Vending in Santa Monica

Program Overview

The Santa Monica City Council unanimously adopted a vending ordinance and approved a comprehensive vending program that complies with state law, protects public safety and health, and gives opportunities for those who are looking to vend lawfully and safely. The City presented the ordinance at the April 9, 2019 Council meeting. The vending ordinance went into effect immediately.

The Santa Monica City Council adopted an emergency ordinance on August 24, 2021 that prohibits the use of unpermitted combustible fuels on and around the Santa Monica Pier, dumping of commercial trash in public receptacles, and disposing of liquid waste in public spaces and storm drains. Learn more from this press release.  

The Business License Unit is accepting sidewalk vendor and vehicle vendor applications. Both sidewalk and vehicle vendors that sell food must have a Los Angeles County public health permit before the City can issue a vending permit.

SIDEWALK VENDORS sell food or merchandise on a public sidewalk or pedestrian path

VEHICLE VENDORS sell on a public street, roadway, or highway from inside a vehicle

How to Apply

The information below provides a general overview of the agencies that you may need to contact before you begin your vending business in Santa Monica:

  1. Choose a business name. If you will be using a name other than your given name or the name of your LLC or corporation, you must file a Fictitious Business Name with the Los Angeles County Clerk.
  2. Food vendors only - Contact the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health to apply for your public health permit.
  3. Contact the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to apply for your seller’s permit.
  4. Once you complete the steps above, you may apply for a Santa Monica business license and vending permit.

When the Business License Unit deems the application is complete and payment is received, the application will be routed to the appropriate City departments for review. Once the appropriate approvals are received, a business license certificate and a vendor permit will be issued.

Watch the City of Santa Monica's informational How to Apply video to learn more: 

Para ver este video en español, haga clic aquí: 

Administrative Citations

Request an Ability-to-Pay Determination

Pursuant to Senate Bill No. 946 as codified at Government Code Section 51039(f), you have the right to request an ability-to-pay determination. Ability-to-pay requests must be filed with the City of Santa Monica Finance Division. A vendor who is issued an administrative fine may request an ability-to-pay determination at adjudication or while the judgement remains unpaid, including when a case is delinquent or has been referred to a comprehensive collection program. For more information, please visit Finance Billing & Collections webpage, call Finance at (310) 458-8281, or visit the Finance office at 1685 Main Street in Santa Monica.

Solicitud para una Determinación de Habilidad-para-Pagar por Citaciones Administrativas

De conformidad con el Proyecto de Ley del Senado No. 946, como se codifica en la Sección 51039(f) del Código de Gobierno, usted tiene derecho de solicitar una determinación de la capacidad de pago. Las solicitudes de capacidad de pago deben presentarse ante la División de Finanzas de la Ciudad de Santa Mónica. Un vendedor que recibe una multa administrativa puede solicitar una determinación de la capacidad de pago al momento de la adjudicación de la multa o mientras la multa aún no ha sido pagada, incluso cuando un caso es moroso o ha sido remitido a un programa integral de cobranza. Para más información, por favor visite la pagina web de Finance Billing & Collections, llame a la Oficina de Finanzas al (310) 458-8281, o visite la Oficina de Finanzas en 1685 Main Street en Santa Mónica.

Non-City Contacts

Filing Type Agency Name Website Phone Number
Fictitious Business Name Los Angeles County Clerk (800) 201-8999

Public Health Permit

(food vendors only)

County of Los Angeles

Department of Public Health

(888) 700-9995

California Seller's


California Department

of Tax & Fee Administration (310) 342-1000