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Business Licenses

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June 30, 2020 Business License Renewal

Renewal notices for business licenses that expire on June 30 will be mailed out on July 6.  The deadline to renew will be extended to September 1, 2020 due to COVID-19.  Instructions for paying online will be on the renewal notice and posted here closer to the July 6 date.

New Business License

For a new business license, complete the application and email it to start the process (see application instructions below under the "PDF Application" heading).

Changing Business License Information

For changing your business license information, please email [email protected]

The Finance Department Revenue Division has been relocated to the Permit Center at 65 West Alisal, Salinas.

All Finance transactions, including business license applications and renewals, parking permits, garage sale permits, and impounded vehicle release fees can be processed at the new location.

Businesses (unless excluded under the Salinas Municipal Code - Chapter 19) operating within the City limits of Salinas are required to have a business license, including businesses that operate from the home. The business license tax is one of the primary sources of revenue for the City. Section 19 of the Salinas Municipal codes states in part: "...It shall be unlawful for any person to do business within the City of Salinas without first having procured a license…"

For questions concerning the City of Salinas Business License fee, please call the City's Finance Department at (831) 758-7211.

PDF Application

The business license application can be emailed to start the process or can be mailed to the Finance Department at P.O. Box 1996, Salinas, CA 93902 or filed in person at 65 W. Alisal, Salinas, CA, 93901. If you are applying by mail, please email [email protected] for the correct license fee to remit.

PDF icon business_license_application.pdf

Before an application can be submitted to [email protected], you MUST contact and submit your completed application to Planning:  [email protected] for zoning or Home Occupancy Permit (HOP) (for business conducted out of your residential home) approval/signoff.

Additionally, please submit a complete packet which includes the following:

  1. Email approval from the Planning Department
  2. Completed business license application and form of payment
  3. Completed authorization form below if paying with credit card (Visa and Mastercard only)

PDF icon cc_authorization_form.pdf

Business License Ordinance

The City’s Business License Ordinance is in Chapter 19 of the Salinas Municipal Code.

Locating Your Business

The City of Salinas has established various zoning regulations which control the location and operation of all commercial activities. We suggest to check 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.

Fictitious Names

The owners of a business who use a fictitious name (one other than his/her own name) for their business must clear the fictitious name through the Monterey County Clerk’s Office 168 West Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93901, (831) 755-5450.

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.

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 State Board of Equalization, 950 E. Blanco Road, Suite 202, Salinas, CA 93901, (831) 754-4500.

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 Finance Department at 65 W. Alisal Street, Salinas, California 93901 or by telephone 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.

Outside Agencies

The following agencies provide permits and/or assistance in obtaining a City of Salinas business license.  Note:  These agencies do not issue City of Salinas business licenses.