Please be sure to have your account number and security code (printed on your renewal notice) available. For online renewals, we accept payment by VISA and MasterCard.
We welcome your business to the City of Novato and would like to share the following information on our City's Business License requirements.
Our Finance staff issues business licenses, answers inquiries for existing licensees, assists applicants with completing their application and provides follow-up on the approval and issuance of license certificates.
Starting a new business
A new business license is required if a business changes location or ownership. For most businesses the business license fee is a fixed rate depending on the number of employees. If the business is located in Novato, you will also need zoning approval or a Home Occupation Permit from the Planning Division. In addition, some businesses may need a permit from the Police Department. Please see Police Permits and Other Permits.
You can now renew your business license online. Be sure to have your renewal notice with you in order to access the renewal system. This system will also allow you to update information about your business (e.g. Phone number, email address, etc.).
The Business License Fee Schedule-2017 determines the fee amount due based on the type and location of your business.
While the City's license fees remained unchanged since 2002, the Consumer Price Index increased by more than 26%. The City of Novato increased its business license fees beginning in 2014. This increase was part of a four-year program to catch up with increases in the Consumer Price Index over that 12-year period. Increased fees for licenses in 2017 represent the final year of this four-year program, and have been increased by 9%. For the basic business license, this means an increase of approximately $11.
If you prefer to renew by mail, please mail your check together with the renewal form to the address below:
CITY OF NOVATO
ATTENTION: BUSINESS LICENSES
922 MACHIN AVENUE
NOVATO, CA 94945
If your business requires a Police permit, please return the form together with your payment to the mailing address indicated on your renewal notice.
For same day approval, please visit the Business License Office at the above address.
*Walk-ins welcome! Please check-in at first floor reception desk between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Forms of payment accepted in person: Cash or Check ONLY
If there is a change of ownership, business name or location, you are required to obtain a new business license and are subject to any associated fees and approvals.Change of Address/Ownership/Business Name
Sold or Discontinued Business
If your business is sold or discontinued, please complete the Declaration attached to the City Business License issued to you and return by mail.
SB 1186 - Disability Access Law
On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB 1186. This bill imposes, beginning on January 1, 2013, until December 31, 2018, an additional state fee of $1 on any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. Its purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and develop educational resources for businesses to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws.
You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies: