Licensing Vacation Rentals
What is this service?
In the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo (SLO) County (outside of any of the seven incorporated cities), all lodging businesses (including private home vacation rentals) must register for a County Business License and must collect a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT, also called "bed tax" or "hotel tax") and other required assessments from their guests. These requirements apply whether vacation rental properties are rented directly by owners, through a local property manager, or through an internet listing site such as airbnb.com, vrbo.com. homeway.com, craigslist.org, etc.
Who can use this service?
Anyone who owns a lodging business (including private home vacation rentals and vacation rental properties) in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County must register for a County Business License and must collect Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).
Is there a charge for this service?
There are different costs within each step of licensing a vacation rental. Please see the process steps, below, for details on fees required.
What is the process?
Step 2: Visit County Tax Collector
Once you have received your Land Use Authorization from Planning, go to the County Tax Collector at 1055 Monterey St. Rm D-290, San Luis Obispo, CA (Next to the Fremont Theater) to receive your County Business License and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) Certificate.
Currently, the annual license requires a fee of $36. The annual renewal fees are lower in subsequent years. Tax Collector staff can also provide instructions for how to collect TOT and other required assessments from your guests.
Step 3: Visit County Planning and Building Department
Visit the County Planning Department at 976 Osos St. #200, San Luis Obispo, CA (Old County Courthouse) to receive your Land Use Authorization. Currently, this requires a one-time fee of $54 (Certain business locations may require other permits and additional fees).
When and where is this service offered?
This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions