Business Licenses

Who Needs to Apply for a Business License?
All persons or companies conducting business within the city limits of Morgan Hill are required to obtain a City Business License. Business types include:
  • retailers
  • wholesalers
  • manufacturers
  • service providers
  • professionals
  • contractors
  • non-profit organizations
  • self-employed or consultants (home businesses)
  • residential landlords renting 3 or more units
When Should an Application be Submitted?
An application must be submitted and fees must be paid prior to commencement of business operations.

Where can I Obtain a Business License Application?
Applications (PDF) may be completed online or forms are available at City Hall, located at 17575 Peak Avenue, Morgan Hill, California. A completed and signed business license application must be returned with payment to City Hall. Once an application is submitted, it is reviewed and approved by various departments prior to issuance and mailing.  If your business address has changed, you must submit a change of address form to City Hall.

How are Fees Calculated?
A variety of classifications (PDF) and rates are set forth in the Business License Ordinance. A brief rate schedule (PDF) of the most common classifications is available from the Development Services Center. One-time fees charged for processing your business license application include an application review fee and a zoning permit fee.

Additional classifications and rates are available and can be provided.

What is SB1186?
On September 19, 2012 Governor Brown signed into law SB-1186, a new law which imposes a $1.00 State fee on every applicant for a local business license or renewal.

When do I Renew My License?
Business Licenses are valid July through June, and therefore must be renewed annually. The city mails courtesy renewal notices, and Municipal Code 5.04 states that the city is not required to send notification to any person/business who is liable for the fee.

Is Non-Compliance Penalized?
Failure to comply with the ordinance is an infraction. Any person who fails to pay the fees prior to business commencement or 30 days after the renewal date is liable for penalties (10% after 30 days, an additional 15% after 60 days).

Where is my License Valid?
Your Business License is valid only within the city limits of Morgan Hill - while doing business from your commercial / professional location, your residence, or when you are providing services to a resident or business within the city limits.

Your business license is not a permit to operate and does not authorize you to operate a business that is otherwise prohibited by law or ordinance.

Secondhand Smoke Ordinance for Outdoor Areas
The City Council has adopted Ordinance 2024 regulating secondhand smoke in outdoor settings. Get more information (PDF).