How can I find legal help and advice for my business?
The Novato Chamber of Commerce can recommend local lawyers. You can also search our directory of local lawyers, insurance companies and financial institutions, at Shop Local Novato.
How can I find a Novato residential realtor to help me or my employees locate housing in Novato?
You can review a selection of realtors with this online directory from Shop Local Novato.
How can I find real estate for my business in Novato?
You can research and review available real estate in the Search Available Space section of our site.
How can I get help with funding my startup or getting a business loan?
The Marin Small Business Development Center is a good resource for advice, tools and access to sources of capital.
Will my business need an Employee Identification Number for tax purposes?
Yes, if your business will employ workers, withhold taxes, or operate as a corporation or partnership, you will require an Employee Identification Number (EID), sometimes referred to as a business tax ID number.
Do I need a retail sales permit (Seller’s Permit)?
Yes, if you intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail, you will need a Seller’s Permit. You can obtain one here.
Do I need a special license for food service or alcoholic beverage sales?
All food service businesses must be licensed by the County of Marin Environmental Health Services. If you plan to serve or sell alcoholic beverages, a license is needed from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and a Use Permit is required from the Planning Division.
Do I need a permit for remodeling/construction or the addition of a sign?
Any business construction or remodeling may require a building permit. If you plan to put up or change a sign, a sign permit may be required.
Where do I go to get a zoning approval or a Home Occupation Permit?
What should I do if I am no longer in business in Novato?
You should notify the City using a Dissolution of Business notification form.
What do I need to change a business name, address or ownership on a business license?
You will need a new business license and are subject to any associated fees and approvals.
Is a business license transferable?
No. You will need to make a new business license application if there is a change of ownership.
What do I need to do if my business information has changed?
Visit the online renewal system, which will allow you to update information about your business.
How do I renew my business license?
You can renew your business license online here.
When am I required to renew my business license?
Business licenses are valid for the duration of the calendar year. License renewals are typically mailed out in early December, with payment due by mid-January.
How do I calculate the fee payable to the City of Novato for a new business license?
A license fee schedule and worksheet is available to help you calculate your fees.
How do I apply for a new business license?
New licenses must be submitted in person at the City of Novato Finance Department.
How do I know what permits and licenses my business may need?
Visit the online Business Portal to help identify which permits and licenses you may need.
What information do I need to provide in order to apply for a business license?
In addition to a completed application form, you will need a zoning approval and any permits that are applicable to your business.
Do I need a business license to do business in Novato?
Yes. All persons and business entities located or doing business in the City of Novato are required to obtain a business license.
What do I need to do when my business location address changes?
An address change should be submitted if you wish to change your business address.
What is Open Counter?
Open 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.
Do I need to know which permits I need to use Open Counter?
No. Open Counter will guide you toward the necessary permits by checking your responses to a few questions.