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Treasurer, Tax Collector,
Public Administrator


James P. Erb, CPA
Department Head

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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 .