County Business License

COVID-19 Notice

The safety and health of our community is important to us. As such, we are taking the concerns associated with novel coronavirus (COVID-19) seriously and are closely monitoring this fluid situation. For more details on COVID-19, you can visit the Merced County’s Public Health Website on Covid-19.

Following the stay-at-home order effective March 23, 2020, the Community and Economic Development Department’s front counter and in-person services will be closed until further notice and will instead provide services electronically.

Business License Applications

To submit electronically, complete, sign, and email business licenses applications or renewals  to businesslicense@countyofmerced.comIN THE SUBJECT LINE OF THE EMAIL PLEASE TYPE EITHER:

Staff will review your application for completeness and inform you when payment may be submitted.

Please review our Instructions for Electronic Submittal & Payment handout for how to submit payments electronically.

All businesses either physically located and/or conducting business within the unincorporated areas of Merced County must complete and submit a Merced County Business License Application and the associated fees to Merced County Community & Economic Development (CED).

General Information

  1. An annual business license fee is due on the anniversary date of your approved license. As a courtesy Community and Economic Development will mail a renewal notice approximately one month prior to the expiration date. However, it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure the renewal payment is made on or before the expiration date of the license.
  2. If payment is not received by the last day of the following month of license expiration, the license will become delinquent. A notice will be mailed to the business and a delinquent charge in the amount of the license fee (excluding the state fee of $4.00) will be added to the renewal fee. The delinquent fee and renewal fee will be immediately due upon mailing of the delinquent notice.
  3. If license is not renewed within 60 days of the expiration date the license will expire and a NEW application will have to processed through the Community & Economic Development Department. 4. A business license is NON‐TRANFERRABLE. It becomes void when a CHANGE OF ADDRESS or CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP occurs. Any change to address or ownership will be treated as a NEW application in which application procedure and fees will apply.
  4.  If a business is no longer operating in Merced County it is the business owner’s responsibility to notify Community & Economic Development Department.
  5. Fee exemptions: Non‐Profits must provide 501c Form. Veterans must provide DD214 form.
  1. New Business License
  2. Business License Renewal
  3. Update License

Once a complete Merced County Business License Application and the associated fees are submitted to Merced County Community & Economic Development (CED). Your application will then be reviewed by staff. Staff will determine if all land use requirements are met and if additional approval is required by other agencies such as Merced County Fire Department, Environmental/Public Health, Buildings Division. All requirements must be met prior to being issued a business license.

Applications may be submitted to the Department online, in-person, or via mail.

Online Application Submission

Merced County Community & Economic Development is now accepting applications online. Applicants will complete the Merced County Business License Application and Questionnaire and email to the application to

Once application is received, staff will review the application to determine if all agency requirements have been met. If additional approval is needed from another agency, the applicant will be contacted by the necessary agency. 

Once staff at CED has been informed that all requirements have been met, staff will notify the applicant may now submit payment online. Instructions for electronic submittal & payment will be emailed to the email address provided on the application. Please allow 2-4 days for license mail out once payment has been made.

In-Person Application Submission

Applications and associated fees may be submitted in person by visiting the Merced County Community & Economic Development office at 2222 M Street, 2nd floor, Merced, CA 95340. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Mail-in Application Submission

Applications and associated fees may be mailed to Merced County Community & Economic Development by addressing to:

Merced County Community & Economic Development
Attn: Business License
2222 M Street, 2nd Floor
Merced, CA 95340

Contact Us

Most businesses must meet local, state and federal regulations governing business activities. If you are interested in starting a business or expanding your business within the unincorporated areas of Merced County, please contact the Merced County Community and Economic Development Department at (209) 385-7686 or for information regarding local regulations, processes and procedures.