Our City Services

Business Licenses

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SEPTEMBER 7 -17, 2021

Due to construction, the Finance Department Revenue Division Permit Center office will be closed from September 7-17, 2021.  All services will be provided at the Finance Department in City Hall, located at 200 Lincoln Avenue, on those dates.

All City offices will be closed Monday September 6, 2021 in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.

Revenue Division Services are expected to resume at the Permit Center Monday, September 20, 2021.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Finance Department Revenue Division is located at the Permit Center at 65 West Alisal, in Salinas.  Additionally, all business license and other revenue division activity (parking permits and garage sale permits) can be performed by mail or electronically through email or online as described below.

June 30, 2021 Business License Renewal

Renewal notices for business licenses that expire on June 30, 2021 were mailed out on June 25, 2021.  The deadline to renew is July 31, 2021.  Instructions for paying online will be on the renewal notice.  If you need a copy of the renewal notice, please email [email protected] with your request and include your business name and business license number.

Changing Business License Information

For changing your business license information, please email [email protected]

New Business License Application

  1. Please fill out the business license application, send it to [email protected] for business address approval. If it’s a home address, ask them for a HOP form.
  2. Once the address is approved, please forward that approval to [email protected] along with your completed business license application and credit card authorization form.
  3. We will then review, process, and mail out the license to you in the mail.



For questions please email [email protected] or call the City's Finance Department at (831) 758-7211.

Business License Ordinance

The City’s Business License Ordinance is in Chapter 19 of the Salinas Municipal Code.

Businesses (unless excluded under the Salinas Municipal Code - Chapter 19) operating within the City limits of Salinas are required to have a business license, including businesses that operate from the home. The business license tax is one of the primary sources of revenue for the City. Section 19 of the Salinas Municipal codes states in part: "...It shall be unlawful for any person to do business within the City of Salinas without first having procured a license…"

Locating Your Business

The City of Salinas has established various zoning regulations which control the location and operation of all commercial activities. We suggest to check with the Planning staff in the Permit & Inspection Services office before signing lease agreements or purchasing commercial property. For more information, contact the Planning staff in the Permit Center at (831) 758-7206.

Fictitious Names

The owners of a business who use a fictitious name (one other than his/her own name) for their business must clear the fictitious name through the Monterey County Clerk’s Office 168 West Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93901, (831) 755-5450.

State Identification Number

Businesses are required to obtain a State Identification Number to report employee taxes to the State, 1-800-338-0505.

Federal Employer Identification Number

A Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service 1-800-829-3676.

Seller’s Permit

A Seller’s Permit Number is required for all persons selling tangible property which is subject to State Sales and Use Tax. A Seller’s Permit may be obtained from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA).

Filing Your Business License Application

A standard application form is used for all businesses. Please complete only applicable information. All applications must include either the FEIN or Social Security Number as your tax identification number. Contractors must also include their State Contractors License Number. Applications for all businesses involving food must be accompanied by a valid health permit. Retail businesses will need to provide a seller’s permit number. Home based businesses located within the City limits will also need a home occupation permit, which is issued by the Planning Department. You may request to have your business license mailed to a post office box, but a specific street address is required for the business location.

Type of Business

Be specific in your description of the type of business. For example, if you are a consultant, list the field(s) of expertise. If you own a mail-order firm, please list the type of products sold.

Business Ownership

  • Sole Proprietor: A business owned by a single person.
  • Partnership: Two or more persons who are co-owners of the business.
  • Corporation: An independent legal and tax entity which remains intact even if its officers and directors change.
  • Non-Profit: Must be recognized by the IRS as an exempt entity and must provide supporting documentation.

This general information is provided to assist you in obtaining a business license from the City of Salinas. Should you have questions or require additional information, please contact the City’s Finance Department at (831) 758-7211.

Important Reminders

  • Be sure to SIGN and DATE your application.
  • Licenses are not transferable. If you sell your business, it is your responsibility to notify this office so your license may be closed. The new owner must apply for a new license in his/her name.
  • Please notify this office in writing if you move and/or have a name change. If you need an amended license, please remit $5.00. If you need a duplicate license, please remit $10.00.
  • The application must be complete with Federal Employer Identification Number or Social Security Number. Retailers must supply their Seller’s Permit Number and contractors must supply their State Contractors License Number.

Outside Agencies

The following agencies provide permits and/or assistance in obtaining a City of Salinas business license.  Note:  These agencies do not issue City of Salinas business licenses.