Skip navigation links

Business Licenses

callaway golf company buildingThe City of Carlsbad requires all businesses within the limits of the city to have a valid license. Doing business in the city includes businesses based in other cities that enter Carlsbad as part of their work, such as contractors and delivery companies. It also includes businesses that are located in Carlsbad but may not have customers in Carlsbad. Even companies with a temporary presence require a business license.

Please review the city’s business license FAQ and required information for business licenses prior to applying for a business license.



Before you sign a lease, make sure your type of business is allowed at the location and that you know what permits and fees might be required.  The City of Carlsbad's development services manager is here to help by researching the allowed uses for different parts of town and any special permits, fees and requirements - all important information to know BEFORE committing to a space.  This service is free and fast - just give us a call at 760-602-2721, or email


Search for businesses that have a license in the City of Carlsbad.


On and after January 1, 2013, and until December 31, 2018, an additional state fee of $1 will be charged on any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, or renewal thereof, for purposes to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws.

Under federal and state law, compliance with disability access laws is a serious and significant responsibility that applies to all California building owners and tenants with buildings open to the public.    You may obtain information about your legal obligations and how to comply with disability access laws at the following agencies:

            The Division of the State Architect at

            The Department of Rehabilitation at

            The California Commission on Disability Access at

These forms are necessary to apply by mail or in-person. Please select and fill out the appropriate form completely, including date and signature.

  • Commercial location in City of Carlsbad
  • Home-based business in City of Carlsbad
  • Business located outside of City of Carlsbad 

    Application materials may be dropped off or picked up at the City of Carlsbad during business hours.

    Mail completed applications

    City of Carlsbad
    Finance Department
    Business License
    1635 Faraday Ave.
    Carlsbad, CA 92008



    On Dec. 3, 2013 the City of Carlsbad City Council amended the municipal code relating to Massage Services.  The ordinance now aligns with the California Massage Therapy Council’s (CAMTC) standards.

    •  Effective immediately, the Police Department will no longer issues Massage Technician or Holistic Health Practitioner Licenses.
    •  All current City of Carlsbad Massage Licenses will expire and compliance of the amended Carlsbad code will be required by June 1, 2014.
    • All massage establishments must comply with the revised City of Carlsbad Municipal Code Chapter 5.16.
    •  If all massage establishment owners have a CAMTC certificate, that businesses will ONLY need a business license and a Massage Business Certificate of Registration Application
    • If any massage establishment owner does not have a CAMTC certificate, additional back grounding and fingerprinting will be required of that owner.
    •  A massage business may ONLY employ CAMTC certified masseuses and all masseuses working in the City of Carlsbad must have a CAMTC certificate.
    •  Any changes in massage personnel must be immediately documented with the police department.
    • Please review Chapter 5.16 for additional requirements. 
    • For additional information on registration, current licenses and refunds please contact Judy Thomas at (760) 931-2142 or


    Contact Information

    Business Licenses

    1635 Faraday Ave.
    Carlsbad, CA 92008

    General Information

    Business hours
    Monday - Thursday
    7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
    8 a.m. - 5 p.m