Business Licensing

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***Customer service at the Revenue Services counter is closed beginning March 16, 2020. Limited customer service is available by phone and email listed below.***

Welcome to Redwood City!

We thank you for choosing Redwood City to operate your business. Before you start operating your business, you will need to obtain a license from the City’s Revenue Services division.

All businesses operating in the City of Redwood City are required to register for a Business License Tax Certificate. Any business, whether the business is located in Redwood City out of a home office or located outside of the City but coming into our City to conduct business, is required to register. This page provides details on how to register and more. 


Our business licenses are issued or renewed after payment of an annual base tax of $66 plus an additional tax. This additional tax may be based on, but not limited to, the following:

  • Number of employees,
  • Number of housing units,
  • Estimated square footage of your business,
  • Date your business will commence operations, or
  • If a temporary business, expected date your business will cease operations.

We do not tax based on gross sales.

View our current business license tax schedule [PDF].

New Redwood City businesses:

Apply Online

To apply for a business license online, click on the blue Apply Now icon. No payment will be required until your application has been reviewed and accepted. You will receive an email verifying the receipt of application. Within 5 business days you will receive an email containing the amount due and instructions on how to make payment online.


Apply by Mail (Online application recommended)

  1. Download the Business License Tax Application here [PDF].
  2. Fill out your business and contact information. Please be specific in your response to the business description.
  3. Mail the completed form along with your payment to Revenue Services at City Hall, located at 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA 94063.

Existing Businesses-Business License Tax renewal:

Renew Online

To renew your business license online, click on the green Renew Now icon. You will need the License # and the PIN # found on your renewal notice. To find your License # and PIN #, view sample renewal notice


Apply by Mail

  1. The City will mail out a renewal notice once your license is up for renewal.
  2. On that notice, please note any changes with your business, such as the number of employees or contact information.
  3. Mail your completed renewal form and payment to Revenue Services at City Hall.

Redwood City Business License Tax schedule

Effective July 1, 2020


BASE TAX- for businesses not noted on the list below, the annual base tax is $70 plus $46 per owners/partners/full-time employees ($23 per part-time employee).

MAXIMUM TAX for FY 2019/20 is $5,798.




(add to base tax)

Residential Property Rental


$26 per unit of dwelling space in excess of 3 units

Non-residential Property Rental


$26 per 1000 sq. ft. or fraction

Real Estate Brokerage


$48 per salesperson or employee

Dance Hall Operator
$698 flat annual
Vehicle Wrecking Facility
$698 flat annual
Christmas Tree Lot Sales Operation 
$698 flat annual
Commercial Advertising
$698 flat annual
$698 flat annual
Junk Collector
$698 flat annual
$698 flat annual

Itinerant Vendor


$47 per week



$47 per day



$47 per person

Curb Painters


$26 per day per person

Carnival Operator
$580 per day

Coin-Operated Device Activity


$13 per device

Commercial Advertising Vehicle Operation
$70 Per Vehicle (Base Tax Not Applicable)

Contracting (excluding any contracting business with gross receipts over $50,000.00) Business In Redwood City


$47 flat annual

(Download [PDF] and save the Business License Tax schedule for you records)


Prorating of Business License Taxes

The City provides proration of business license taxes based on its fiscal year (July through June) as follows:

  • Businesses commencing after September 30 of one year and before March 31 of the following year - the license tax shall be reduced by 25%
  • Businesses commencing after March 31 and before June 30 - the license tax shall be reduced by 75% (Section 32.109, Ord No. 2016 and Ord. No. 2089)

Exclusions / Exemptions from Redwood City Business License Tax
The City may issue an exempt license if your business fits the exempt/ exclusion category as defined in our Business License Ordinance in sections 32.130-32.136.

Redwood City Business License Ordinance
“The purpose of this Article is to provide for the establishment and levying of license taxes for the transaction and carrying on of certain businesses, trades, professions, callings and occupations in the City. This Article is enacted solely to raise revenues for municipal purposes and is not intended for regulation.” (Ord. No. 2016, 2, 5-7-90)

Click here to view the entire Business License Ordinance

Contact Us

City of Redwood City Revenue Services Division
Jun Nguyen
(650) 780-7214