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Additional Permit InformationBusiness Licenses

The following permits are issued in conjunction with the City of Santa Barbara's Municipal Codes. Please refer to those codes associated with the permit for further information. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Finance Department staff for assistance (805) 564-5346.

Effective immediately, the SB Police Dept. will be charging a $25 rolling fee for Live Scans. This charge will be paid at the time of the scan.

Tobacco License Permit

The City of Santa Barbara's Tobacco License is issued in conjunction with the establishments Business License. There is an Annual flat $30.00 (US) fee for this Tobacco License. For further information see Municipal Code 9.20, 9.21.

Dance License Permit

(See definition of each in SB Municipal Code Chapter 5.20.010 [H,I,J]).

Be sure to read through the application pages, incomplete or missing applications cannot be processed. Present all documents with payment to Santa Barbara Police Station located at 215 Figueroa St. Dance Permits must be paid by check only. The Police Technician's office is not equipped to accept credit cards.

The time it takes to complete a dance permit application is variable and dependent upon many factors, including the time frame for outside agencies to forward pertinent information to the Santa Barbara Police Department. In general, applicants should expect the entire process to take a minimum of 90 days. Livescan (fingerprinting) is required of all applicants. Expect the Livescan appointment to be scheduled for approximately two weeks from the date the application is submitted. Livescan appointments will not be scheduled until the complete application has been submitted along with full payment.

Dance permits are valid for a maximum of one year from the date of issuance. Dance permits may not be transferred.

Solicitor / Peddler Permit

Each Solicitor/ Peddler Must Have Their Own ID Permit

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.

Do not begin soliciting door-to-door without completing the permit process. As a business selling door-to-door in our city, it is important to understand and adhere to certain regulations as set forth in the City's Municipal Code. These rules were developed to protect our citizens and help to ensure they are treated professionally and with respect.


Restrictions listed in the Municipal Code and on the Permit:

  • The Permit is not valid in or on any City Street, sidewalk, beach or park. One may not sell on any City street or sidewalk by pulling a vehicle to the curb and conducting business, or in any park or beach area or parking lot. SBMC 5.32.035 (A) (1), 9.48.010, 15.16.010.
  • One may not peddle or solicit within the City at any time from sunset to 9:00 AM, except by prior appointment. SBMC 5.32.035(A) (3).
  • One may not peddle or solicit at any place within any commercial or industrial district in the City. SBMX 5.32.035(A) (4).

Background Checks

Background checks are required. Once the application packet and the $52.00 process fee are received in the Business License Tax Office, you will be required to visit the Santa Barbara Police to provide fingerprints for a statewide records check. Call (805) 897-2300 to set up your Live Scan appointment.

Once the application has been approve by the Police Department, the Finance Department will contact the applicant to pick up their permit card.

The approval process takes 6-8 weeks from the time of fingerprinting. Several weeks are required by the State Department of Justice to conduct their review of the submitted information and provide direction to the local law enforcement agency.

Solicitor Conduct

For the most part, door-to-door solicitors are legitimate business people that understand the difficulty of selling door-to-door.

We encourage our residents to ask for the city business license and police approved permit-photo identification. Please have them readily available when soliciting.

We also encourage our citizens to call the police if they are made to feel uncomfortable or the solicitor cannot show that they have complied with Santa Barbara's laws regarding solicitors. A Police Officer will respond promptly to complaints and ensure solicitors are adhering to City's regulations.

Miscellaneous Permits

Most of the following permits will have to be processed over the counter. Please come to the Cashier's office, located at 735 Anacapa St. in the City Hall Building, for further information and documentations. Or contact us directly at (805) 564-5346.

  • Permit Tables on Sidewalk Application (PDF 74KB)
  • Recreation Department Independent Contractor Application (PDF 65KB)
  • Handbills 5.24, 5.04.610, 22.70.030 see also (California penal code s556, 556.1) Provide a copy of the handbill, it should include the name, address and phone of the distributor. In addition the person, firm or organization causing the handbill to be distributed should be clearly acknowledged. There is a $5.00 fee for each 10,000 handbills within a 30 day period. Come to 735 Anacapa St. with a copy of the handbill & payment for permit. Contact the Business License & Permits Office with any questions or concerns (805) 564-5346
  • Secondhand Dealer License issued in conjunction with the State Dept. Come to City Hall Cashier counter for assistance. Documentation need:
    1. $25 processing fee to City of Santa Barbara along with Secondhand Dealer application forms.
    2. If you have already been issue a Dept. of Justice Secondhand Dealer license, please include copies of these with your application.
    3. All names listed on the JUS 125 form will pay $32 for background investigation. *if any persons listed on the JUS 125 already have a fingerprint card on file with the California DOJ, please note this next to their name.
    4. A separate check $300 made out to Dept. of Justice for their application processing. Any incomplete forms, misinformation or lack of documentation will delay your application processing. Once application is submitted to Santa Barbara Police Dept. allow 6weeks for processing.
  • Firearm License issued in conjunction with the State Dept.
  • Tow Permit will require a list of vehicles, insurance coverage and driver identifications.
  • Coin Operator/ Vending permit application will require a background check and a list of machine locations.
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018
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