Line by line instructions for Business License Renewals
This guide has been provided to assist you in completing your Santa Monica Business License Renewal. To complete your form, gather your renewal notice, any supplemental forms included with your renewal notice, and your gross receipts information from the preceding calendar year (January 1 through December 31). If this is your first time renewing, refer to the back of your renewal notice to determine your reporting period.
If you did not receive your renewal notice by July 10, please contact the Business License Office.
Instructions - Page 2
Section - Gross Receipts Calculation
Start with the back of your renewal notice to determine your gross receipts.
- Enter your worldwide gross receipts. (as defined in SMMC § 6.04.010)
- Enter the gross receipts that are attributable to business activities conducted outside of Santa Monica.
- Subtract line 2 from line 1 and enter the total on line 3.
Review the items listed on lines 4 through 11. If included in line 3, enter the amount on the applicable line.
- Add lines 4 through 11 and enter the amount.
- Subtract line 12 from line 3 and enter the amount. This is your Santa Monica Gross Receipts. Copy this amount to line 2 on the front of your renewal notice.
Section - Business Improvement District (BID) Assessment Calculation
Follow the instructions, if any, that are printed on your renewal notice. For more information on BIDs visit Business Improvement District Information.
Instructions - Page 1
Section - Business Information
Review the information printed at the top of your renewal notice. If any of it is incorrect, notify the Business License office of any changes.
Please note, if your business has changed location or business activity, you may be subject to additional fees. See Change or Update Information for further details.
Section - Gross Receipts
The shaded fields on the right side of the renewal notice are for City Staff use. When entering your amounts, please use the white spaces provided.
- Using the amount entered on Line 13 on the worksheet on the back of your notice, enter your Santa Monica gross receipts in Line 2.
- If this line is marked N/A, continue to line 2a Enter an X in the box to claim the Small Business Exemption. To learn if you qualify, see the Deductions section of the FAQs.
- If this line is marked N/A, continue to line 3. Enter the number of employees working 4 or more hours per week at this business location.
- If line 2 is greater than $60,000, subtract $60,000 from line 2 enter the total on line 3. If line 2 is less than $60,000, enter $0 and skip to line 5.
- If line 3 is NOT $0, round the amount UP to the nearest thousand and enter the amount on line 4. This number will be the amount subject to the tax rate appropriate for your business (calculated in line 6).
Section - License Tax and Business Improvement District (BID) Assessments Calculations
- Enter $75 in Line 5. The minimum business license tax in the amount of $75 is due the first $60,000 in gross receipts (exluding businesses that qualify for the Small Business Exemption or are tax-exempt - see the Deductions section of the FAQs for more information). Gross receipts in excess of $60,000 are taxed at the rate appropriate to your business.
- Multiply line 4 by the rate provided on your renewal notice and enter the amount in Line 6.
- If line 7 is marked N/A, continue to line 8. If this is your first time renewing your Santa Monica business license, re-enter the amount from line 6 in line 7.
- Add lines 5 through 7 and enter the total in Line 8.
- If line 9 is marked N/A, continue to line 10. If your business is located in a Business Improvement District copy the amount from the back of your renewal notice to Line 9.
Section - Penalty Calculation
See the Renewal Penalty Schedule to determine the penalty assessment percentage.
- If you are submitting your renewal after August 31st, you are subject to penalty fees on your unpaid tax. Multiply line 8 by the percentage and enter the total in line 10.
- The same penalty calculation applies to the applicable unpaid assessment. Multiply line 9 by the percentage and enter the total in line 11.
Section - Additional Fees
If lines 12 through 14 are marked N/A, you are not subject to those fees. If you are subject to any regulatory permit fees, they will be pre-printed.
- Line 15 will be pre-printed with any outstanding balance or credit on your account. A credit will appear in parenthesis and should be deducted from the total due. If there is not credit or balance due, the amount will be pre-printed as "0.00".
- This is a state mandated fee of $1.00 that all businesses must pay. For more information, see the General Questions section of the FAQs.
- Add lines 8 through 16 and enter the total in line 17. This is the total amount owed for your renewal.
Section - Signature
Review all of the information you entered on your renewal notice and make any necessary revisions. Once everything is complete, sign the renewal, print your title and enter the date. Return your renewal to the Business License unit in the envelope provided along with your payment and any supplemental documents.