Business License Tax

In 1965, the City of Cloverdale business license tax ordinance 220-65 was established to license the transaction and carrying on of certain businesses, trades, professions, callings and occupations in the City of Cloverdale, for the purpose of raising municipal revenue. The last increase in tax was adopted in 1983 with the passing of Ordinance 354-83.

The tax imposed is a flat-rate tax based on the type of business being conducted in the City of Cloverdale. The city is a non-regulatory entity and therefore is only required to collect the tax, not enforce other conditions of business ownership or reporting that may be required by state, federal or local law.

A City of Cloverdale business license is not a regulatory license, it is a tax to help pay for the public safety needs of the community, and to provide ongoing maintenance of our streets and parks for the citizens of the City of Cloverdale. Conducting business in the City of Cloverdale without a license can result in penalties, Notices of Violation and Administrative Citations. It is a misdemeanor to violate the City Business License ordinance.

Requirements

Examples of companies and persons required to pay the Business License Tax include:

  • Any business in a commercial or industrial location selling or providing a product
  • Persons who have a home office or use their home as the headquarters for their business
  • Businesses that are located outside the city limits but transact business in the city, such as contractors, house cleaners, repair people, gardeners, fumigators, telemarketers, distributors of goods to a retail location, etc.
  • Independent contractors such as doctors, real estate agents, hairdressers, janitorial contractors, and home party demonstrators and salespersons
  • Apartment houses, hotels, motels, boardinghouses, and other housing facilities (except duplexes and single-family dwellings, which are exempt)
  • Vendors who sell or deliver goods to a private residence or to a public place of business not owned by such a vendor, including by freight line
  • A barbershop or beauty salon and each person renting space or providing a service
  • Street vendors or peddlers; solicitors of all kinds
  • All other lawful and authorized business, other than salaried employee or employees for wages
  • Insurance offices are exempt as long as no other separate business is occurring in the same office
  • Non-profits with a 501(c)(3) status are exempt from the business license tax

Sample Questions

Still not certain if you need to pay the tax? If you answer yes to one or more of the following sample questions, you are required to pay the Business License Tax: 

  • Do you own a business with a physical location within the city limits of Cloverdale?
  • Do you rent space and sell goods from a business location not owned by you?
  • Does your company deliver goods to a retail store in Cloverdale?
  • Do you receive a 1099 federal tax form from a Cloverdale address?
  • Do you file a Schedule C with your federal tax return for money paid to you from a Cloverdale location?
  • Do you sell real estate in Cloverdale?
  • Does your company manage the sale or rental of a Cloverdale property?
  • Do you sell a product like satellite television, housewares, personal goods, jewelry, et cetera?
  • Do you rent space from a barbershop or beauty salon?
  • Do you provide on-location repairs services?
  • Do you have a vending machine located in Cloverdale?
  • Do you collect money from someone after providing cleaning or gardening services?
  • Did someone hire you to do construction in their business or home?
  • Do you provide any kind of consulting service for which you receive payment?
  • Do you sell products or services on consignment?

Business License Tax Packet & Application

Download the Business License Application Packet (PDF). You can also pick up a packet in the lobby at City Hall anytime Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm. City Hall is located at 124 North Cloverdale Boulevard in Cloverdale.

Want a packet mailed to you? Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
City of Cloverdale
Attn: Business License Department
P.O. Box 217
Cloverdale, CA 95425

Change in Ownership or Closed Business

If you are no longer conducting business please send written notification to:
City of Cloverdale
Attn: Business License Department
P.O. Box 217
Cloverdale, CA 95425

Provide the business name, address, certificate number, and the date you stop transacting business in Cloverdale. Please provide current contact information should we have any questions. Don't forget to sign your notice.

Sold Business

please send written notification to:
City of Cloverdale
Attn: Business License Department
P.O. Box 217
Cloverdale, CA 95425

Provide the business name, address, certificate number, and the escrow closing date. Also include the new business owner's name, address and phone so we can contact them. Please provide your current contact information should we have any questions. Don't forget to sign your notice.

Moving a Business

please consider whether you will retain clients within the Cloverdale city limits. If so, you will need to keep your business license account current by submitting a new application (PDF). Check the box on the top right corner "Change of Address" and complete Sections 1 and 4 of the application and return to the city.

Forms