General Information

Welcome to the City of Santa Rosa! Each of the incorporated cities in Sonoma County (Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sonoma, Sebastopol, Cloverdale, and Healdsburg) require businesses doing business in their cities to pay a business tax. In Santa Rosa the tax is based on gross receipts earned and must be renewed at the end of each calendar year.

Where can I get more information about Business Tax requirements?


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is taxed?

Businesses that are either located in Santa Rosa or that are located out of Santa Rosa but generate receipts within the City limits are required by City Ordinance to pay a business tax to the City. Such businesses will then receive a Business Tax Certificate.

How is the tax calculated?

The initial tax will be based on your estimate of gross receipts. Those businesses located outside of Santa Rosa should only use the gross receipts earned within the city limits of Santa Rosa to calculate their tax due. At the end of each year Revenue and Collections will send the necessary forms for renewal. The prepaid tax will then be adjusted to actual gross receipts. Any additional amount due may be paid at the time, or any amount overpaid will be credited or refunded. If the business is no longer in operation at the time of renewal, gross receipt to time of closure must be reported and the City notified that you will not be renewing.

What information do I need to provide to receive my Certificate?

To obtain a Business Tax Certificate, you will be asked to complete an application asking information about the business and requesting an estimate of gross receipts to be earned in Santa Rosa during the calendar year. If the business is located in Santa Rosa, you will also need a Zoning Clearance or Home Occupation Use Permit from the Planning and Economic Development Department. In addition, some businesses may need clearance from the Police Department.

Where do I go to get a Zoning Clearance/Police Clearance?

Planning and Economic Development Office
100 Santa Rosa Ave, Room 3
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 543-3200
Business Hours: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday – 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM*
Wednesday – 10:30 – 4:30*
Friday – Open 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
*New Applications accepted until 3:30

A Zoning Clearance should be obtained by all new businesses located within the City of Santa Rosa, as well as businesses relocating within the City limits.

Prior to obtaining a Zoning Clearance it may be necessary to apply for a Conditional Use Permit, depending upon the type of business and the proposed location. If a Conditional Use Permit is required, the processing time may vary from "over the counter" to several weeks or longer.

If the zoning allows the proposed use without additional planning approvals, a Zoning Clearance may be issued immediately upon request in Room 3.

Additional information regarding Zoning Clearances, and/or requirements, including applicable fees may be obtained from the technical staff at the counter in Room 3 at City Hall, or by calling (707) 543-3200.

Santa Rosa Police Department
965 Sonoma Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Business Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

I just purchased a business. Can I use the business tax certificate from the previous owner?

No, a business tax certificate cannot be transferred or re-assigned. As the new owner, you will need to apply for a new business tax certificate in your name.

What if I close or sell my business?

Business tax certificates are NOT automatically canceled. We need to hear from you. You may send written notification, call or email us at Please be prepared to provide the date that the business closed or was sold, the gross receipts up to that point and the name of the new owner if applicable.

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