City of San Carlos - Business Registrations

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Business Registration Information

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Welcome to San Carlos!

    We thank you for choosing San Carlos to operate your business.

    Before you start, you will need to obtain a license from the City’s Finance division.

    In Town business registrations are issued or renewed after:

                1.  Payment of an annual base fee

                2.  Payment of a per employee/unit fee

                3.  Payment of a zoning fee (if a new San Carlos business or a change of address within San Carlos)

               4.  Review and zoning approval from the Planning Department (for new businesses or change of address)

    Out of Town Business Registrations are issued after:

                1.  Submission of an out of town contractor application (or online application)

                2. Payment of a fixed fee

   Who needs a business registration?

      - Your business has a San Carlos address and you are conducting business in San Carlos
        (In Town Business)

      -  Your business doesn't have a San Carlos address, but you are conducting business in San Carlos
          (Out of Town Business - i.e., General contractor, landscaper, mobile food truck)

   What:

       -  The City of San Carlos calculates its business registration fees by category of business and number of  employees

       -  In Town Businesses require Planning Dept zoning approval prior to receiving a business registration 

       -  Out of Town Contractors applying for a city permit are required to obtain a business registration

       -  Specialized business types (massage, solicitors) require additional review, so processing can take 4-6 weeks

       -  Frequently Asked Questions

       -  (FAQs)

       -  PDF FAQ

  How:

      1  Find Your Category 

      2. Calculate Your Fees for up to 15 employees

      3. Apply online as an In Town Businesses  or

          Apply online as an Out of Town Businesses (Contractors, Mobile Food Vendors, etc.)

          (VISA & MasterCard accepted)

  Paper Applications:

       Download the In Town Application PDF 

       Download Out of Town Application PDF 

        Bring the completed form along with payment to the Finance Division at San Carlos City Hall
Renewals:  

   Renew Online (you will need your Account ID and Security Code, found on your Renewal Notice) 

    -- Out of Town Businesses don't typically receive Renewal Notices

    -- Please call or email if you need your Account ID and Security Code or would like to pay over the phone

Additional Resources:  

  Guide to Starting a Business in San Carlos 

  Business Registration Flow Chart 

  Starting a Business Checklist 

  Search Active Business Registrations

  Starting a Business in San Mateo County from the San Mateo County Assessor's Office website

  CA State Board of Equalization (Sellers' Permits)


  • If you have any questions about the fee schedule and amount due or you have more than 15 employees, please email or call the Finance Division at (650) 802-4213 for assistance
  • In addition to the annual fee for a business registration, all new, in-town businesses are subject to an $92 zoning review fee, which needs to be calculated with the base fee
  • If you have any question about the zoning for your type of business and location, please contact our Planning Division (650) 802-4263 *before* you submit your business registration application and fees
  • Change of business address within San Carlos is  subject to a $92 zoning fee. A change of mailing address does not require a fee. Any change of address needs to be submitted via the In Town Business Registration Application

Business Registration: 

   San Carlos Finance Department

   600 Elm Street, 2nd Floor

   San Carlos, CA 94070

Counter & Phone Hours: 

  9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday (closed 12 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. daily)

Contact:

  Business Registrations

  Phone (650) 802-4213     Fax (650) 595-6707 

  EmailBusinessReg@cityofsancarlos.org