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There are several legal entities associated with my licensed business. These entities do not derive any revenue, nor do they have employees. They are simply passive entities that exist for an accounting purpose. Do these really require a business license?

In short, yes. City of Santa Barbara business tax is not contingent upon revenue, nor does the presence of employees influence the requirement. In fact, the city law does not distinguish between "active" and "passive" entities in the application of business tax; if the legal entity is registered active with other agencies and it is required to complete a return to the IRS and Franchise Tax Board, then it is also required to have a City of Santa Barbara business license tax certificate.