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How to Verify a Professional's License in Berkeley?

It is your responsibility to confirm that any professional you intend to hire in the City of Berkeley possesses a valid license issued by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. This agency is home to 39 boards and bureaus that collectively regulate the activities of more than 3.6 million professionals across over 200 different occupational and professional categories, including accounting, construction and home improvement, engineering, and health-related professions. You can verify the licenses of any of these professionals that offer their services in Berkeley via the California Department of Consumer Affairs' online license search platform.

Note that if you intend to undertake construction and building-related projects, you may be required to obtain a city-issued permit before your hired professional can begin working on the project. These permits, which include building, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire, zoning, and public works permits, are issued by the Permit Service Center of the Berkeley Department of Planning and Development. You can make inquiries concerning the City of Berkeley's permit-issuing procedures and the specific permitting requirements for your intended project by contacting the Permit Service Center via email, by calling (510) 981-7500, or in person at:

  • 1947 Center Street
  • 3rd Floor
  • Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays

Do Berkeley Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

The City of Berkeley is divided into eight council districts, all of which further consist of several neighborhood groups and associations created by their respective residents and other stakeholders in the area. However, these neighborhood groups and associations do not issue permits. Instead, they carry out activities that are designed to improve the safety, livability, and resilience of their different communities and council districts. These groups and associations typically collaborate with the Berkeley City Council, the Berkeley Housing and Community Services Department, and other relevant government and non-government agencies and stakeholders to achieve their aims and goals. If you are unsure what council district your home is located in, you can utilize the city's online council district locator tool to get this information. In October 2021, the City of Berkeley announced that it would be updating the Housing Element of its general plan to enable it to construct approximately 9,000 new housing units between 2023 and 2031. A month earlier, city officials held an online survey to help access affordable housing needs for artists and cultural workers that either currently reside in, are employed in, or were displaced from the City of Berkeley due to the high cost of housing.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Berkeley?

You can file complaints on unfair business practices and activities that occur in Berkeley by downloading, completing, and submitting a Consumer Fraud Form to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office's Consumer, Environmental & Worker Protection Division at:

  • 7677 Oakport Street
  • Suite 650
  • Oakland, CA 94621

It is advisable to attach copies of supporting documents to this form when submitting it. You can contact the Consumer, Environmental & Worker Protection Division at (510) 383-8600 or via email to direct any consumer complaint-related questions that you may have. Note that the Alameda County District Attorney's Office does not represent private individuals that wish to seek personal remedies from businesses. Any action taken by this office, whether criminal or civil, is done on behalf of the public. Consequently, if you wish to recover funds from the business named in your complaint, you should consider consulting with a qualified lawyer near you to get proper legal advice on the appropriate course of action. You can get access to lawyers near you by contacting the Alameda County Bar Association at (510) 302-2222. On the other hand, you may also pursue legal action without a lawyer at the Alameda County Small Claims Court if the funds you wish to recover do not exceed $10,000. You can access information and resources that can help you file a small claims case with this court via the Alameda County Superior Court's Self-Help Center webpage.

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