Starting a Business in the City of Sausalito

The City of Sausalito welcomes you to its business community. Starting a business can be exciting and challenging. We wish you great success in your new venture!

The City of Sausalito requires all businesses operating within the City limits, including property owners, home based businesses, and all contractors, to obtain a business license and pay business license tax prior to commencing business operations.

The fastest way to apply for a business license is using the online filing method. To begin, simply click on the "start now" button located on the right of this page and select the "apply" option from the main menu. If your business is based in the City of Sausalito, an Occupational Use Permit must be approved prior to obtaining a business license. You may download a copy of the business license application and the Occupational Use Permit form directly from the helpful forms section of this website.

If you need further assistance or help applying for a business license, you are welcome to contact us at or by phone at (888) 602-0239.

What is a Business License?

A business license is an annual tax for doing business within the city limits of Sausalito. The City of Sausalito Municipal Code requires that you obtain a license when you conduct any business activity within the City even if your business is located OUTSIDE the city limits or you have a business license from another city. Any business based in the City must have a license as well. This includes home based businesses, building contractors, independent contractors, and non-profit businesses.

Business licenses fees help pay for city services like roads, fire, police and other community services. These services benefit businesses, business owners, and the general public.

When should an application be submitted?

New businesses must apply for business licenses within 30 calendar days from the first start of business. Thereafter, business license renewal taxes and fees are due every January 31st.

Are there any restrictions on where I do business?

Every business operating from a location inside the City of Sausalito, with the exception of Residential Rentals, must meet Occupational Use Permit requirements to ensure that the business activity and site are compatible. Please submit all approved Occupational Use Permit related documentation to the Business Support Center with your Business License Application.

How long is a Business License valid?

A business license is valid for a calendar year expiring December 31st and must be renewed by January 31st each year. The City will mail each business a renewal notice; however, it is the business licensee's responsibility to renew on time. Payment is considered delinquent if not postmarked by January 31st, and is subject to late penalty charges.

The only exception to this is for Outside Contractor business licenses. These can be obtained at any time for three, six, nine or twelve months. Renewals will not be sent out for these since they are only on an as needed basis. However, if the outside contractor business prefers to have a continual year round business license with renewal notices sent to them annually this can be done as well for a calendar year.

City of Sausalito
C/O HdL Support Center
8839 N. Cedar Ave. #212 • Fresno, CA 93720