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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
  • Starting a Business Checklist (PDF Icon - PDF An information sheet on the steps necessary to start a business in the City of San Carlos, as well as some outside jurisdictions.
  • Business Registration Application Form   (PDF Icon - PDF 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 ) 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 )
    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 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.