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. This program benefits the well-being of the overall community by funding essential services, such as:

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

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. The 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. This website provides information on the Business License Program, processes and business owners’ responsibilities.


Business License Quick Links

ONLINE SERVICES

Many of our services can quickly be completed online. Simply click on the "Online Services" link


Latest News

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

The City of Santa Monica is currently establishing a selection process and regulations regarding the licensing of commercial cannabis businesses.  The City will not be issuing licenses for recreational cannabis businesses until a selection and permitting process is established, which the City anticipates being completed in late 2017. Please note: It is illegal to operate any business, including any cannabis related business, in the City of Santa Monica without having the proper licenses and permits. For more information, see the Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing page.

On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1379 into law, which increases the State CASp fee from $1 to $4 starting January 1, 2018. For more information, please visit the Business License Frequently Asked Questions page.


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