Business Tax Certificates

Tax Certificate Requirements

Thank you for doing business in Morro Bay!

 The City of Morro Bay requires all organizations operating within the City limits to have a current business tax certificate (commonly referred to as a business license).

Funds collected from this certificate help support crucial City functions in order to better serve businesses, like paying for police and fire protection, business support and economic development initiatives, fixing streets, and more.

Business tax certificates apply to businesses operating as a general or sub-contractor (with offices located both inside and outside of the City), as a home occupation, from a commercial or office space, or as businesses conducting temporary activities within the City limits.

Application Process

Out-of-town contractors do not have to go through an approval process. Once approved, you will be notified by our Building Permit Technician and your fees can be paid and a certificate will be issued. Certificates are good for 12 months from the date of issuance.

To apply for a business tax certificate:
  • Submit a completed application to Administrative Services.
  • Once submitted, the application is forwarded to our Planning Division and Fire Department for their approval.
  • It will also be forwarded to our Harbor Department should the business be located on the waterfront. In rare cases the Police Department may need to provide their approval.

Short-Term Vacation Rentals

Currently, the City is working hard on implementing a new City Ordinance relating to Short-Term Vacation Rentals. The goal of this ordinance is to balance the tourism industry with the desires to keep our community feeling like home. Last month, Coastal Commission approved the new City Ordinance, and Community Development is hard at work on putting it into effect. If you are interested in maintaining a vacation-rental in the City of Morro Bay, please fill out the Vacation Rental Waitlist Application. If you are on the list, when we have all the details ironed out, we will send you further information and a more in-depth application to get you a formal license. - Updated 11/5/2021

If you currently operate a vacation rental in the city, you will be grandfathered-in under the new ordinance, just continue to pay for your business license. 

If you have further questions on the matter, please don't hesitate to call! 

Business License Applications, Information & Links:

​Short-Term Rental Forms and Links: