Novato is an economically-diverse and vibrant North Bay city of approximately 53,000 residents. Highway 101 connects this northernmost city in Marin County to San Francisco to the south, and Sonoma and Napa counties to the north. Due to its prime location and economic resiliency, it serves as a natural hub to global corporations, cutting-edge start-ups and niche independent businesses.
Novato's business mix includes corporate headquarters, state-of-the-art technology companies, and a variety of retail centers. Whether you are a new business or looking to expand or relocate, Novato is the place to be.
Novato is Open for Your Business
Now it is even easier to open a new business, relocate or expand your current business in Novato!
An online tool, powered by Open Counter, to help businesses navigate the City's permit process. Businesses will be able to look up zoning requirements, permits and fees. Just answer a few questions about your business to receive a customized report on the permits, licenses, and estimated fees required for your project.
Business Counter is a web-based tool designed to help small business owners understand the specific license, permits and requirements for starting a business in Novato.
What information do I need to use Business Counter?
Very little! But the more information you provide, the more accurate your results.
Do I need to know which permits I need to use Business Counter?
No. Business Counter is a guided process that asks users a few questions in order to determine what permits they'll need. It's an easy and intuitive system that requires no prior knowledge of a jurisdiction's planning and permitting process.
Where do I get the forms and apply for a business license?
All persons and business entities located or doing business in the City of Novato are required by City ordinance to obtain a business license. A new business license is also required if the business changes location, ownership or name. The fee is a fixed rate depending on the number of employees for most businesses.
To obtain a business license, you will be asked to complete an application form. If the business is located in Novato, you will also need a Zoning Clearance or Home Occupation Permit from the Department of Community Development. In addition, some businesses may need a permit from the Police Department.