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Business License

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General Information

A business license is an annual license issued by the Monterey County Treasurer-Tax Collector for the privilege of conducting business within the unincorporated area of Monterey County. The purpose of a business license is to provide for necessary regulation of certain lawful businesses being conducted within the unincorporated area of Monterey County, in the interest of the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of the county. On December 13, 2016, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted Monterey County Code, Section 7.02. This section requires a business license, effective April 1, 2017, for specified businesses being conducted within unincorporated Monterey County.

Businesses Requiring a License

Currently, a business license is only required for commercial cannabis businesses. More specifically, a business license is required for all commercial medical cannabis business activity as defined by section 7.90.030 of the Monterey County Code and for all commercial marijuana activity, as defined by California Business and Professions Code section 26001, lawfully conducted within the County of Monterey. It is unlawful for any person to maintain, conduct, operate, or carry on within the unincorporated area of the County any business for which a license is required by Section 7.02, unless a valid license is obtained. 

Applying for a License

A business license is required prior to the commencement of business. Therefore, a business license application should be submitted in advance of the anticipated start date of the business. If you have already commenced business, you should submit a business license application immediately. There are several ways to apply for a license. You can download a printable Business License Application or call (831) 755-5057 to request a copy by mail. You can submit the application by email to or by mail to:

Monterey County Treasurer-Tax Collector
Business License
P.O. Box 891 
Salinas, CA 93902

 All sections of the application must be completed. Incomplete applications will not be processed. In addition, there is a non-refundable application fee and several required forms that must be submitted simultaneously with the application, so please read the application instructions carefully.

Additional Questions

The Monterey County Treasurer-Tax Collector has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to businesses licenses. If you have additional questions, which are not addressed in this form, please send your question to



Monterey County Code, Chapter 7.02

Business License - Frequently Asked Questions

Business License Application

Business License Renewal Application

Provisional Business License Application

Provisional Business License Renewal Application

Claim for Veteran's Exemption of Business License Fee

Administrative Rules and Procedures – Business License

Commercial Cannabis Business Tax Information


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