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Business License

Title 6 of the San Luis Obispo County Ordinance provides for regulation of businesses operating in the unincorporated areas of the County.

The purpose of this brochure is to provide information for obtaining a County Business License and a Directory of other agencies that businesses may need to contact. It may not include all the necessary requirements for a business, as regulations and requirements vary according to type of business, location and other factors.



Who needs a County Business License?

Individuals or corporations who sell merchandise or provide a service for a fee in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County (outside city limits) may need a County Business License. For Business License information within city limits, see the Directory section of this brochure.

IN ADDITION, individuals who initiate contact by any method (telephone, mail, or in person) for the purpose of presenting merchandise or performing a service at a later date may need a Solicitor's License. Any retailer selling tobacco products in the unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County must have a valid Tobacco Retailer's License for each location in addition to their County Business License.


Where do I apply for a County Business License?

Applicants must appear in person at the Tax Collector's Office, 1055 Monterey Street, Room D-290, San Luis Obispo, CA  93408 - (805) 781-5832.


How long is my license valid?

Licenses are issued for various periods of time, up to one year, and renewal notices are mailed prior to the expiration date.


What happens when I go to the Tax Collector's Office?

The Business License Clerk will prepare an application and direct you to the proper department(s) for approval. When the approvals are completed, and the license fee is paid, a County Business License will be issued.


What approvals will I need?

Whether or not a County Business License is required, all businesses must obtain approval of the County Planning Department. Certain businesses also require the approval of other County Departments, some of which may require processing fees.


What information do I need to bring with me?

Photo Identification
Name of Business
Name and Address of Owner of Business Premises
Name of Corporation Officers and Address of Home Office
Mail Order Business may be requested to submit a copy of its catalog for review


Is my County Business License transferable?

County Business Licenses are not transferable. Changes in ownership, business name, nature of business, or location must be reported IMMEDIATELY and are subject to approvals of other departments.


Will I need a fictitious business name?

If a name other than your own is used for the business, a Fictitious Business Name must be registered with the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder within 40 days of starting the business. Banks usually require this prior to opening an account in a business name.


Will I need a resale license?

Sales or use tax may apply to your business activities.  You may seek written advice regarding the application of tax to your business by writing to the nearest Board of Equalization Office.


What if I hire employees?

Firms with employees must register with the Employment Development Department (EDD) for Unemployment Insurance (UI), State Disability Insurance (SDI), State Income Tax Withholding, and with the Internal Revenue Service for a Federal Income Tax Withholding Identification Number. State Law also requires that businesses with employees must carry Workers' Compensation Insurance.


What happens if I operate without a County Business License?

EACH DAY a business is operated without a County Business License, or is operated in violation of the provisions of the County Ordinance, shall constitute a separate offense. EACH OFFENSE is punishable by up to six (6) months in County Jail or a fine of up to $500.


Are there any exemptions from holding a County Business License?

California Law exempts certain individuals or businesses from obtaining a County Business License or exempts them from the fee associated with the County Business License. Contact the Business License Clerk at (805) 781-5832 for exemption requirements.
 

  DIRECTORY

APPROVING AGENCIES

AIRPORT MANAGER

County Airport, 903-5 Airport Drive, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 781-5205

ANIMAL SERVICES

885 Oklahoma Ave. (County Operational Ctr. off Hwy. 1), San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

 

(805) 781-4400

COUNTY CLERK-RECORDER

1055 Monterey Street, Room D-120, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

 

(805) 781-5088

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


2156 Sierra Way, Suite A, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 781-5910

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Room 207, County Government Center, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

 

(805) 781-5252

GENERAL SERVICES

1087 Santa Rosa Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 781-5200

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

2156 Sierra Way, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 781-5544

PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Room 200, County Government Center, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

 

(805) 781-5600

PORT SAN LUIS HARBOR DISTRICT, Operations Manager

Port San Luis, Pier 3, Avila Beach, CA 93424

 

(805) 595-5400

SHERIFF

1585 Kansas Ave. (County Operational Ctr. off Hwy. 1), San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

 

(805) 781-4575

OTHER AGENCIES

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL

3220 So. Higuera Street, Suite 305, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 543-7183

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU

213 Santa Barbara Street (P.O. Box 129), Santa Barbara, CA 93101

 

(805) 963-8657

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION

4820 McGrath St., Suite 260, Ventura, CA 93003

 

(800) 400-7115

CHILD CARE RESOURCE CENTER (CAPSLO)

805-A Fiero Lane, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805-A Fiero Lane, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 541-2272

CONTRACTORS STATE LICENSE BOARD

9821 Business Park Dr., Sacramento, CA 95827,  Sacramento Office

 

(800) 321-2752

E.D.D. - Employment Tax Office

1050 O Street, Fresno, CA 93721 

 

(888) 745-3886

FRANCHISE TAX BOARD

4820 McGrath St., Suite 270, Ventura, CA 93003

 

(800) 852-2753

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE

220 So. Higuera Street, Suite 308, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 

To obtain Federal I.D. Number

 

(800) 829-1040

 

SECRETARY OF STATE

(Non-profit organizations & corporations)

 

(916) 657-5448

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

2719 N. Air Fresno Dr., Ste. 200, Fresno, CA 93727

 

(559) 487-5791

CITY BUSINESS LICENSE DEPARTMENTS AND OTHER OFFICES

ARROYO GRANDE

214 E. Branch Street, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

 

(805) 473-5436

ATASCADERO

6500 Palma Avenue, Atascadero, CA 93422

 

(805) 461-5000

GROVER BEACH

154 So. 8th Street, Grover Beach, CA 93433

 

(805) 473-4550

MID-STATE FAIR

Post Office Box 8, Paso Robles, CA 93447

 

(805) 239-0655

MORRO BAY

595 Harbor Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442

 

(805) 772-6261

PASO ROBLES

821 Pine Street, Ste. A, Paso Robles, CA 93446 

 

(805) 237-3999

PISMO BEACH/SHELL BEACH

760 Mattie Road, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

 

(805) 773-4655

SAN LUIS OBISPO

990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

 

(805) 781-7134

SAN LUIS OBISPO DOWNTOWN ASSOCIATION 

Thursday Night Farmer's Market 
1108 Garden Street, Suite 210, San Luis Obispo, CA  93406

 

(805) 541-0286

 

For more answers to frequently asked questions about taxes or other office services, click here .