Business Licenses and Home-Based Business Permits

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The City of Salinas (“City”) requires all businesses operating within the city to obtain a business license and pay a business license tax to conduct business operations.

December 31, 2023 Business License Renewal

Renewal notices will be mailed and/or e-mailed the last week of December to businesses with business licenses expiring December 31, 2023.

To renew your business license, follow the instructions provided on the notice. You may renew online by clicking the “Start now” button located on the right side of this page to begin. However, you will need the account number and PIN on your renewal notice to complete the renewal. If you do not receive a renewal notice or if you need assistance renewing a business license, please contact us at or 831-758-7211. Phone support is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (PST).

Please note: Business License Renewal Notices are sent as a courtesy only. The business license tax must be paid in advance no later than the last day of the second month following expiration of the previous license (February 29, 2024 for licenses expiring December 31, 2023), regardless of whether a renewal notice is received by the business owner.

Please allow 10-15 days for receipt of your business license certificate.

Changing Business License Information

If there has been a change in the ownership, location, or name of your business or if the type of business operated has changed, please contact us at or 831-758-7211.

First Time Applicants:

The City of Salinas Municipal Code (Chapter 19) requires a license be obtained before conducting business in the city, even if the business is located outside of the city and/or licensed by another jurisdiction to operate a business.

To apply for a City of Salinas business license:

  1. Complete a Business License Application, and e-mail it to the Current Planning Division at for business address approval.

    If the business address is a home address, also complete a Home Occupation Permit form and email it along with your Business License to the email address listed above.

  2. If you receive approval from the City to operate your planned business at the address provided, please forward the approval to along with your completed Business License Application and Credit Card Authorization Form.

    For questions regarding whether you may operate your business at the address or if operation of your business is not approved, contact us at or 831-758-7206.

Links to download forms are provided below.

IMPORTANT: A City of Salinas Business License only evidences that the City’s business license tax and applicable fee(s) required by the Salinas City Code through the date indicated on the license certificate have been paid. Under provisions of Chapter 19-3 of the Salinas City Code, issuance of a City of Salinas Business License shall not be construed as compliance with other City ordinances, State laws, or Federal laws. Therefore, it is important for business owners to ensure all applicable forms and documents are provided to the City and that all necessary approvals and/or permit(s) are received from the City before commencing business.

See below for more information regarding what forms must be submitted with a business license application.

For questions, please email or call the City's Department of Finance Revenue Division at 831-758-7211. 


Filing Your Business License Application

A standard application form is used for all businesses. Please complete only applicable information. All applications must include either the FEIN or Social Security Number as your tax identification number. Contractors must also include their State Contractors License Number. Applications for all businesses involving food must be accompanied by a valid health permit. Retail businesses will need to provide a seller’s permit number. Home-based businesses located within the City limits will also need a home occupation permit, which is issued by the Planning Department. You may request to have your business license mailed to a post office box, but a specific street address is required for the business location.

Type of Business

Be specific in your description of the type of business. For example, if you are a consultant, list the field(s) of expertise. If you own a mail-order firm, please list the type of products sold.

Business Ownership

  • Sole Proprietor: A business owned by a single person.
  • Partnership: Two or more persons who are co-owners of the business.
  • Corporation: An independent legal and tax entity which remains intact even if its officers and directors change.
  • Non-Profit: Must be recognized by the IRS as an exempt entity and must provide supporting documentation.

This general information is provided to assist you in obtaining a business license from the City of Salinas. Should you have questions or require additional information, please contact the City's Department of Finance Revenue Division at 831-758-7211.

Important Reminders

  • Be sure to SIGN and DATE your application.
  • Licenses are not transferable. If you sell your business, it is your responsibility to notify this office so your license may be closed. The new owner must apply for a new license in his/her name.
  • Please notify this office in writing if you move and/or have a name change. If you need an amended license, please remit $5.00. If you need a duplicate license, please remit $10.00.
  • The application must be complete with Federal Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number. Retailers must supply their Seller’s Permit Number and contractors must supply their State Contractors License Number.

Locating Your Business

The City of Salinas has established various zoning regulations which control the location and operation of all commercial activities; therefore, businesses operating from a location inside Salinas may require a zoning review from the Planning Division, to ensure that the business activity and site location are compatible with the City’s municipal code and zoning requirements. We suggest checking with the Planning staff in the Permit & Inspection Services office before signing lease agreements or purchasing commercial property. For more information, contact the Planning staff in the Permit Center at 831-758-7206.

Businesses operating from a residential (home based) location in the City will need to complete a Home Occupations Permit Application.

Fictitious Names

If your business name is other than your surname, has more than one owner, and/or implies multiple ownership, you will need to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Monterey County Assessor, Clerk and Recorder's Office.

Seller’s Permit

A Seller’s Permit Number is required for all persons selling tangible property which is subject to State Sales and Use Tax. A Seller’s Permit may be obtained from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).

Health Permit

A County health permit is required for all persons providing food. A health permit may be obtained from the Monterey County Health Department.

State Identification Number

Businesses are required to obtain a State Identification Number to report employee taxes to the State, 1-800-338-0505.

Federal Employer Identification Number

A Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service 1-800-829-3676.