Business Registry

Thank you for visiting our Business Registry Certificate website. We appreciate your role in making Palo Alto a vibrant community through your business. 

Per the Palo Alto Municipal Code (Chapter 4.60), all businesses located in fixed places of business (i.e., commercial buildings, retail storefronts, etc.) within the City of Palo Alto are required to register with the City by March 31 of each year.  Every year, a business is required to obtain/renew a Business Registry Certificate (BRC) by completing an official form and paying a flat fee.  The City of Palo Alto partners with MuniServices, LLC (aka Avenu Insights & Analytics) for the administration of the Business Registry program and for assistance with billing and payment collection.

2017 Registration/Renewal:  The 2017 Palo Alto Business Registry year is valid from January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. If you are delinquent for the 2017 registration year (due March 31, 2017), contact MuniServices immediately at (866) 240-3665 or bizlicensesupport@muniservices.com to come into compliance.

2018 Registration/Renewal: The City has partnered with MuniServices, LLC for the administration of the Business Registry program.  Two renewal letters (one from the City of Palo Alto in February and another from MuniServices dated March 1, 2018) were sent to businesses to the addresses on file.

Official renewal packages have been mailed with detailed information/instructions – including a link to the new registration website.

Existing Businesses in Palo Alto (RENEWALS)

  • For online filing, existing businesses were mailed unique USERNAMES and TEMPORARY PASSWORDS from MuniServices along with instructions.
  • To file/pay online, visit Biz License Online
  • Payment options:  ACH Debit (checking/savings) or Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover)
  • For questions about online filing, or if you do not have the username and/or temporary password for your business, contact MuniServices toll free at (866) 240-3665 or bizlicensesupport@muniservices.com.

NEW Businesses in Palo Alto

  • New businesses in Palo Alto can also file online.  Visit the online filing link below and click “Sign Up” as a first-time user.
  • To file/pay online, visit Biz License Online
  • Payment options:  ACH Debit (checking/savings) or Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover)

To file/pay via postal mail:

  • A downloadable form is available at Avenue Insights (Taxpayer Login → For Taxpayers → Select Your State: California → Taxpayer Forms → Palo Alto → PALO ALTO BUSINESS REGISTRY APPLICATION).
  • Be sure to reference your MuniServices account # on the application form and complete each section.  If you don’t know your MuniServices account #, contact MuniServices.
  • For check payments:  make check payable to “Tax Trust Account” and remit along with your form to MuniServices, LLC at 555 Bryant Street #821, Palo Alto, CA 94301.

 IMPORTANT:  Do not send application forms/payments to the City of Palo Alto; send to MuniServices, LLC at 555 Bryant Street #821, Palo Alto, CA 94301.

If your business has closed, was sold, is no longer operating, or moved to another location in the Palo Alto city limits, contact MuniServices toll free at (866) 240-3665 or bizlicensesupport@muniservices.com.

 Cost: $54* which includes a $4 State of California pass through fee for ADA compliance. MuniServices will receive application forms and payments through the internet or postal mail.  Application forms and payments are due March 31, 2018.  To avoid penalties, file/pay by April 30, 2018.  Beginning May 1st, a late fee of $25.00 will be applied.  Beginning June 1st, an additional late fee of $25.00 will be applied. 

Exemptions: If you are 1) A business or non-profit organization with less than 1 Full-Time-Equivalent employee, including owner/principal, 2) A religious organization with no ancillary business on-site, or  3) A home-based or transitory (or virtual) business, you are exempt from obtaining a Business Registry Certificate.  Exempt businesses must file an application form on an annual basis; however, no fee will be applied.  To claim an exemption, file an application form and select your exemption status.

A general contractor or sub-contractor, who performs work from time to time in Palo Alto and does not have a fixed place of business (e.g., office) in the City, is exempt from obtaining a Business Registry Certificate and is not required to submit an application form – no action required. 

Required Application Information:
  • Business Name, Description, Structure, State of Incorporation, and Inception Date
  • Owner/Principal Name, Address, Telephone Number, Email Address
  • Business Address(es) – primary location and any other locations in Palo Alto
  • Number of employees (full-time, part-time, contract, and volunteers – including Owner/Principal) at each location during peak times on a normal business day)
  • Number of on-site parking spaces dedicated to your business at each location
  • Number of annual parking permits purchased for employees at each location
  • Square footage your business occupies in each location
    Note: This is the gross area in square feet your business occupies. You can find this information in your lease agreement or building floor plans. For assistance, contact your property management team.
  • Federal EIN and/or Sellers permit number 

Further Information: Questions?  Contact MuniServices, LLC (aka Avenu Insights & Analytics)  toll free at (866) 240-3665 or bizlicensesupport@muniservices.com. Please also refer to a set of Frequently Asked Questions


*This fee includes a $4 state mandated fee on any application for 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, as specified. 

Ordinance #5379 – Ordinance regarding the Business Registration Program
Staff Report ID #6470 – Most recent Business Registry- related staff report with links to previous reports.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2018