Renew your business license online!

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.

Business License General Information
Business License Renewal Notice Frequently Asked Questions
Change of Address/Ownership/Business Name

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.

Business License Application
Home Occupation Permit
Fee Schedule 2018


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-2018 determines the fee amount due based on the type and location of your business.

Business license renewals will be sent out in early December and will be due by mid-January. Penalties will be assessed if not paid by January 31, 2018.

If you prefer to renew by mail, please mail your check together with the renewal form to the address below:

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: Check or Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard)


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.

Dissolution of Business Form

 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:

 The Division of the State Architect at
The Department of Rehabilitation at
The California Commission on Disability Access at

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