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Permits Unit

The Permits Unit is part of the Community Services Unit and is staffed by a Community Services Officer. The primary responsibility of this unit involves the oversight of businesses regulated by city, state, and federal laws. The unit regulates and maintains records of (87) different businesses in the city and approximately 500 individual permit holders.

The businesses that come under the scrutiny of the unit includes: licensed bingo organizations, taxicab drivers, massage establishments, firearm dealers, second hand dealers, pawnshops, contracted tow companies, solicitors and peddlers, mobile food trucks, fortune tellers, curb painters, charitable solicitors, tattoo parlors, adult bookstores, private patrol operators, funeral escort services, and closing-out sales. The Permits Unit works closely in conjunction with State and County agencies regarding business “close out” sales permits, tax delinquency sales, auctions, carnivals, liquor stores, bars, and other public events.

The unit also manages the Voluntary Tow Program (PDF) as part of the on-going Neighborhood Improvement Program.

The unit conducts inspections, yearly renewals, and investigates complaints against the regulated businesses to ensure full compliance with all the appropriate laws and regulations. A good deal of the unit’s time is devoted to educating business owners about the law and the majority of the time voluntary compliance is achieved.The Permits Unit provides support to the other members of the Community Services Unit at the various city-wide special events such as the Art and Wine Festival, Tree Lighting Ceremony, and the July 4th celebration in Central Park. The Permits Unit operates on an appointment only schedule. For more information, please contact CSO Robin Flores at (408) 615-4867 or

Click on the links below to find the Santa Clara Municipal Code relating to specific types of businesses:

Registration Procedures and Applications

Last updated: 6/29/2015 6:31:32 PM