I can help you. this thread will end up moved soon to the discussion thread, but in the interim, here are the answers you seek.
Business licenses are issued to both corporate and persons. Usually a city license is required if it is within city limits, and/or a county business license is required if you are doing business in a county. In California, even if you have a corporate charter, you are required to get a city or county business license to operate your corporation in each city or county. If you are a sole proprietership (individual) or partnership, you still need a business license. Some counties and cities have a business license division, and some just operate under one roof so-to-speak. Many municipalities call them business tax certificates instead of license. The licenses are public information, however getting a look at them can be easy or hard depending on how the muni has it structured. Even here in Sacramento, you have to have a name to look up first, and you submit that name on a short piece of paper for them to look up. howver, the Fictitious name statement can be looked up on-line.