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.

  • CITY HALL EAST PERMIT SERVICES CENTER REOPENING

Effective May 3, 2021.  The Permit Services Center is open by appointment only with limited hours and services.  Please click the link HERE to schedule an appointment.  We are located at 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401.  Enter the building at the south entrance accessible from Olympic Dr. Check-in measures are in place to ensure the safety of our customers and staff. Please be sure to comply with these measures when visiting the Permit Services Center by wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distancing from others.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the City's Coronavirus Information page

  • PERFORMER PERMIT SUSPENSION LIFTED AS OF MAY 1, 2021

Performers can perform on the Pier, Third Street Promenade, and Transit Mall. Performance permits issued for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 shall remain valid for the period May 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.

  • RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES

The City of Santa Monica is working diligently to facilitate the reopening of our business community. The City is committed to supporting an equitable and inclusive economic recovery. For information regarding resources for businesses impacted by COVID, visit www.SantaMonica.gov/EconomicRecovery.

  • 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