, I want to start selling handmade jewelry and polished rocks (using a different name for this business) – do I need a separate business license for that? The owner (myself) and business address remain the same for both businesses.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, you are not generally required to obtain a separate business license for each different type of product or service that you offer. As a sole proprietor, you can operate multiple businesses under a single business license, as long as the businesses are related and have the same owner and business address.

In your case, since you are planning to offer graphic design services, stationery, handmade jewelry, and polished rocks all under the same business address and ownership, you should be able to operate all of these businesses under a single business license.

However, it's important to note that some cities and counties in California may have specific licensing requirements for certain types of businesses. You should check with your local city or county government to determine if any additional licenses or permits are required for your specific business activities.

Additionally, if you plan to use a different business name for your jewelry and polished rock business, you will need to register a "Doing Business As" (DBA) or "Fictitious Business Name" (FBN) with your local county clerk's office. This allows you to legally operate your business under a different name than your personal name or your existing business name.

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