Business License Tax

Anyone conducting business within the Arcata city limits is required to have a City of Arcata Business License. Fill out a Business License Tax Certificate Application (PDF) and return it to the Finance Department with proper payment.

If your business changes in any way that changes the information you have provided regarding your business license tax, please notify the Finance Department accordingly.

Special Business License Tax Permits


For specific annual events and fairs, please use the forms below. If you are planning to participate in multiple events, it may be more cost-effective for you to complete a standard Business Licenses Tax Application (above). If you have any questions, please call the Finance Department at 822-5951.

Employee


An employee is defined as any person including owner, partner, manager, agent, etc., employed or working in said business. For part-time employees, use full-time equivalents. For example,2 half-time employees equals 1 full-time employee.

Business License Tax Due


All tax is due by July 1 each year. A penalty of 10% per month will be added if not paid by July 31, not to exceed 50% of the total annual tax

Semiannual Tax Payments


Tax may be paid semi-annually by dividing the total annual tax by 2 and adding $5 to each payment (due July 1 and January 1). The charge for a duplicate certificate or to transfer a certificate to new location / owner is $5.

New Businesses


New business license fees are prorated 10% on a quarterly basis. For example, a new business starting in January would pay $20 base license fee. There is a $10 fee for review and approval of each application for the 1st license.

Nonprofit Organizations


Nonprofit organizations are exempt from the Business License Tax. Please
provide the city with the nonprofit identification number, complete, sign and return this form.

Senate Bill 1186


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:
Note: We are unable to process your application / renewal without a signature. All incomplete forms will be returned unprocessed.