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Business Licenses

Business License Division
1400 5th Avenue, 3rd Floor
San Rafael, CA 94901
In-Person/Walk-In Services Available:
Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 4:00pm
Friday: 8:30am - 12:30pm

Business License Division

2024 Business License Renewals

Business license renewal notices will soon be distributed to all businesses with active licenses expiring December 31, 2023.  Each license renewal is due by February 15, 2024.  The City accepts cash, checks, money orders, and most major credit cards.  Licenses may be renewed online via credit card or eCheck at https://elicense.cityofsanrafael.org/renew/Renew1/BusinessLicense.

If you have closed or sold your business, please email the Business Tax Division at BLRenewal@cityofsanrafael.org.

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 BLRenewal@cityofsanrafael.org.

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 you have moved locations within the San Rafael city limits, please submit a new application. All address changes must be reviewed and approved by our Planning Department for zoning regulations.

Your initial business license tax certificate as well as any renewal notices will arrive as an email from BLRenewal@cityofsanrafael.org.

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 you are needing a copy of your business tax certificate, please call or email us and we can email an electronic copy to you.

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.

Business License Fees

Most business operations are classified as Retail/Wholesale/Service or Professional/Semiprofessional Services. In most cases the business tax you pay for each year is based on the gross receipt value you report for the year. Below are the fee charts for the two main classifications. Please note that depending on the type of business you have, you may be subject to a flat-rate business tax instead. To review all tax rates based on your business type please review our Municipal Code here: The City of San Rafael - Municipal Code - Chapter 10.04.105 License Taxes

Retail/Wholesale/Service:

Gross Receipt Value Tax Due
$1—25,000 $40
$25,001 - 50,000 $60
$50,001—100,000 $80
$100,001—200,000 $80 plus .70 cents/$1,000 over $100,000
$200,001—300,000 $150 plus .60 cents/$1,000 over $200,000
$300,001—500,000 $210 plus .50 cents/$1,000 over $300,000
$500,001—1,000,000 $310 plus .40 cents/$1,000 over $500,000
$1,000,001—2,000,000 $510 plus .30 cents/$1,000 over $1,000,000
$2,000,000 plus $810 plus .20 cents/$1,000 over $2,000,000

Professional/Semiprofessional Services:

Gross Receipt Value Tax Due
$1—50,000 $80
$50,001—100,000 $120
$100,001—200,000 $180
$200,001—300,000 $270
$300,001—400,000 $352
$400,001—500,000 $428
$500,001—750,000 $540
$750,001—1,000,000 $690
$1,000,001—1,250,000 $780
$1,250,001—1,500,000 $880
$1,500,001—1,750,000 $990
$1,750,001—2,000,000 $1,100
$2,000,000 plus $1,100 and .30 cents per each $1,000 over $2,000,000
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