Business License

Anyone conducting business in the City of Vista must have a business license.

A new business owner will need to fill out a business license application. (Note: A street address of the business is necessary; a post office alone can not be used.)

If your business is being conducted out your home, a Home Occupation Permit is also required.

Once received by business license staff, the application is then forwarded to the City Development Services Center for zoning clearance and the appropriate fees are collected. A business license is issued 7 to 10 days later.

Determining the amount of business license tax to pay

Calculation of business license tax is done as part of the business license application. New businesses will be asked to provide an estimate of annual gross receipts which is the basis for the calculation. Additional fees, based on type and location of the business may be assessed.

Business License Renewal

NEW! Apply for a new license, renew or close a license, or pay a balance due online at

SB-1186 requires the City to collect an additional $1 state fee

Effective January 1, 2013, SB-1186 requires the City to collect an additional $1 state fee from any applicant for a local business license or similar instrument or permit, or renewal thereof. The purpose is to increase disability access and compliance with construction-related accessibility requirements and to develop educational resources for businesses in order to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws.

Contact: Business License Office (760) 639-6174.

Business license revenues help pay for law enforcement, fire, street maintenance, and recreation services. For information on starting a business, check the Doing Business in Vista. Key Steps to Starting a Business in Vista also provides contact information and advise to assist in creating a successful business or business plan.