Business License

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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 or Finance web page or obtain directly from their offices. Submit it to either office to begin the review process. The business license application may be referred to other departments for their respecitve review.

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, 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. To contact the Business License Division call (209) 385-6843.

A Massage Practitioner or Massage Therapist must obtain a certificate from the State of California. A City of Merced business license is required in addition to the State License, but a City Massage License is no longer required.

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:

Contact Information for Business License Applications

Office Address Contact
Merced County Clerk/Recorder
(Fictitious Business Name Statements, Marriage & Birth/Death Certificates)
2222 M Street
(1st Floor)
Merced Flea & Farmer's Market
900 G Street 209-723-3796
Merced County Environmental Health Department 260 E 15th Street 209-381-1100
Merced County Public Health
(Medical Health Permits, i.e., massage)
260 E. 15thStreet 209-381-1010
Merced County Sheriff’s Office Records Division 700W. 22ndStreet


820 W 22nd Street

209-385-7606 (Gen Info)




Merced County Planning and Community Development Department 2222 M Street (2nd Floor) 209-385-7654
Commerce and Economic Development
(County Business Licenses)
2222 M St (2nd floor) 209-385-7686
State ofCaliforniaEmployment Development
(State Tax ID)
1205 W. 18th Street 1-888-745-3886 (w/employees)
FTB 1-800-852-5711 (w/o employees)
State of California Department of Consumer Affairs
(Contractor/Handyman State License Board)
3374 E. Shields Ave.,Room E-17, Fresno, CA 93726 1-800-321-2752
State of CA Board of Equalization
(Sales Tax Number)
3321 Power Inn Road, Ste #210, Sacramento, CA 95826-3889 1-916-227-6700
State of California Board of Equalization
8050 N. Palm Avenue, #205 Fresno, CA 93711-5510 1-559-440-5330
FAX 1-559-440-5503
ABC – Alcohol Beverage Control 31 E. Channel Street, Room 168, Stockton, CA 95202 209-948-7739
State Department of Social Services
Internal Revenue Service
(Federal Tax ID Number)

Day Care Licensing
Children’s Services Network of Merced County 1701 “N” Street 209-722-3804
Certified Farmer's Market Promenade (Wednesday AM)
Downtown (Saturday AM)
Roseann Serrano
Department of Alcohol & Drugs
(Licensing for Rehab Programs)

Secretary of State