Licensing Vacation Rentals

What is the process?

Contact County Planning and Building Department

Before a County Business License can be issued, you must receive a Land Use Authorization for your location. Please visit County Planning and Building to inquire about a Land Use Authorization for your proposed location.

Contact County Tax Collector

Once you have received your Land Use Authorization from County Planning and Building, contact the County Tax Collector at 805-781-5831 or 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 $44. 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.

Contact County Planning and Building Department

Contact the County Planning and Building Department 805-781-5600 to receive your Land Use Authorization. Certain business locations may require other permits and additional fees.

Final approval and license issuance

The Vacation Rental License cannot be issued until all authorizing departments have signed off for approval. If a business is operating during the license process the business must remain in compliance by remitting and reporting transient occupancy taxes to the Tax Collector. Once all requirements are met and approved, the Tax Collector will issue the business license.

Who is eligible?

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.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.


If you intend to use Airbnb for all or some of your vacation rental transactions, please see the Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for more information.