Business License

Carmel Business License

City of Carmel-by-the-Sea

To Apply for a Carmel Business License, please contact;
Department of Community Planning & Building
P.O. Drawer G, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921
Phone: (831) 620-2010
Fax: (831) 620-2014

For businesses outside of the incorporated area of Carmel, Monterey County rules apply and a business license may not be required.

Fixed Location Carmel Business License Information

General Carmel Business License Standards

Every business is expected to meet certain minimum standards to operate in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Doing your part will help in maintaining our beautiful and prosperous community.

Preparation for Opening Your Business in Carmel

  • Each business is licensed for a specific category or type of business (i.e., clothing store, accountant, florist, etc.).  Businesses may not mix different categories as listed in City codes without specific approval. This helps the City avoid businesses that contain a variety of unrelated goods and services under one roof and protects the unique character of the downtown. If you have questions about allowed uses pertaining to your business license, please contact the Community Planning and Building Department.
  • Some businesses require more detailed review to ensure compliance with City Codes. In these cases you will be asked to provide additional information or you may need to apply for a Use Permit prior to opening your business. City staff will assist you through this process.
  • A business name that is similar to, or coincides with, another existing business may not be permitted. Due to the unique character and qualities of our community there are no numbered addresses. For this reason, business names that are too similar to other businesses are prohibited to facilitate prompt response by our City’s Fire and Police emergency response personnel. Our Fire Department reserves the right to question a business name that may be in conflict with another business and its location. Choose your name carefully and contact the Fire Department (620-2030) for advice prior to submitting your application and/or making a sign that may be in conflict with these goals.
  • Prior to opening for business you must arrange for a fire safety inspection by the Fire Department and receive a Certificate of Occupancy.  The Fire Safety Requirement document explains in further detail how to schedule and prepare for this important inspection.

Carmel Business License Fees & Taxes

  • Administrative Fee: An annual administrative fee for the processing & related costs of issuing & renewing a Carmel business license.
  • Application Fee: A non-refundable application & inspections fee shall be paid at the time of the application for a Fixed place of business.
  • Carmel Business License Tax: Businesses in all categories except special events & transportation of persons/goods shall remit an annual tax of revenue from gross sales/services.

Computation of FIRST RENEWAL FEE: At the end of the FIRST YEAR from & after the payment of the initial application fee, the City shall notify the business owner of the expiration of such period & the business owner shall file with the City a statement showing the gross sales of the business for the FIRST YEAR.