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Business Licenses FAQs

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Contact: Avenu Insights & Analytics formerly MuniServices, LLC (866) 240-3665

Who is required to have a business license?

It is unlawful for any person to transact and carry on any business in the City of Calistoga without first having paid the business license tax. The City's municipal code requires that you obtain a license prior to conducting any business activity within the City, even if your business is located outside the city limits or you have a business license from another city.

What is a formula business?
"Formula business" shall mean a business or use, which by contractual or other arrangement, establishment or recognized business practice, or membership affiliation, maintains any of the following...
View Calistoga Municipal Code 17.04.132

Pre-approval from the Planning Department is required.
Contact: Planning Dept.

Is the information on my business license application available to the public?
Yes, as per the California Public Records Act and California Business and Professional Code § 16000.1.
The following information is disclosable to the public; Legal Business Name, dba/Trade Name, Business Phone Number, Business Physical Location, Business Mailing Address, Ownership Type, Detailed Description of your Business Activity and Business Website. If Applicant's business mailing address is a residential address, that address will be subject to public disclosure unless Applicant provides a different address (e.g. PO Box) where the Applicant consents to receive service of process.

Is a copy of my business license available to the public?

When should an application be submitted?
An application must be submitted prior to the commencement of any business activity within the City limits. Upon approval of the application and payment of the prescribed tax, a business license will be issued.

When is payment for my new business license due?
All persons required to pay a license tax shall pay the tax at the time a completed application is submitted to the collector.

Where can I get a business license?
Please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics at 866-240-3665 or
Apply Online Now

What is a Business License Tax Certificate?
A Business License Tax is an annual tax you pay each calendar year for doing business within the incorporated area of the City of Calistoga. The Business License Tax Certificate, is evidence that your tax has been paid, it is not authorization to commence business.

Why must I pay tax to do business in the City?
By City Code, the tax imposed through the taxing power of the City is solely for the purpose of obtaining general revenue. Business taxes help pay for city services like roads, fire and police, and other community services.

Does my County of Napa Business License cover the City of Calistoga?
No. Any person that conducts business in the City must obtain a City of Calistoga Business License.

Will the City of Calistoga accept business licenses from other cities?
No. Each city has it's own business license tax requirements.

What do I chose if there isn't a business description that fits my business?
Your business description is Unclassified Businesses.
List of Business Descriptions

How do I determine employee count?
View Definition of an Employee

What is the $4.00 CA Senate Fee SB-1186 that I see on the business license application?
On October 11, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1379 which as of January 1, 2018,  adds a state fee of $4.00 on any applicant for  local business license or similar instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. You are required by law to pay the $4.00 fee.
Senate Bill 1186
Assembly Bill 1379
Assembly Bill 3002

Why should I be concerned with disability access requirements mandated by federal and state law?
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.
Disability Access Requirements and Resources

What is the $12.00 Processing Fee that I see on the business license application?
On April 18, 2017, Resolution 2017-036 was passed, approved and adopted by the City Council of the City of Calistoga, authorizing the City to enter into a professional services agreement with MuniServices, LLC now operating as Avenu Insights & Analytics, for administration of business licenses. The resolution also authorizes the assessment of a $12.00 processing fee per business license to partially defray the cost of the service agreement.

Where do I post my business license?
If you operate a business located within the City of Calistoga, you should post your issued license in a conspicuous place. If you are an agent of businesses located outside the City of Calistoga, but conducting business within the City, you should carry the issued license along with you.

Are Independent Contractors required to get a business license?
Yes. If you are not an employee, you are considered an Independent Contractor or Self-Employed and are required to have a business license. (i.e. beautician, masseuse, manicurist, barber, etc.)

Do I need a business license if I work out of my home that is located in Calistoga?
Yes. If you are operating your business from your home that is located within the city limits of the City of Calistoga a business license is required. The City's Zoning Ordinance regulates the type of business operations that may be done in the home.

Complete a Home Occupation Agreement and submit $150.00 processing fee to the Planning Department for your Home Occupation Permit. If your application is approved you will be able to obtain a business license.

Pre-approval from the Planning Department is required.
Contact: Planning Dept.

Home Occupation Application

Do I need a separate license for each place of business?
Yes. A separate license must be obtained for each and every branch establishment or separate place of business within the City at which a business is carried on.

Do I need a business license to operate my food truck?
Not if the food truck is associated with an eating place that already has a City of Calistoga business license.

Do I need a business license if I do a small amount of consulting and my clients are located outside of the City?
Yes. If your consultancy is based from a location in the City, you need a business license for that location. The location of and the number of clients does not have any bearing on whether a license is required.

Can I operate a taxicab in Calistoga?
No person shall operate a taxicab in the City without first having obtained a written permit to do so from the Chief of Police.

Pre-approval from the City Council is required.
Contact: Police Chief

What if I am moving my business to a new location within Calistoga?
You must complete a new business license application. For the protections of the public, various types of business operations are regulated through the City of Calistoga Police, Fire, Building, Planning, Public Works Departments or the Napa County Environmental Health Division.

Pre-approval from the Planning Department is required.
Contact: Planning Dept.

How do I update my mailing address?
Please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics at 866-240-3665 or

How can I obtain a copy of a business license from a previous year?
Please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics at 866-240-3665 or

Can I reactivate my previous City of Calistoga business license?
No. For the protection of the public, various types of business operations are regulated through the City of Calistoga Police, Fire, Building, Planning, Public Works Departments or the Napa County Environmental Health Division. Your business may or may not be regulated.
Contact: Planning Dept.

Can I get a refund for the business license taxes I have paid?
No. Not even in the event a person ceases to do business prior to the end of any period for which a tax was paid or estimated.

Can I get a refund if I overpaid my business license tax?
In the event I of an overpayment, amount shall be credited to renewal.

Can I transfer my business license to someone else?
No. Business licenses cannot be transferred to another person. 

How long is my business license good for?
All licenses shall be issued for a period of one calendar year, except as otherwise noted. The license period shall commence on January 1st and shall expire on December 31st.

Will the MuniServices notify me when it is time to renew my business license?
Yes. Annual renewal applications are mailed in December of each year. However, it is your responsibility to obtain a current business license whether or not a renewal notice is received.
Penalties are assessed for delinquent accounts, regardless of whether you receive a renewal notice or not.

If you do not receive your annual renewal application in December, please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics at 866-240-3665 or

How are late fees calculated?
Your business license renewal is due on or before January 31st of each year. A penalty of 10% of the business license tax due will be charged on the first day of each month after due date, not to exceed 50% of the amount of the business license tax due. 
Penalties are assessed for delinquent accounts, regardless of whether you receive a renewal notice or not.

How do I cancel my business license?
Business licenses are not automatically cancelled, please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics at 866-240-3665 or

Do I need to file a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County of Napa?
Yes, if your business name is anything other than your surname. Or, if there is more than one business owner.
File a Fictitious Business Name Statement

Do I need a Seller's Permit?
Yes, if you are engaged in business in California and intend to sell or lease tangible personal property that would ordinarily be subject to sales tax if sold at retail.
Get a Seller's Permit

Why did Avenu Insights & Analytics send me a notice?
MuniServices is charged with enforcing the City's business license requirements. As part of this, they identify businesses that may not be in compliance with the requirements, and send notices to inform business owners of the requirements. They use a variety of filings, such as Seller's Permits, DBA's, periodicals, professional licensing and tax filings with higher authorities to identify these businesses. Calistoga Municipal Code 5.04, Business Licenses Generally

What if I do not respond to the notices sent by Avenu Insights & Analytics?
If you do not respond, you may be in violation of the Calistoga Municipal Code. As a result, collection action may be initiated against you.

How can I stop Avenu Insights & Analytics from sending notices to me?
Please contact Avenu Insights & Analytics at 866-240-3665 or



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