Business License Overview

Welcome to the City of Santa Monica. We are pleased that you are considering participation in the Santa Monica business community and wish you much success. The Business License program benefits the well-being of the overall community by funding essential services, such as:

Sidewalks ◊ Streets ◊ Parks ◊ Beach Maintenance ◊ Economic Development ◊ Police ◊ Fire

Santa Monica Municipal Code provides for the City to levy and collect business license taxes, business improvement district assessments, and fees for other regulatory permits. The Business License Unit is responsible for the administration of this program, which includes ensuring that businesses operating in the City are compliant with local, state, and federal regulations.


Business License Quick Links

Many of our services can quickly be completed online. Simply click on the appropriate Online Services links below.


Latest News

Stay up-to-date with the City of Santa Monica Business License Unit.

  • COVID-19 CLOSURE ADVISORY MESSAGE

To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Santa Monica has closed City facilities to the public until further notice. This includes the Business License office. While City offices are closed, Business License staff can still be reached during normal business hours by email and phone. It may take slightly longer to respond, and we appreciate your patience during this time. For more information about COVID-19, please visit the City's Coronavirus Information page

  • RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES

Many business owners have been affected as result of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or civil unrest. The City of Santa Monica along with other entities have enacted programs that may assist businesses during this time, including extensions on the payment of business license renewals. For information about applying for an extension and other resources for businesses, please visit our Resources for Businesses page.

  • WE'VE MOVED!

The Business License office has moved to the new City Hall East building located at 1685 Main Street. As noted above, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the Business License office remains closed until further notice.

  • UPDATE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND OPT-IN TO RECEIVE YOUR CERTIFICATE ELECTRONICALLY 

Did you know you can now opt-in to receive your business license certificate by email? It's easy! Simply log in to your online account, update your email address and select the option to receive your certificate via email instead of mail to avoid any printing and mailing delays. 


Step-by-Step Instructions

The links below provide detailed information and direct access to specific Business License processes.

HOW TO APPLY

for a new business license

HOW TO RENEW

an existing business license

HOW TO UPDATE/CLOSE

an existing business license

COMPLIANCE NOTIFICATION

how to respond

HOW TO PAY

an outstanding balance

PERFORMANCE PERMIT

application process

SEARCH

for a Santa Monica business

DOWNLOAD FORMS

and supplemental documents

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

and additional resources