Business Licenses

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The City of Carlsbad requires all businesses within the limits of the city to have a valid license. Doing business in the city includes businesses based in other cities that enter Carlsbad as part of their work, such as contractors and delivery companies. It also includes businesses that are located in Carlsbad but may not have customers in Carlsbad. Even companies with a temporary presence require a business license.

You may apply for a business license online, by mail or in person. The current processing time is three to four weeks. An invoice for payment will be sent once your application has been processed and all necessary department approvals have been received. Please do not submit multiple applications or payments.

A person, firm or corporation is granted a business license certificate pursuant to the provisions of the City Business License Ordinance to engage in, carry on or conduct business, trade, calling, profession, exhibition or occupation described below. Issuance of the license is not an endorsement, nor certification of compliance with other ordinances or laws. The license is issued without verification that the license is subject to or exempt from licensing by the State of California.

Prior to applying for a business license, please review the city's business license FAQrequired information for business licensesreal estate sign information (for realtors) and licensing tips.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call or email the business license office at 442-339-2495 or