Business Registration

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The City of Encinitas administers a Business Registration Program. The purpose of this program is to provide an inventory of business and commercial activities conducted within the City; a method of determining compliance with safety regulations imposed on commercial activities within the City; and a mechanism whereby owners of commercial activities can be identified and notified by City officials.

The Business Registration fee is $39 for the first year and $24 for annual renewals. Certificates are valid for a 12-month period. If not renewed prior to expiration, a new application and $39 fee are required. All new and renewal Business Registrations are administered online through our Customer Self Service (CSS) portal.

If any of the below describes your business, you must obtain a Business Registration:

  • The business is physically located in the City (e.g. home-based, retail, medical, office, or industrial facilities).
  • The business is physically located outside of the City and provides services within the City (e.g. contractor, plumber, electrician, carpet cleaner).
  • Rental income is collected from residential, industrial or commercial space located within the City.
  • A computer or other electronic device is used at a home in Encinitas to communicate with global clients involving payments, products, correspondence or contracts for a business.
  • The business owner lives outside of the City of Encinitas and rents a post office box or mailbox receiving address located in the City of Encinitas to receive payments, correspondence, or other business materials.
  • Products are presented for sale at Farmer’s Markets, Street Fairs or other Encinitas events more than one (1) time per year.
  • Education, training, fitness, yoga, surfing, martial arts or other recreation services are provided at beaches, parks or in City of Encinitas buildings.
  • Personal services such as hairstyling, facial/cosmetic treatments, massage therapy, acupuncture etc., are provided by renting a booth or other space in the City of Encinitas.
  • Consulting services are provided with clients by renting conference or office space in the City of Encinitas.
  • A mobile business operates in the City of Encinitas using a cart or vehicle which is stored elsewhere such as a home or parking lot.
  • A home in Encinitas is listed as a business tax deduction with the State or Federal government.
  • A non-profit business is conducted out of a home, church, office, retail, medical or industrial space in the City of Encinitas. Non-profit businesses are required to pay the processing/renewal fees because the City of Encinitas has a fee-based versus a tax-based Business Registration program.

Steps to Obtaining a Business Registration Certificate

  1. Review the Business Resources information below to determine if additional permits are required for your business.
  2. Register on the Customer Self Service (CSS) portal.
  3. Once you receive confirmation for your CSS account, apply for your Business Registration online through CSS. (Google Chrome recommended)
  4. Processing time is two (2) business days for out-of-city businesses and 3-4 weeks for in-city businesses.
  5. Upon approval, print your Business Registration Certificate from your CSS dashboard by selecting License. The Certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous area at the business location.
  6. Annual renewal notices will appear in your CSS dashboard and can be paid online.

Please contact the Permit Administrator with questions at (760) 633-2708, or

Business Resources

The following resources are provided to help you through the process of opening a business. We strongly encourage you to thoroughly research what types of permits and licenses you will need in order to open your business. Any errors or omissions in the listing below do not excuse business owners of their responsibility or liability when establishing a business in the City of Encinitas.

Fictitious Name Statement
San Diego County Clerk
141 E. Carmel Street
San Marcos, CA 92078
(760) 940-6858

Sellers Permit
California State Board of Equalization
San Diego District Office
15015 Avenue of Science, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 385-4700

Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)
(800) 829-4933

State Employee Identification Number (SEIN)
Employment Development Department
10636 Scripps Summit Court, Suite 202
San Diego, CA 92131
(888) 745-3886

Food Permits or Hazardous Material
San Diego County Health Department
5500 Overland Avenue, Suite 170
Kearny Mesa, CA 92123
(619) 338-2222

State License Requirements - CalGOLD
(877) 345-4633

Alcohol Sales
California State Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
1350 Front Street, Room 5056
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 525-4064

U.S. Small Business Administration
550 W. C Street, Suite 550
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 557-7250

Please Note: On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB-1186 which adds a state fee on any applicant for a local business license or similar instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. On October 11, 2017 Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1379, increasing this fee from $1 to $4, effective January 1, 2018. The purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws, as specified.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public. You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:

The City of Encinitas collects a business registration fee and therefore is required to add the state mandated fee of $4 for every new registration and renewal beginning January 1, 2018. The City is mandated to send 40 cents to the state and utilize the remaining $3.60 for the City’s Certified Access Specialist Program (CASP) which provides education of disability access for the public.