Business License

Roy Given, Department of Finance

Business License - Online Service

County of Marin Business License Tax Ordinance requires that every person engaging in business within the unincorporated area of the County must register for a business license and renew their business license each fiscal year. The Business License Tax Ordinance was enacted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors in the fiscal year of 1991-1992.

Business License
County of Marin Civic Center – Room 217
P.O. Box 4220
San Rafael, CA 94913-4220
(415) 473-7045
email: Business License

 

Business License Registration

Apply for a business license:

Online: Business License - Web Portal Services

A separate application is required for persons engaged in more than one business.

Specific information provided to obtain a business license is confidential.  However, the general information as to who is licensed is not prohibited from disclosure.

Business license obtained from the County is only valid for the unincorporated Marin County Tax areas.  If you conduct business within a city, you will need to contact each individual city to obtain a business license for that jurisdiction.


Jurisdiction Lookup

Business license obtained from the County is only valid for the unincorporated Marin County Tax areas.  If you conduct business within a city, you will need to contact each individual city to obtain a business license for that jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction Look up

City/Town:


Business License Annual Renewal

Renew Online:  Business License - Web Portal Services

  • A business license must be renewed with payment every fiscal year.  The County's fiscal year is July 1st to June 30th.
  • The business license renewal tax will be based on actual gross receipts for the calendar year (January 1st - December 31st) preceding the license period of July 1st to June 30th.
  • Businesses located in a city and who are currently licensed may also need a Marin County Business License for any sales or services performed in the unincorporated area of the County.  Upon renewal for a Marin County license, businesses should exclude from their annual gross receipts, any portion which has been paid towards a city business license.

To renew online you will need the Business License number and web pin number.  You may email: businesslicense@marincounty.org to obtain your web pin number.

Business License Tax Schedule

Please reference the Business License Tax Schedule to determine the payment amount required.

State CASP Fee

CA State Mandated Fee is required with all business license application and renewals; the fee is $4.00.

On September 18, 2012, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1186 ,which adds a state fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license, similar instrument or permit, or renewal.

On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1379, which changed the State CASP Fee starting January 1, 2018, which increases the fee to $4.00.

The purpose of this fee is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop education resources for business in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws.

You can obtain a copy of SB-1186 and AB-1379 from the California Legislative Information Website.

For additional information:

 

 

Business Category

General businesses are classified as A, B, C, or D categories.  For each class, the Business License Tax is based on annual gross receipts.  To determine your business license tax, estimate your gross receipts for the calendar year ending on December 31st.  After the initial license is issued, annual renewal notices will be mailed or emailed during the month of June.

Other category:  Flat Fees

  • Delivery businesses without a fixed place of business in Marin County are subject to a flat rate license tax.
  • Auctioneers without a fixed place of business in Marin County: $500/year or $50/per day
  • Christmas Tree Lots:  $45/per year
  • Taxicab:  $60.00 per vehicle/per year
  • Living Accommodations:  Long-term and short-term rentals are $15.00 per dwelling unit.  See Living Accommodations (Class L) for additional information.
  • Commercial Filming Permit:  Contact Community Development Agency, (415) 473-7875, for Civic Center and other county buildings.  Contact Department of Public Works, (415) 473-2932, for county roads and other areas.

 

Living Accommodations (Class L)

Short-Term Rental Accommodations/Vacation Rentals (for 30 days or less).  For hotel, motel, apartment, rooming house, house rental, vacation rentals, the annual fee is $15.00 per dwelling unit.

Short-term rentals must obtain:

  1. A Business License and
  2. *Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate
  3. **Public Notification to notify neighbors within 300 feet of property line

*Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate Registration: Online

View Transient Occupancy Tax for more information.

**Requirement before applying for a Business License:  The public must be notified that a short-term rental is offered on a property either through placement of exterior signage or issuance of written notice to surrounding properties.  Additional resources are available at Short-Term Rentals.

Long-Term Rental Accommodations:   For long-term rentals of a house, apartment, room, etc., the annual business license fee is $15.00 per dwelling unit.

On December 18, 2018, the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance that establishes a Just Cause for eviction policy in the unincorporated areas of Marin.  The policy applies to properties with three or more units and requires that tenants be given a reason for a lease termination.  The ordinance went into effect on January 17, 2019, and requires a rental registry to be completed on a annual basis, due by June 1, 2019 and thereafter each year, by January.  For additional information, please visit www.marincounty.org/justcause.

 

 

Late Payment Fee

Annual Business License Tax is due and payable in advance of July 31st and is considered delinquent on August 1st.

  • Late payments are subject to 10% penalty per month, not exceed 50% of the tax.
  • Flat rate licenses are payable in advance of the business activity.  Any flat rate license tax which has not been paid will be assessed a penalty of 25% in addition to the amount due.

Late penalties are assessed by postmarked date as follows:

  • Aug 1st - Aug 31st     Add 10%
  • Sept 1st - Sept 30th   Add 20%
  • Oct 1st - Oct 31st      Add 30%
  • Nov 1st - Nov 30th    Add 40%
  • Dec 1st and later       Add 50%

 

Close Business License

If you are no longer in business, you will need to close you Business License using the online portal: Business License - Web Portal Services

Business Owner's Responsibility

Business owners are to obtain a business license when conducting or operating a business in the unincorporated areas of the County to be in compliance with the Marin County Ordinance 3042.  Business owners must keep accurate books and records and renew timely their business license by July 31st each year.

Business owners must notify the Business License Department when:

  • There is a change in ownership
  • There is a change in owners contact information, business or mailing address, phone number, etc
  • Business is not longer operating and or is sold
  • Business has moved and is no longer part of the unincorporated area of the County

Resources

County of Marin Resources

 

Additional Resources