Business Licensing

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Welcome to Redwood City!

We thank you for choosing Redwood City to operate your business. Before you start, you will need to obtain a license from the City’s Revenue Services division.

Our business licenses are issued or renewed after payment of an annual base tax of $61 plus an additional tax. This additional tax may be based on, but not limited to, the following:

  • number of employees
  • number of housing units
  • Estimated square footage of your business
  • Date your business will commence operations, or
  • If a temporary business, expected date your business will cease operations

We do not tax based on gross sales.

View our current business license tax schedule [PDF].

New Redwood City businesses

  1. Download the Business License Tax Application here [PDF].
  2. Fill out your business and contact information. Please be specific in your response to the business description.
  3. Bring the completed form along with your payment to Revenue Services at City Hall, located at 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063

Business License Tax renewal

  1. The City will mail out a renewal invoice once your license is up for renewal.
  2. On that invoice, please note any changes with your business, such as the number of employees or contact information.
  3. Mail, fax, call or bring your completed invoice and payment to Revenue Services at City Hall.

Redwood City Business License Tax schedule

Effective July 1, 2016

SECTION 32.152 - BASE TAX RATE & SECTION 32.153 - INCREMENTAL TAX RATE

BASE TAX- for businesses not noted on the list below, the annual base tax is $61 plus $40 per owners/partners/full-time employees ($20 per part-time employee).

MAXIMUM FEE for FY 2016/17 is $5,081

SECTION 32.152 - BASE TAX RATE & SECTION 32.154 - SPECIAL INCREMENTAL TAX RATES

BUSINESS TYPE

BASE TAX

UNIT TAX
(add to base tax)

Residential Property Rental

$61

$22 per unit of dwelling space in excess of 3 units

Non-residential Property Rental

$61

$22 per 1000 sq. ft. or fraction

Real Estate Brokerage

$61

$41 per salesperson or employee

Dance Hall Operator
$61
$612 flat annual
Vehicle Wrecking Facility
$61
$612 flat annual
Christmas Tree Lot Sales Operation 
$61
$612 flat annual
Commercial Advertising
$61
$612 flat annual
Fortunetelling
$61
$612 flat annual
Junk Collector
$61
$612 flat annual
Pawnbroker
$61
$612 flat annual

Itinerant Vendor

$61

$41 per week

Solicitors/Hawkers 

$61

$41 per day

Peddlers

$61

$41 per person

Curb Painters

$61

$22 per day per person

Carnival Operator
$61
$509 per day

Coin-Operated Device Activity

$61

$12 per device

Commercial Advertising Vehicle Operation
$0.00
$61 Per Vehicle (Base Tax Not Applicable)

Contracting (excluding any contracting business with gross receipts over $50,000.00) Business In Redwood City

$61

$41 flat annual

(Download [PDF] and save the Business License Tax schedule for you records)

Notes:

  1. Prorating of Business License Tax Fees-the City provides proration of business license taxes based on its fiscal year (July through June) as follows:
    • Businesses commencing after September 30 of one year and before March 31 of the following year - the license tax shall be reduced by 25%
    • Businesses commencing after March 31 and before June 30 - the license tax shall be reduced by 75% (Section 32.109, Ord No. 2016 and Ord. No. 2089)

Exclusions / Exemptions from Redwood City Business License Tax fees
The City may issue an exempt license if your business fits the exempt/ exclusion category as defined in our Business License Ordinance in sections 32.130-32.136.

Redwood City Business License Ordinance
“The purpose of this Article is to provide for the establishment and levying of license taxes for the transaction and carrying on of certain businesses, trades, professions, callings and occupations in the City. This Article is enacted solely to raise revenues for municipal purposes and is not intended for regulation.” (Ord. No. 2016, 2, 5-7-90)

Click here to view the entire Business License Ordinance.

If you have any questions
Contact Luis Bertelsen: lbertelsen@redwoodcity.org or (650) 780-7214.