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Business License InformationBusiness Licenses

  • Starting a Business
    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
    The Milpas Community Association is proposing an improvement district for Eastside businesses that would assess businesses for marketing and promotional services, events, security, graffiti removal, and government relations. The district would extend through the Milpas commercial corridor from Cabrillo Blvd. to the County Bowl and cover Eastside businesses to the western boundary of Salsipuedes St. The total EBID annual budget for the initial year of its five (5) year operation is anticipated to be approximately $164,340.
  • 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.

Planning a Special Event in the City of Santa Barbara

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. Contained on this webpage is all the information you’ll need to guide you through our special events permitting process including information, rules and regulations, deadlines and required paperwork that’s important in planning your event. We’ve also added links below to other City permit applications that are commonly required of special events.

Click here for the Special Event Planning Guide. The first part of this document contains information about the permitting process for renting a City park or beach and the second part is the application to complete.  Please review this document carefully since it is updated periodically and only complete the application if you are planning your event for a City park or beach. For first time events, contact the staff listed at the bottom of this page so we can tentatively hold the perfect park or beach location for your event before you complete the application. For returning events, complete the Special Events Application found in the Special Events Planning Guide and return it by email, mail or fax.

Links to City Permit Applications:

First time events: Please do not complete these forms until you’re instructed that they will be required for your event.  For returning events, click the links below to either get to the appropriate department's webpage or to download the application as a PDF.

Police Department

Special Events Permit Application

ABC Endorsement Application

SBPD Officer Request Form


One Day Vendor’s License Application

Public Works

Public Works Parking Restriction Waiver Permit Application

Community Development/Building & Safety

Temporary Power Permit Application

Building Permit Application

Fire Department

Tent Permit Application


Waterfront Parking Lot Facility Use Application

Community Development/Planning & Zoning

Temporary Coastal Exemption Permit Application

For further information:

Susan Jang Bardick, Special Events Supervisor

Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

(805) 897-1999

(805) 897-1945 Fax

We thank you for helping to make our community special with your event.

Our staff looks forward to working with you!

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2015