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Business Licenses

1400 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor
San Rafael, CA 94901
In-Person/Walk-In Services Available:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30am-4pm
Friday: 8:30-12:30

Business License Division

2023 Business License Renewals

Business license renewal notices will soon be distributed to all businesses with active licenses expiring December 31, 2022.  Each license renewal is due by February 15, 2023.  The City accepts cash, checks, money orders, and most major credit cards.  Licenses may be renewed online via credit card or eCheck at

If you have closed or sold your business, please email the Business Tax Division at

If you have recently moved your business to a new location within City limits, please fill out a new business license application for review by City planning and fire prevention officials.  Applications are available online.

If you have not received your renewal notice, or if you have further questions about business licenses, please contact the Business Tax Division at (415) 485-3051 or

Applying For a License

Most businesses operating in San Rafael must register for a business license (business tax certificate) and pay a tax and/or some service-related fees.  There are 4 broad categories of business license applications for initial registrations or changes of ownership or location:

Managing Your Account

Once your business is in our system, you can use the website to renew your license, update basic account information, pay a balance due, or close your account online.  You can also perform these actions via email, fax, U.S. mail, or in person.

If your contact preference is email, your business license tax certificate as well as any renewal notices will arrive as a PDF attachment to an email from  Otherwise, your certificate and renewal notices will arrive via U.S. mail.

Certificates and Directory

Our business license tax certificates are evergreen.  That means they do not display an expiration date so they can be reused as long as the basic information on the certificate is current.  You will not receive a new certificate every time you renew. 

If necessary, the expiration date can be found using the Business DirectoryIf a third party such as a mortgage company asks about your business license, the directory is a great place to refer them.

Note:  Inclusion in the business directory only indicates that a business is registered with the City and has paid or is in the process of paying any required business tax or related fees.  It does not mean that a business is in compliance with any other legal requirements, including zoning and fire codes.

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