IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Beginning June 15, 2021, the public counter in the Business Office at City Hall (735 Anacapa Street) will be open to the public Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (closing promptly at 2:00 p.m.). Please enter City Hall through the De la Guerra Plaza entrance, as the Anacapa Street entrance will temporarily remain closed.
Other Customer Service Options
- We are not setup to take phone payments nor have the means to accept payments online.
- Put payment in deposit box located outside on the De La Guerra Plaza side of City Hall. (NO CASH)
- Pay by mail. Make checks payable to: City of Santa Barbara
Mailing Address for Business License, BID and PBIA
City of Santa Barbara Business Licensing
PO Box 1990
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
Those that typically pay in cash, we encourage you to obtain a money order or cashier’s check to remit with the business license form. This direction also applies to the annual Business Improvement District (BID) invoices and the quarterly Parking Business Improvement Area (PBIA) assessment invoice billings.
- Determining Your Business Structure
Starting a business is a difficult decision at best. While there is no single source that outlines all required procedures, this page has been developed to assist you in starting your business.
- Business Licenses
To conduct business in Santa Barbara, you must obtain a business license and pay an annual business tax. A City business license is required prior to conducting any business activity in the City.
- Business Improvement Districts
Business improvement districts have been established for businesses in the downtown area and lodging establishments. If your business is part of an improvement district, an assessment fee is paid for specific services and benefits for your business. Benefits may include marketing and promotional services or public parking for customers.
- Commercial Cannabis Businesses
On January 23, 2018, The City Council established the procedures to govern the application process for the types of cannabis businesses. To apply for a Commercial Cannabis Business license, review the information on this page and submit an application through Planet Bids.
- Special Event Permits
Do you want to organize a new event for our community but don’t know where to start? Or is your event already established and you want to complete paperwork for this year’s event? You’ve come to the right spot.
- Taxicab Permit Requirement
License and permit requirements for taxicab companies and independent drivers offering taxicab or pedicab services in the City of Santa Barbara.
- Solicitor's & Peddler's Permit Requirements
All persons conducting door-to-door solicitation in the City of Santa Barbara, whether you are located inside or outside the City, are required to obtain a City of Santa Barbara Business License Tax Certificate and apply for a Solicitor/ Peddler permit.
- Massage Permits
License and permit requirements for technicians and establishments.
- Additional Permit Information
Information on permits required on certain business activities in conjunction with a current business license.
- Transient Occupancy Tax
Information for Hotel, Bed & Breakfast and Short-Term Vacation Rental Operators that collect, report and pay Transient Occupancy Tax on behalf of the City of Santa Barbara.
- Utility Users Tax Information
Information for Utility Providers that collect, report, and pay Utility Users Tax on behalf of the City of Santa Barbara.