City of Sonoma - New Business Application
What you need to know to get started:
1. All businesses either located or conducting business in the City of Sonoma must register/obtain a Business Tax Certificate from the City for the purpose of
reporting and paying City taxes.
2. Business registrations are renewed on an annual basis and expire at the end of the calendar year.
3. No payment will be required until your application has been reviewed and accepted. You will receive an email verifying the receipt of application. Within 3
business days you will receive an email containing the amount due and instructions on how to make a payment online.
4. Once a complete application and payment has been received, a hard copy business license will be mailed to the mailing address we have on file within 2 weeks.
Please note, copies of business licenses will be issued at $5.00 each.
5. Some types of businesses, due to location and/or type of use, may be prohibited or require approval of a Use Permit or other permit prior to operation. Other city
ordinances may apply.
6. Please consult the City's Planning Department to confirm that the use/business is allowed and determine if any other permits are required. Please obtain the
required approvals if applicable.
7. The primary Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code applicable to a new business must be identified on the Business License Application pursuant to
California Business and Professions Code §16000.3. An excellent resource for identifying the primary SIC Code applicable to a business is available online at:
In rare instances, a new business may also be required to demonstrate enrollment with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit
program by providing a Waste Discharger Identification number (WDID), a "notice of nonapplicability identification number" (NONA), or a "no exposure" certification
number (NEC) issued for the facility by the State Water Resources Control Board.
8. If your business is categorized as one of the following, the City of Sonoma’s disposable food service ware ordinance (SMC chp. 7.30) prohibits/restricts certain
packaging. Go to https://zerowastesonoma.gov/reduce/commercial/model-ordinance
for a guide on acceptable and prohibited items. Relevant business categories: Bars, Catering, Food Service/Vendors, Grocery Stores/Delicatessens, Lodging,
Party Rentals, Pharmacies, Pool Supplies, Restaurants, Shipping Services, Theaters, and Wine Sales.