The City of San Mateo Municipal Code requires all persons or businesses doing business in the City of San Mateo to pay an annual business tax (also sometimes called a business license).  

The payment of this tax is required prior to the commencement of business in San Mateo. After payment of the annual business tax is made, the business will receive a business tax certificate by mail which evidences that the applicable tax has been paid for the period indicated on the certificate. This certificate must be displayed conspicuously in the place of business.  

The business tax certificate does not indicate clearance or approval for zoning, fire code, occupancy, or any other City, County, State or Federal permit or license which may be required. It is the responsibility of the business to ensure that it is in compliance with all legal requirements.