Permits and Licenses for Business

Frequent Permits/Licenses

  • Business License: To operate a business in the City of Morgan Hill you will need to file an annual business license.
  • Occupancy Permit:  In order to legally occupy a building your need to have an occupancy permit.
  • ABC Permit(s):  If you will be serving/selling beer, wine or alcohol you will need a permit from Alcoholic Beverage Control with the State of California.  Before they can issue a permit, they will coordinate with the City of Morgan Hill.
  • Tobacco Permit:  If you are selling tobacco related products in Morgan Hill you need to a tobacco permit.  A tobacco permit can be processed concurrently with a Business License Application.
  • Annual Fire Inspection:  The City of Morgan Hill Fire Marshall annually inspects all businesses.
  • Sign Permit:  If you are installing or modifying a sign for your business you need to have a sign permit.

Unique Permits

  • Special Event Permit-If you are having an event on City streets or property (that can include alcohol, more than 50 people or amplified sound) you will need to get a Special Event Permit.
  • Conditional Use Permit- Some business uses require a conditional use permit to operate within certain areas of the City. (Check Zoning to determine if this applies)
  • Administrative Use Permit- Some business uses require an administrative use permit to operate within certain areas of the City (Check Zoning to determine if this applies)
  • Encroachment Permit- Are you working in the City of Right of Way (roads, streets, sidewalks, light poles)? If so, you will need to receive an encroachment permit from the City of Morgan Hill. 
  • Massage Permit- The City has strict limitations on the location of Massage establishments (Check Zoning).  A massage permit can be processed concurrently with a Business License Application.  Please note as part of the permit process additional information will need to be submitted that will be retained with the Police Department.
  • Carnival Permit  Operating a Carnival within the City limits of Morgan Hill will  require a permit from the Police Department.
  • Animal Establishments/Kennels  Operating an animal kennel within the City limits of Morgan Hill will  require a permit from the Police Department.
  • Live Entertainment Permit  If you will be having live entertainment in your facility you will need to receive a permit from the Police Department.
  • Adult Business Permit The City has strict limitations on the location of Massage establishments (Check Zoning).  A  massage permit will be required from the Police Department.

Construction Related Permits

  • Interior building improvements If you are making modifications within a building (changing lighting, HVAC, plumbing fixtures, adding/removing walls) you will at a minimum need a building permit.
  • Exterior building improvements If you are making exterior modifications to a building (New Building construction, Adding windows, additions, signs, etc.) you will at a minimum need a planning and building permit.