Starting a Business in the City of Half Moon Bay
The City of Half Moon Bay welcomes you to its business community. Starting a business can be exciting and challenging. We wish you great success in your new venture! The City of Half Moon Bay requires all businesses operating within the City limits to obtain a business license and pay business license tax prior to commencing business operations.
The easiest and fastest way to apply for a new business license or renew your current license is using the online filing method. To begin, simply click on the "Start Now" button located on the right of this page. From the main menu please select the "apply" option to submit a new application for your business. Alternatively, you may download a copy of the business license application directly from the helpful forms section of this website.
Filing & Paying Your Half Moon Bay Lodging Establishment TOT & BID
Transient Occupancy Tax and BID Assessment returns for Hotels, Motels, B&Bs, RV Parks or Vacation Rentals can now be submitted via mail, e-mail, online, and by phone to simplify your monthly reporting. To submit your TOT or BID online please click the "Start Now" button found on the right and select the "Renew" option to begin your monthly filing process.
If you need further assistance or help applying for a business license, you are welcome to contact us at HalfMoonBay@hdlgov.com or by phone at (650) 443-9050. All questions and applications are now processed online or over the phone.
What is a Business License?
A business license is an annual business tax for doing business within the City limits. The City of Half Moon Bay Municipal Code requires that you obtain a license when you conduct any business activity within the City, even if your business is located outside of the City limits or if you have a business license from another City. Businesses that are based in the City must also have a business license. This includes home based businesses, building contractors, independent contractors, and non-profit businesses.
Business license taxes and fees help pay for City services like roads, fire, police and other community services. These services benefit businesses, business owners, and the general public.
When should an application be submitted?
New businesses must apply for a license within 30 calendar days of their official start date of operation in the City of Half Moon Bay. Thereafter, business licenses renew every October 1st and taxes and fees are due by October 31st.
Are there any restrictions on where I do business?
Yes, every business operating from a location inside the City of Half Moon Bay will require review and approval from the Building / Planning Department. This is to ensure that the business activity and site location are compatible with the City's municipal code and zoning requirements.
How long is a Business License valid?
Most business licenses are valid for one year and the annual license period runs from October 1st to September 30th. The City will mail each business a renewal notice; however, it is the business owner's responsibility to renew on time. Payment is considered delinquent if not postmarked by October 31st, and is subject to late penalty charges.