Skip Navigation
Department Photo City of San Luis Obispo
Finance Department

SearchContact UsCity Home
City Business License & Tax Information

The purpose of this Web site is to provide you with information regarding the City of San Luis Obispo's Business License & Tax Ordinance. While the intent of this brochure is to explain the ordinance code in a concise, user-friendly fashion, the ordinance itself is the governing document.


What information do I need to bring with me?

  • Social Security Number (or taxpayer identification number) for all principals of the business
  • The name and location of the business
  • The name, address and phone number of the business owner(s)
  • The name, address and phone number of the corporate office
  • Franchise number, Re-sale number and/or State License number (if applicable)

Is my Business Tax information confidential?

Yes it is; however, certain information is available to the public. Your business name, location, phone number and the type of business are provided to the public, if requested. The gross receipts and taxes paid are confidential.

How should the Business License & Tax Certificate be obtained?

The City of San Luis Obispo Community Development Department does need to approve most businesses (see exceptions below), so please follow these steps:

  • Pick up a Business License &Tax Certificate Application from the City’s Community Development Department at 919 Palm Street.

         Open Hours 8 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm

  • Complete the form and return it to Community Development with your payment.

  • After payment is received, Community Development will forward the form to the Finance and Information Technology Department for processing.

  • The Finance and Information Technology Department will mail a Business License & Tax Certificate within 14 days.

Exception: The City of San Luis Obispo Community Development Department does not need to approve businesses located outside the City limits, rental property licenses or businesses that are not required to obtain any other City permits. If this applies to your business, please follow these steps:

  • Pick up a Business License & Tax Application form the Finance and Information Technology Department in the lower level of City Hall at 990 Palm Street.

  • Complete the form and return it to the Finance and Information Technology Department with your payment.

  • After payment is received, Finance will process your application and mail you a Business Tax Certificate within 14 days.

How much is the tax?

The tax for a new applicant is $25.00; thereafter, the renewal rate is $.50 per $1,000 of gross receipts with a minimum of $25.00. The tax rate is measured by gross receipts from the preceding completed calendar or fiscal year. 

How much is the license?

The business license fee is set as follows:

Locations within the City of San Luis Obispo          $140.00

*Except rental property and independent contractors

Locations outside of the City of San Luis Obispo     $ 46.00

Rental Property and Independent Contractors         $ 46.00

Locations requiring Home Occupation Permits         $137.00

State CASp Fee                                                   $1.00

 

How much is the downtown assessment?

 

        The downtown assessment for a new applicant is $150.00.

        The renewal rate is $.55 per $1,000 of gross receipts with a minimum

        of $150.00. The rate is measured by gross receipts from the

        preceding completed calendar or fiscal year.

 

How much is the total application fee?

 

Total cost for locations within the City                 $166.00

*Except rental property and independent contractors

Total cost for location within the Downtown          $316.00

Rental Property and Independent Contractors        $222.00

(downtown)

Total cost for locations outside the City               $  72.00

Rental Property and Independent Contractors        $  72.00

(not downtown)

Total cost for locations with Home Occupation       $163.00

Change of location within the City - Renewal          $92.00

Change of location only (within the City)               $ 94.00

Certificate replacement/duplication                       $ 42.00

Is my Business License & Tax Certificate transferable?

Yes, it is. However, please contact the Community Development Department prior to changing ownership, name and/or location.

About the Department | Programs and Services | What’s New | FAQs
Utility Billing | Business License & Tax | Financial Reports
City Budget | Policies | Bids & Proposals | G I S | Department Home


About the City | Visiting SLO | City Government | Employment
Bids & Proposals | FAQs | Press Room | How are we doing?

©2014 City of San Luis Obispo