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Business License Division

Business licenses are required of all businesses operating in the City of Pacifica. "Business" as defined in the Business License: Defined in City of Pacifica Municipal Code includes professions, trades and occupations of all and every kind of calling.

Self-billing application forms are used to convey the information required to issue a license and to determine the amount due. Classifications have been determined through recognized studies of business statements. The percentage of net profit on net sales as reported by national average determines the placement by classification.

Realtors are not classified but are on a flat rate fee. A fee of $100.00 per year is required to license a real estate office and the employing broker. An additional $25.00 per salesman is required to license all other real estate salesmen and brokers affiliated with sales in Pacifica.

Renewal applications and fees (the result of a formula calculation based on gross receipts / flat rates) are due and payable in advance on November 1st each year. Business license fees are considered delinquent on November 30th and a 10% penalty shall be added on November 30th and on the last day of each month that the delinquency continues. Penalties shall not exceed 100% of the original license fee. Finance department personnel will be pleased to help applicants for business licenses. Please call 650-738-7392 or inquire in person at 170 Santa Maria Avenue in Pacifica.

Effective January 1, 2018 the City of Pacifica is required to collect a $4.00 fee on behalf of the State of California's Division of the State Architect in accordance with State Senate Bill SB1186 Disablity Access (amended in 2017 by State Assembly Bill AB1379).  This fee applies to all new business license applications and renewals.

Business License Applications are also available online:
Business License Application (all categories)
Workers Compensation Declaration (required for all businesses)

Home Occupation
When your business office is in your home, an application for a home occupation permit plus a business license is required. A $189.00 one-time fee is charged for the home occupation permit. If you do not own your home, you must obtain written permission from your landlord or owner of the property to operate a business on the premises. Bring your written permission with you, as we must keep a copy of it on file. If you have any questions regarding the home occupation permit, the planning department can assist you (650-738-7341).

Home Occupation Permit forms are also available online:
Home Occupation Permit Form

Licensing Procedures for Business Licenses
It is unlawful for any person to carry on a business, trade or occupation in the City of Pacifica without first obtaining a business license. Each applicant must:

  • Check with the planning department to determine if the location complies with zoning requirements and the signage complies with the sign ordinance.
  • Complete the license application form.
  • Pay requisite license fee based on estimated gross receipts *(MINIMUM $40.00)
  • Pay $110 inspection fee if a garage is used for a home occupation. Application is routed for inspections through police, fire, health and planning departments for compliance with zoning, safety, health, fire and traffic hazards.

If the applicant has more than one business location in the city, separate applications must be filed for each location. Similarly, if more than one business operates at one location, each business must have a separate business license. On presentation of application and fees, a receipt is issued to the applicant - this is not a license. After any required inspections have been made and upon receipt of a satisfactory compliance report from all departments, a business license is then issued and mailed to the applicant or money is refunded.

Fictitious Names
Applicants are advised to file the Fictitious Name Statement, if applicable, with:

County Clerk's Office - Special Services
401 Marshall Street, 6th Floor
Redwood City, CA 94063-1636

Sales or Use Tax
Sales or Use Tax may apply to your business activities. You may seek advice regarding the application of Tax to your particular business by writing or calling the nearest State Board of Equalization office:

State Board of Equalization
121 Spear Street, Suite 460
San Francisco, CA 94105

In June, 2012 the State Board of Equalization (BOE) announced eReg, an electronic process to help businesses get their necessary permits with the State Board of Equalization and start operating faster.  Please remember that you must still register with the City of Pacifica if you are conducting business within Pacifica.

*Minimum Fee for Contractors/Subcontractors is $50.00
*Minimum Fee for Professionals and Developers is $100.00

Disability Access for Businesses
California Senate Bill 1186 (SB1186) (amended by AB1379 in 2017) requires California businesses to be accessible to the disabled public.  Starting in January 2018, the City of Pacifica will be required to collect $4.00 for every new business application and annual renewal on behalf of the State.  This funding will be used to govern the compliance to this law.  The notice for SB1186 can be found here.

Mailing Labels & Mailing Lists
Business license mailing labels and mailing lists are available from the City of Pacifica Finance Department. A form requesting the specific information must be submitted along with $96.00, which must be paid in advance. There is a slight additional charge for mailing labels. Information can also be obtained in database format on diskette. The only information we can supply is the name of the business, business address, owner name, business phone number and classification. Confidential information cannot be given out under state and federal law.

Additional information on starting a business in Pacifica can be found by returning to the Business Startup page.