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Doing Business in San Carlos

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Business Registration Application Information


San Carlos Finance Department

600 Elm Street, 2nd Floor
San Carlos, CA 94070

Counter & Phone Hours:
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday - Friday (closed 12 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. daily)

Phone (650) 802-4213
Fax (650) 595-6725 
BusinessReg@cityofsancarlos.org

Forms  & Information
  • Business Registration Application Form   (PDF Icon - PDF 171K)  Please fill out this form, calculate the fees due and remit to the City of San Carlos. If you have any questions about the fee schedule and amount due, please email or call the Finance Division. In addition to the annual fee for a business registration, all new, in-town businesses are subject to an $87 zoning review fee, which needs to be calculated with the base fee. A change of address within San Carlos is also subject to the $87 zoning fee. See the fee schedule below.
  • Business Registration Application Form for Out of Town Businesses    (PDF Icon - PDF 22K) If you are an out of town contractor doing work in our city, and your business location is outside of San Carlos, please fill out this form.
  • Credit Card Authorization Form   (PDFIcon - PDF 104K)
    Submission of applications or payments through the City website is not currently available, but if you would like to send your payment or application electronically, please download and complete the necessary forms, then fax to (650) 595-6725 or email using the provided link above.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)   (PDF Icon - PDF 77 K)
  • Guide to Starting a Business in San Carlos  (PDF Icon - PDF 1414K)

Who needs a business registration?

You need a business registration in the city of San Carlos if:

ü You are conducting any kind of business for profit or for your livelihood within the city of San Carlos

ü You have a fictitious business name certificate

ü You have a State Board of Equalization resale permit

ü You have a listing in the Commercial Directory Yellow Pages, Business White Pages, the newspaper, local business guides, real estate multiple listing books or any other similar listings

ü You have a home based business


How do I get a business registration?

Follow the steps listed below to obtain a business registration:

ü You may obtain a business registration application at San Carlos City Hall or download a fillable PDF on the top of this page

ü Always check with our Planning Department to ensure that your business is permissible in the location you are considering; this includes home occupations

ü Fill out the application completely

ü Pay the required fee and return it along with your completed application to City Hall

Appropriate permits and/or approvals from Planning, Building, Police and any other departments of the City may need to be secured before your business may start. All applicable federal, state, county and city laws, ordinances or regulations must be followed before your business may start. 

 The application will be processed and you should receive your registration within 1-2 weeks. Business registration fees are non-refundable.

Paying for Your Business Registration or Renewal Fees

FEE SCHEDULE FOR BUSINESS REGISTRATIONS

Manufacturer/Wholesale Retail

$28 per employee + $90 base fee + $87 zoning fee + $1** state mandated fee

Services

$34 per employee + $90 base fee + $87 zoning fee + $1 state mandated fee

Professions

$43 per employee + $90 base fee + $87 zoning fee + $1 state mandated fee

Massage  

$43 per employee + $90 base fee + $349 zoning fee + $1 state mandated fee

Seasonal and Specialized

$755.00  For solicitors, an approved application for solicitor’s permit from the San Carlos Police Bureau and background check is required     

Amusement Devices

$228 for the first 2 machines, $342 for each additional

Billiard/Pool Room/Bowling Alley

$172 for the first lane or table, $43 for each additional

Apartment, 3 or more units

$28 each additional unit + $90 base fee. No charge for 1-2 units

Massage

$43 per employee + $90 base fee + $349 zoning fee + $1 state mandated fee

(new application required annually - additional documentation required)

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS FEES

Certificate of Occupancy

$140 for new buildings when tenant improvements require a building permit.   

Change of Ownership

Fee varies. Ownership is NOT TRANSFERABLE. New owner requires notification by previous owner in addition to a new business registration application and applicable fees.

Change of Address

$86 zoning fee and clearance per change of address. New business registration form must be submitted.


Business registration fees effective 10/1/2013, Zoning fees effective 7/1/2014 The  MINIMUM base fee is $172.00 and the MAXIMUM base fee is $2,197

If there is ONE OWNER/EMPLOYEE, the base fee will be $172 + 87 zoning  = $259.00

 If there is MORE THAN ONE OWNER/EMPLOYEE, the base fee will need to be calculated based on the type of business and # of employees using the grid above.

Payment: The City takes cash, check or credit card. Checks should be made out to "City of San Carlos"  and either dropped off or mailed to 600 Elm Street, Finance Dept., 2nd Floor, San Carlos, CA 94070

Credit Card Authorization Form (PDF Icon - PDF 104K)  If you would like to pay for your license or renewal via credit card, please download, complete and sign this form, along with your business registration and fax to (650) 595-6725 or email  BusinessReg@cityofsancarlos.org.

*Flow Chart

**NOTICE TO ALL BUSINESSES***

On September 19, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law SB1186, which adds a state fee of $1 on any application for a local business license or similar instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. On and after January 1, 2013, and until December 31, 2018, applicants must pay an additional $1 fee for a business license.
For more information, please click here


If you have reviewed the FAQ for Doing Business in San Carlos and Fee Schedule and have additional questions regarding the business registration process, please contact the San Carlos Finance Division:
 
Phone (650) 802-4213
Fax (650) 595-6725 
BusinessReg@cityofsancarlos.org

*new zoning fees effective July 1, 2014

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The City takes cash, check or credit card. Checks should be made out to   and either dropped off or mailed to 600 Elm Street, Finance Dept., 2nd Floor, San Carlos, CA 94070

The City takes cash, check or credit card. Checks should be made out to   and either dropped off or mailed to 600 Elm Street, Finance Dept., 2nd Floor, San Carlos, CA 94070

The City takes cash, check or credit card. Checks should be made out to   and either dropped off or mailed to 600 Elm Street, Finance Dept., 2nd Floor, San Carlos, CA 94070