Business Licenses are a form of taxation. A business license is necessary to insure the consumer that only legitimate businesses are operating and selling goods in Merced. As a business owner, you must obtain a business license whenever you:
· Establish or change location
· Become or change owners, or
· Change the name of your business
The license is only valid for the person and place to which it is issued. All businesses conducting business in the City need a business license, even temporary businesses. Contractors, retailers, service providers, apartment owners, and street vendors all need a business license.
The following procedure should be taken to obtain a business license: You can download a business license application from the Planning web page or contact the Planning Department and they can assist you in completing the form. The Planning Department will determine if your proposed business is in the proper zoning district. They will also explain other review procedures for signing, remodeling, etc., and may refer you to Merced City Inspection Services for building/fire life safety requirements, Merced County Environmental Health Department, and/or the Merced City Police Department for their respective review process.
For example, certain businesses are of a sensitive nature and require approval by the Police Department before a business license can be issued. Businesses needing police review include, but may not be limited to: sale of alcoholic beverages, card room, pawn shop, secondhand dealers, sale of firearms, massage therapy, private patrols, alarm companies, pool tables, daycare centers, fortune tellers, carnivals, itinerant vendors, etc. For specific information, contact the Merced City Police Department at (209) 385-6912.
Effective January 1, 2013: In compliance with State Senate Bill 1186 Section 4465, the City of Merced will be collecting a $1.00 disability access fee from any applicant for a business license or equivalent instrument or permit, and from any applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument permit.
“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: