Business Licenses butterfly

BUSINESS LICENSE TAXBusiness license tax is due and payable to the City annually by July 31st without any penalties and is subject to incremental delinquency penalties (up to 50% of owed business taxes). 

BID ASSESSMENTBID assessment (i.e. 35 percent of annual business license tax) is normally due and payable to the City when the business license tax is paid. 

Doing BusinessWelcome and thank you for choosing Pacific Grove for your business. The City of Pacific Grove requires all businesses, trades, professions, callings, or occupations operating in the City to obtain a Business License and pay an annual business license tax. The process to obtain a Business License varies depending on the type of your business and whether your business is located inside or outside the City of Pacific Grove. Please read the information below carefully to determine application requirements for your business:

STEP 1: Obtain Zoning Clearance (required for businesses located inside the City)

Home-based and commercial businesses (with a Pacific Grove business address) are required to obtain Zoning Clearance from the Community Development Department. This step is not required for businesses which are headquartered outside the City but conduct business in the City of Pacific Grove. Please mail the application with a check made out to "City of Pacific Grove" to 300 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950. 


STEP 2: Gather Additional Necessary Documents

Depending on your business type and your specific situation, the following additional items may also be required to be submitted along with your business license application.

  • Employer Identification Number
  • Seller’s Permit (Resale #)
  • Fictitious Name (dba)
  • Health Permit
  • Liquor License
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • Storm Water Discharge Compliance
  • Disability Access Compliance

To learn more about these items, please check the "Additional Information" section below. 

STEP 3: Apply for a Business License

After you have obtained the Zoning Clearance and gathered all necessary documentation, you can then submit your business license application along with required documents either online (strongly encouraged), by email, or by mail to 8839 N. Cedar Ave #212, Fresno, CA 93720-1832.

STEP 4: Pay Your Business License Tax and Fees

After your application has been received and approved, you will receive a confirmation email with payment details. For most types of businesses, the applicable fees are as follows:

Administration Fee    $21
SB-1186 Fee  $4
Business Tax  $0.001 of the annual gross receipts (min $15 & max $3000)
BID Assessment Fee    35% of Business Tax (only applies to businesses in the Business Improvement District)

Once you have made the required payment, your Business License will be issued via email or mail depending on your preference.

Additional Information and ResourcesFictitious Business Name Statements or Doing Business As (DBA)
You must file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Monterey County Clerk's office if you choose a business name that does not include your own last name. Contact the County Clerk’s office at (831) 755-5041 or visit their website.

State Sales and Use Tax Permit
If you sell tangible personal property, retail or wholesale, you are required to obtain a Seller's Permit (Retail Sales Tax Number) from the State Board of Equalization (SBE) for the purpose of collecting and reporting sales tax to the State of California. This seller's permit is required before your business license will be released. To obtain a Sellers' Permit, contact the SBE at (831) 754-4500 or visit their website.

Federal Employer Identification Number
If your business is organized as a corporation or partnership, or if you engage or plan to engage employees, you will need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) for the purpose of withholding FICA taxes and Social Security taxes. A FEIN is required even if your business has no employees. To obtain a FEIN, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at (800) 829-1040 or visit their website

State Employer Identification Number
If your business is organized as a corporation or partnership in the State of California, or if you engage or plan to engage employees in the State of California, you will need a State Employer Identification Number (SEIN) for the purpose of withholding State Income Tax, Disability and Unemployment Insurance. To contact the State Employment Development Department - Division of Audits, call (888) 745-3886 or visit their website.

State Franchise Tax Board
If you intend to have employees within the State of California or to obtain a Form 540 to estimate State Withholding Tax for yourself, contact the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) at (800) 852-5711 or visit their website.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Licenses
If your business will be selling or serving alcoholic beverages, contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board  by phone at (831) 755-1990 or visits their website.

Health Permit
A Health Permit is required for food handling including cottage foods, permanent make-up, tattooing or body piercing. Contact the Monterey County Health Department at (831) 755-4500 or visit their website.

Liability and Workers' Compensation Insurance
To obtain information regarding Liability and Workers' Compensation Insurance requirements, contact your local insurance agenda or the California Department of Insurance(800) 927-4357 or visit their website.

Storm Water Discharge Compliance
Senate Bill 205 which went into effect on January 1, 2020 requires certain new and existing businesses to comply with the State Water Discharge regulations. Contact the State water Board at 1-(866)-563-3107 or visit their website.

Disability Access Compliance
Federal and state law which applies to California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. Please contact the City’s Building Official at (831) 648-3191 or any of the following agencies:

stay informed

white butterfly