Business Services /

Business Licensing

Every business needs a license, and permits may also be required for specific activities. We provide tools and advice to make the process of finding what you need and applying as straightforward as possible.

New Business Applications

Planning to start a business? Obtaining a business license is an important step in the process. For most businesses, the business license fee is a fixed rate depending on the number of employees. You can check the fee schedule here.

For new businesses download the Business License Application form and bring the completed form to

City of Novato Finance Department
922 Machin Avenue
Novato, CA 94945
Tel: 415 899 8917
Monday – Thursday
9:00 a.m. – 5:00p.m.

Business license application
Home Occupation Permit
Novato Zoning Portal
Go to Portal

Business License Renewals

Business licenses are renewable annually. 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.).

renew online

If you prefer to renew by mail, see below for more information.

renew now
business license fee schedule

The Business License Fee Schedule-2018 determines the fee amount due based on the type and location of your business.

view schedule

If you prefer to renew by mail, you may print out the online renewal form. Please mail your check (please do not mail cash) 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.

Check-in at the first floor reception desk between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Please note that in-person payments can only be by cash or check.

Changes of Status

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.

If your business is sold or discontinued, please complete the Declaration attached to the City Business License issued to you and return by mail.

Disability Access

On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB 1186. Beginning on January 1, 2013, until December 31, 2018, an additional state fee of $1 is imposed 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:

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or check out our Frequently Asked Questions