Palo Alto, CA—Businesses subject to the City of Palo Alto's requirement to register their business under a new ordinance will have until June 1 to register without penalty. Palo Alto launched a business registry on March 1 to provide data to help measure comprehensive employment trends, business growth and economic activity. The data will help to inform and measure the effectiveness of programs to reduce traffic congestion and parking issues, as well as help inform zoning decisions and public safety planning and response efforts. All businesses operating in a "fixed places of business" are required to register with the City on an annual basis. The business registry requirement only applies to businesses physically located in a fixed place of business in Palo Alto.
As of May 1, businesses subject to the registry (but not yet registered) are technically considered “late”, but the City is extending the registration grace period to June 1 to provide additional time during this initial launch. Businesses failing to register will face additional fees and ultimately collection activity.
To date, more than 1,200 businesses have fully registered with just over 5,000 estimated to be subject to the requirement.
In November 2014, the Palo Alto City Council passed an ordinance creating a requirement for all businesses operating in “fixed places of business” to register with the City on an annual basis. The City of Palo Alto business registry requirement only applies to businesses physically located in a fixed place of business in Palo Alto. Businesses located in other cities but operating here (such as contractors, consultants, real estate agents, etc.) do not need to register.
In order to make the process as simple as possible, the City has developed an easy-to-use website for online registration at https://registermybusiness.cityofpaloalto.org/. Businesses can register by filling out an online questionnaire and paying a flat fee of $50 via major credit card.
The business registry flat fee covers only the administrative expenses of the program, and will not be a revenue generating tool for the City. Most businesses will have the necessary data readily available and be able to fill out the questionnaire and pay the fee online in a few minutes.
To find out more about the City of Palo Alto’s Business Registry, go to http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/business/business_registry/default.asp or call 650/329-2360.