Business License

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:

The Division of the State Architect at

The Department of Rehabilitation at

The California Commission on Disability Access at” 

Do you owe use Tax?  More information can be found by following this link


Merced County Clerk/Recorder
(Fictitious Business Name Statements, Marriage & Birth/Death Certificates)

2222 M Street
(1st Floor)


Flea & Farmer's Market 


900 G Street


Merced County Environmental Health Department

260 E 15th Street


Merced County Public Health (Medical Health Permits, i.e., massage)

260 E. 15th Street


Merced County Sheriff’s Office



Records Division

700 W. 22nd Street



820 W 22nd Street

209-385-7606 (Gen Info)




Planning and Community Development Department

2222 M Street        (2nd Floor)


Commerce and Economic Development (County Business Licenses)

2222 M St (2nd floor)


State of California Employment 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


State of CA Board of Equalization (Sales Tax Number)

3321 Power Inn Road, Ste #210, Sacramento, CA 95826-3889


State of California Board of Equalization (Fresno)
8050 N. Palm Avenue, #205 Fresno, CA 93711-5510
FAX 1-559-440-5503

ABC – Alcohol Beverage Control

31 E. Channel Street
, Room 168, Stockton, CA 95202


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


Certified Farmer's Market

romenade (Wednesday AM)
Downtown (Saturday AM)

Roseann Serrano

Department of Alcohol & Drugs(Licensing for Rehab Programs)


Secretary of State