Chapter 5.04
GENERAL BUSINESS REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

5.04.010    Purpose.

5.04.020    Registration and fees—Required when—Exemptions.

5.04.030    Posting required.

5.04.040    No fixed location of business—Possession of registration required.

5.04.050    Trade names and separate locations.

5.04.060    Businesses requiring certificate of occupancy, zoning clearance and commercial cannabis business permit.

5.04.070    Other fees.

5.04.090    Annual increase and maximum fee.

5.04.100    Ordinance review.

5.04.110    Definitions.

5.04.120    Registration categories and amount of fees.

5.04.130    Fee deemed debt to City—Liability.

5.04.140    Renewal notices.

5.04.150    Refunds permitted when.

5.04.160    Enforcement.

5.04.170    Penalties—Nonpayment.

5.04.180    Penalties—Waivers.

5.04.190    Continuing violations.

5.04.200    Violation—Penalty.

5.04.010 Purpose.

This chapter is enacted to raise revenue for municipal purposes and is not intended for regulation of businesses. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.020 Registration and fees—Required when—Exemptions.

A.    General Requirements. Every person or entity on a trade, calling, business, exhibition, avocation or occupation within the City limits of the City shall have a business registration certificate. All business registration fees shall be payable in advance, on or before the anniversary date of the issuance of the registration certificate. Doing business shall include but not be limited to all individuals and firms who hold a fictitious business statement, a State Board of Equalization resale permit, a listing in commercial directories such as the Yellow Pages, local business guide, real estate multiple listing book, reverse phone directory from Pacific Bell or similar listing. Determinations that a firm or individual is doing business in San Carlos may be appealed to the Finance Director.

B.    Fee Exemptions. The Finance Director shall have the authority to waive registration fees for service clubs or charitable organizations operating as temporary vendors.

C.    Nonprofit Festivals. Vendors selling items at weekend festivals conducted by nonprofit organizations shall also be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.

D.    Child and Adult Care Exemptions. Residential care facilities for children or adults which serve six or fewer persons shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.030 Posting required.

Every person, firm or corporation having a registration certificate under the provisions of this chapter and carrying on a trade, calling, business, profession, exhibition, avocation or occupation at a particular fixed and permanent place of business shall keep such registration certificate posted and exhibited while the same is in force, in some conspicuous place therein. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.040 No fixed location of business—Possession of registration required.

Every person, firm or corporation having a registration certificate under the provisions of this chapter who does not carry on a trade, calling, business, profession, exhibition, avocation or occupation at a particular fixed and permanent place of business shall carry his registration certificate with him at all times while carrying on such business for which the registration certificate is issued and shall exhibit the same to any police officer of the City or any person authorized by the City to issue registration certificates or to collect fees for the same. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.050 Trade names and separate locations.

The business registration application must include each trade name and separate location in San Carlos used in the conduct of any business, delivery, etc., within the limits of the City. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.060 Businesses requiring certificate of occupancy, zoning clearance and commercial cannabis business permit.

A.    All commercial, industrial and miscellaneous buildings within the City, which are going to be used for a business requiring a registration certificate under this chapter, must have a certificate of occupancy issued by the Building Division, and a zoning clearance issued by the Planning Department, before a business registration certificate may be issued. Existing buildings which are structurally altered and which are used for a business requiring a registration certificate under this chapter must also have a certificate of occupancy issued by the Building Division before a business registration certificate may be issued.

B.    Businesses that handle hazardous materials and chemicals must receive a Fire Department clearance before a business registration certificate may be issued.

C.    Businesses that require a commercial cannabis business permit per Chapter 8.09, Regulation of Commercial Cannabis Activities—Permit Required, must receive a commercial cannabis business permit before a business registration certificate may be issued. (Ord. 1525 § 2(2) (Exh. B (part)), 2017: Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.070 Other fees.

A.    Businesses which have a change of address must file for an amended business registration certificate. They will be subject to a new zoning clearance and Fire Department review prior to issuance of the amended business registration certificate.

B.    Businesses which require an immediate duplicate copy of their business registration certificate shall pay a fee set by the City fee schedule. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.090 Annual increase and maximum fee.

A.    All business registration taxes hereinafter referred to as business registration fees and charges, including base and unit charges and minimum and maximum charges in this chapter, shall be increased annually by four percent commencing January 1, 2003.

B.    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, the minimum annual fee for a business in the City shall be one hundred eight dollars.

C.    In no event shall a business pay a fee in excess of one thousand three hundred seventy three dollars for a business registration certificate during the first year that this chapter is in effect. (Ord. 1296 § 1 (part), Election 2001; Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.100 Ordinance review.

To keep the provisions of this chapter current, the chapter shall be reviewed by the City Council during the fifth year of its being in effect. Any failure by the City Council to review, or to revise this chapter, shall have no effect on its enforceability. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.110 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

A.    “Contractor” means an individual or entity, as defined by and as required to be licensed under the California Business and Professions Code, generally involved in any aspect of design, construction, maintenance or repair of structures, and improvement to real property.

B.    “Employee” means any individual, owner, agent, full-time or part-time employee who is working at the firm or business on the date that the business registration certificate is issued or renewed.

C.    “Space” means a table, booth or location that is rented by an individual, dealer or consignee in an antique or goods outlet on the date that the business registration fee is due. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.120 Registration categories and amount of fees.

Business registration certificates shall be issued based on the following rate categories and amounts of business registration fees:

A.    Group I—Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail. All businesses in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail categories shall pay annual business registration fees in the sum of ninety-four dollars base fee plus twenty-nine dollars per employee or space. In no event will this annual fee be less than the minimum annual fee. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090. Businesses not covered by other business registration rate categories will also be assessed according to this rate schedule. Businesses in this group include:

Antique and consignment dealers

Bakeries

Bookstores

Candy stores

Car dealers

Clothes stores

Commercial cannabis businesses

Computer stores

Department stores

Distributors

Donut shops

Drug stores

Flower shops

Furniture stores

Gardening supplies

Gas station and car wash

Grocery stores

Hardware, cabinet and paint stores

Jewelers

Liquor stores

Manufacturing

Manufacturer’s representative

Printing, copying and publishing

Restaurants and delis

Retail merchants

Shoe stores

Sporting goods

Stationery and office supplies

Wholesalers

Other similar businesses not specified

Other businesses not specified in this chapter.

B.    Group II—Services, Contractors, Property Rental, Entertainment and Utilities. All businesses in the services, contractors, property rental, entertainment and utilities categories shall pay an annual business registration fee in the sum of ninety-four dollars base fee plus thirty-five dollars per employee. In no event will the annual fee be less than the minimum annual fee. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090. Businesses in this group include:

Agents with no fixed location

Aircraft leasing

Athletic clubs and gyms

Auto repair, paint and body shops

Beauty, nail and hair salons

Child care (seven or more)

Computer services and programming

Contractors

Delivery services (based in San Carlos)

Dry cleaners and laundry

Gardening services

Hotels and motels

Locksmiths and security

Mailing services

Mobile food facilities (not having a registered retail business location)

Photography

Property management

Property repair

Real estate offices and agents

Rental (car and equipment)

Repair

Schools and instruction (for profit)

Services

Tailors

Travel agents

Tree services

Other similar businesses not specified.

C.    Group III—Professions. All businesses in the professions category shall pay an annual business registration fee in the sum of ninety-four dollars base fee plus forty-five dollars per employee. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090. In no event will the annual base fee be less than the minimum annual fee. Businesses in this group include:

Accountants

Advertising

Appraisers

Architects and landscape architects

Artists

Attorneys-at-law

Bookkeeping services

Business and Professions Code

Chiropractors

Consultants

Dentists

Doctors

Engineers

Geologists

Health care services and labs

Medical practitioners

Psychologists

Surveyors

Tax counselors

Other similar businesses not specified.

D.    Group IV—Amusement Devices. The operator of any amusement device defined by Section 9.05.010(A) shall pay a fee in the sum of two hundred thirty-six dollars per machine per year for the first two machines, and for any machine in excess of two shall pay the sum of three hundred fifty-seven dollars per machine per year, for the privilege of operating such machines. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090.

E.    Group V—Billiard Rooms and Poolrooms. The operator engaged in the operation of a billiard room or poolroom shall pay a registration fee of one hundred seventy-nine dollars for the first pool table or billiard table and forty-five dollars for each additional table. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090.

F.    Group VI—Amusement Places, Bingo, Theaters or Exhibition Halls. The operator, firm or corporation engaged in the carrying on of an amusement place, bingo, theater, or exhibition place, excepting circuses, carnivals and outdoor shows, having a seating capacity of less than five hundred persons, shall pay a registration fee in the sum of two hundred thirty-seven dollars per year. All operators, firms or corporations engaged in a like business, having a seating capacity of more than five hundred persons, shall pay an additional fee of one dollar per seat over five hundred. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090.

G.    Group VII—Apartment Houses.

1.    Every person or entity engaged in the business of conducting, managing or operating an apartment house consisting of a building or buildings in the same ownership, constructed upon one parcel or upon adjoining parcels of land and comprised of three or more units per building shall pay an annual registration fee computed as follows:

a.    Zero to and including two units: no charge;

b.    Three units and over: a base fee of eighty-four dollars plus twenty-six dollars per unit after the first two units.

2.    In computing the unit count, a unit occupied by the owner himself or herself personally shall be excluded from the registration fee due.

3.    In no event shall the annual fee be less than the minimum annual fee.

4.    The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090.

H.    Group VIII—Contractors and Mobile Food Facilities (Out of Town). Contractors and mobile food facilities who are headquartered outside of San Carlos shall pay a flat fee of one hundred seventy-nine dollars for an annual registration certificate. Contractors and mobile food facilities who are headquartered outside of San Carlos and wish to purchase a limited-term registration certificate can obtain a six-month registration for one hundred six dollars. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090.

I.    Group IX—Seasonal and Specialized. All businesses in the seasonal and specialized category shall pay an annual registration fee of seven hundred eighty-five dollars per year. The fees shall continue to be adjusted annually by four percent pursuant to Section 5.04.090. Businesses in this group include:

Adult entertainment

Auctions

Auto wrecking

Carnival, circus, rodeo, outdoor shows

Christmas trees and pumpkin patches

Cocktail lounges

Massage parlors

Parking lots

Public dancehalls

Street vendors and solicitors

Temporary vendors and businesses. (Ord. 1525 § 2(2) (Exh. B (part)), 2017; Ord. 1487 § 1, 2015: Ord. 1296 § 1 (part), 2001: Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.130 Fee deemed debt to City—Liability.

The amount of such business registration fee required under this chapter shall be a debt to the City, and such person or entity required to have such business registration shall be liable to the City for the amount of the business registration fee, together with costs of suit, and any attorney’s fees incurred in a civil action brought to collect the fee; provided, however, that criminal prosecution, including arrest and conviction hereunder, shall not be construed as a waiver of the right of the City to bring a civil action to collect a business registration fee. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.140 Renewal notices.

The City shall send out an annual notice to all business registration certificate holders in confirming to them that a renewal payment is due. The City shall send out a second notice prior to the registration certificate due date reminding the business that a renewal payment is due. Both of these notices are sent as a courtesy only and receipt of the notice is not required before payment of the renewal fee is due. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.150 Refunds permitted when.

Where an application and fees have been submitted and because of administrative, legal, procedural or substantive requirements, the applicant has never started the business, the applicant’s fees may be returned to the applicant subject to the approval of the Finance Director. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.160 Enforcement.

The Chief of Police, the Finance Director and the City Attorney shall enforce this chapter. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.170 Penalties—Nonpayment.

A.    Whenever a person, firm or corporation fails to pay a business registration fee within fifteen days after the same becomes due, there shall be added a twenty percent penalty to the business registration fee on the last day of each month after the due date thereof; provided, that the amount of the penalty to be added shall in no event exceed one hundred percent of the amount of the business registration fee due; such penalty to be collected in the same manner as the business registration fee.

B.    The City can collect business registration fees for up to three prior years if the business has been in operation and unregistered during that period of time. However, in no case will the penalty amount exceed one hundred percent of the amount of the business registration fee due. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.180 Penalties—Waivers.

Penalties may be waived in full or in part by the Finance Director for good cause, which shall include, but not be limited to, an unintentional error or omission in compliance by a business with this chapter. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.190 Continuing violations.

Each and every day, or fractional part of a day, that such trade, calling, business, profession, exhibition, avocation or occupation specified in this chapter is conducted, carried on or engaged in, or such thing done, without such registration, shall constitute a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)

5.04.200 Violation—Penalty.

A.    Any person or entity violating any of the provisions, or failing to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The City Attorney shall have discretion to prosecute any such violation of this chapter as an infraction.

B.    Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any ordinance of the City, any person convicted of a misdemeanor for violation of an ordinance of the City is punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

C.    Any person convicted of an infraction for violation of an ordinance of the City is punishable by:

1.    A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars for a first violation;

2.    A fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for a second violation of the same ordinance within one year; or

3.    A fine not exceeding five hundred dollars for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year.

D.    Each person is guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which any violation of any provision of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted by any such person, and he shall be punishable accordingly.

E.    In addition to the penalties set out in this chapter, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be, by the City, summarily abated as such, and each day such condition continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense. (Ord. 1188 § 1 (part), 1995)