Business License

Roy Given, Department of Finance

Effective with the 1991-92 fiscal year the Marin County Board of Supervisors enacted a Business License Tax Ordinance, which requires any person or business that operates or engages in any business activity in the unincorporated area of the County to have a Business License.

Persons subject to the business license must complete and return the County of Marin Business License Application with a check made payable to the Marin County Tax Collector. Every fiscal year thereafter, a business license renewal must be completed and returned with payment. The County’s fiscal year is from July 1st to June 30th. Please reference the Business License Tax Schedule to determine the payment amount required. A separate application is required for persons engaged in more than one business.

Vacation Rental (short-term only, 30 days or less) must obtain Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate.

View Transient Occupancy Tax for more information.

The majority of businesses will fall into the General 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 during the month of June. The renewal license tax will be based on actual gross receipts for the calendar year 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 application for a Marin County license, businesses should exclude from their annual gross receipts any portion which has been paid towards a city business license.

Delivery businesses without a fixed place of business in Marin County, those who provide living accommodations and other licenses are subject to a flat rate license tax. Please refer to the Business License Tax Schedule.

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

The failure to receive an application or apply for a business license does not affect the validity of the license tax or penalty fee. It is the responsibility of the business and/or business owner 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.

Should you have any questions in completing the application or in determining payment required, please contact Business License at (415) 473-7045. Send your completed application and payment to:

Business License
County of Marin Civic Center – Room 217
P.O. Box 4220
San Rafael, CA 94913-4220