City of San Carlos - Business Registrations


Business Registration Information

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

    Dawnee Hahn, Account Technician I
 (650) 802-4210 or (650) 802-4213
    Fax (650) 595-6707

Forms  & Information 

    Where do I start?
Business Registration Flow Chart

     Starting a Business in San Mateo County from the San Mateo County Assessor's Office website. 
Steps to obtain a Business Registration in the City of San Carlos

      For Businesses Located within San Carlos ("In Town" Businesses)


  • In Town Business Registration Application (PDF Icon - PDF If your business address is in San Carlos, please fill out the "in town" business registration application, calculate the fees due and remit the amount to the City of San Carlos.
  • To calculate the fees:         
             1) Determine the correct 
    category for your type of business
             2) Use the
    fee schedule to calculate your fees based on the number of employees you have

  • 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 $88 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 $88 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.

     For Businesses Located Outside of San Carlos ("Out of Town" Contractors)


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 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.