Business Services

Business Licenses

Micro Programs

Space Available

City Bids

Municipal Codes
Forms & Apps
City Services
Loan Programs
Debris Pickup
City Council
Public Notices
Visit Sonora
City's History
Trails & Parks
Opera Hall
Community Links
  Business Services



Business Resource and Assistance



The contact information below is
provided to assist those with an existing business or those wishing to start a business within the City of Sonora. However, the information may not be comprehensive depending on the type of business to be conducted.

Therefore, interested persons are advised to consult with an attorney to insure all requirements are met for their particular type of business.


Business License

The City of Sonora requires all businesses doing business within the City Limits to obtain a Business License.

Business License Information

Contact: Kristine Scott

City Administration
94 N. Washington Street
Sonora, CA 95370

Microenterprise Assistance Program

The City of Sonora has established a Microenterprise Assistance Program. The Program is targeted for small businesses and is designed to stimulate growth and create new private enterprise jobs that will improve the economic conditions of residents in the community. The Program provides technical assistance and Micro Loans to eligible persons starting a business or expanding an existing business within the City of Sonora. 

Click here for New Website
Click here for brochure
Click here for guidelines
Click here for application 

Occupancy Permit

For all new businesses located within the City Limits, as part of the Business License Application, the City of Sonora requires an approved "Occupancy Permit" and inspection. The purpose of this permit is to assure that basic minimum building and fire safety standards are met.

Occupancy Permit Requirements

Occupancy Permit Application

Contact: Building and Planning Department
94 N. Washington Street
Sonora, CA 95370

Home Occupation Permit

Some businesses which have few or no impacts may be allowed to be operated out of an existing residence. Such businesses must obtain a Home Occupation Permit.

Home Occupation Permit Information

Home Occupation Permit Application

Contact: Community Development Department

94 N. Washington Street
Sonora, CA 95370

Sign Permit

Sign Permits and Design Review are required for most signs within the City Limits.

Sign Information

Sign Guidelines

Sign Application

Contact: Kim Campbell

Building and Planning
94 N. Washington Street
Sonora, CA 95370

Planning and Zoning/New Construction/Use Permit

Before selecting a particular location zoning requirements should be reviewed for the proposed business type. If there will be new construction or additions/renovations to an existing building, plans will have to be reviewed and required permits obtained. Some commercial businesses must also obtain a Use Permit to operate in the City of Sonora.

Community Development Department
94 N. Washington Street
Sonora, CA 95370

Health Permit

If the business will involve the handling of foods, you must consult the Environmental Health Office and obtain a permit.


Tuolumne County Environmental Health Department

(Division of Tuolumne County Public Health)
2 South Green Street
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 533-6440

Fictitious Business Name Statement

Every person who regularly transacts business in the State of California for profit under a fictitious business name must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement. The form is filed with the County Clerk of the County of the principal place of business.


Tuolumne County Clerk
2 South Green Street
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 533-5573


Seller’s Permit/Resale Number

Every business that will sell or lease tangible personal property (merchandise) to customers must obtain a seller’s permit from the State Board of Equalization. Making taxable sales without a valid permit is a misdemeanor under California’s Sales and Use Tax Law and is subject to fines and penalties.

State Taxes – Withholding

Employers must register with the State Employment Development Department.

Fair Employment

Employers are required to provide information to employees regarding employment rights and to display certain posters where employees may readily see them.

Workers Compensation

Under California Law Worker’s Compensation Insurance is mandatory for all employers. Contact the State Compensation Fund regarding the requirements of Workers Compensation Insurance.

Alcoholic Beverage Control

If the business will sell alcoholic beverages, you must contact the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Contractor’s State License Board

If the business is in the construction industry, contact the State Contractor’s License Board to determine what special permits/license may be required.

State Licenses

The State of California imposes license requirements and fees on more than 100 businesses and professions. The Department of Consumer Affairs grants most licenses.

Business Filing

If forming a corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership, you must file with the California Secretary of State.


If the business will have employees, there are laws that govern safety standards designed to prevent injuries arising out of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.


Internal Revenue Service

Businesses will be required to file various tax forms (income, self-employment, property, sales and use, payroll, excise, etc…) using a tax identification number, social security number for sole proprietors or an Employer Identification Number for businesses with employees.


Local -

Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority

Alliance Business Resource

Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce

Historic Sonora Chamber of Commerce

S.C.O.R.E. (Service Corp of Retired Executives) Business Counseling

State –

United States Small Business Administration (Sacramento District)

California Business Portal

California Chamber of Commerce

National -

Business. Gov

Entrepreneur Magazine

Inc. Magazine

Business Basics Link

Rachelle Kellogg,
Community Development Director
City of Sonora
94 Washington Street
Sonora, CA, 95370
Phone: (209) 532-3508
Fax: (209) 532-3511