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City of Vista Business License

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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. Please note a street address of the business is necessary; a post office address alone cannot be used.

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. The application will be routed for all approvals and a business license will be issued. 

Apply for a new license, renew or close a license, or pay a balance due online at The revenue from the Business license fees help support public safety, street maintenance, and recreation services for the community.


New business owners must fill out a business license application online or by downloading a PDF form.


City of Vista business licenses are renewed annually. Many City business licenses can be renewed online.


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. 

SB-1186 Requires the City to Collect an Additional $4 State Fee. Effective January 1, 2018, SB-1186 requires the City of Vista to collect an additional $4 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. 

AB-3002 Disability Access Requirements & Resources: Notice to Applicants for Business Licenses and Commercial Building Permits - Notice issued 12-28-18

Stormwater Compliance

SB205 was passed October 2, 2019 and requires all businesses that are regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) General Industrial NPDES Permit provide the City with the primary SIC Code of the business, and the WDID, NEC, or NONA number as proof of coverage under the General Industrial NPDES Permit when applying for a City business tax certificate or a business tax certificate renewal. To read the full bill click here.

To assist you in determining if your business is subject to the General Industrial NPDES Permit, please review the Frequently Asked Questions which provides a list of the Standard Industrial Codes that the SWRCB uses to identify facilities subject to the General Industrial NPDES Permit.

If your business in a regulated industry with Stormwater Discharge requirements in accordance with the NPDES Industrial General Permit please complete the Stormwater Supplemental Questionnaire and submit with your business license application or renewal.


Business License Office
City of Vista
200 Civic Center Drive, Vista CA 92084
P: 760.639.6174

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