FAQ Topic: Business FAQs

What is the minimum wage in Sonoma?

The Sonoma City Council passed a local minimum wage ordinance in 2019.  Chapter 2.80 of the Sonoma Municipal Code establishes a minimum wage rate to be paid by Large Employers (26 or more employees) and Small Employers (25 or fewer employees) with annual adjustments. Effective January 2022, the Sonoma minimum wage rate is $16.00 for … Continued

What are the regulations for wine tasting rooms?

In the spring of 2019 the City Council adopted an ordinance regulating wine tasting facilities that includes limits on the total number and location of tasting rooms in the Plaza Retail Overlay Zone, requires a conditional use permit for new tasting rooms, and puts in place certain other requirements.  Learn more on the Wine Tasting … Continued

Can I open a vacation rental business in the City of Sonoma?

The Sonoma City Council has adopted regulations prohibiting new vacation rentals, which were effective in early 2018.  Existing, licensed vacation rentals are allowed to continue, provided they meet updated operating standards.  Under the new ordinance, vacation rentals are no longer a conditionally-permitted in the Mixed Use and Commercial zones (new vacation rentals were already prohibited … Continued

Can chain stores and franchises locate in Sonoma?

The City has a formula business ordinance which places certain restrictions and requirements on chain and franchise businesses.  Learn more about the formula business ordinance and contact the Planning Department for more information.

Is there any way to expedite my building permit?

FAST START Plan Check is a way to “fast track” the processing of your building permit application so you can get your project underway quickly. We recognize that for many projects, time is of the essence.  Using FAST START can significantly reduce the turnaround on your plan check, enabling you to get going faster.  There’s no … Continued

Do I need a sign permit?

Many types of signs require a permit.  You can find links and additional information on our business signage page.  Contact the Planning Department for details.

Can my business put directional signs at the corners of the Plaza?

The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce manages the City-owned business wayfinding signs located at the corners of the Plaza, using our program guidelines. Please contact the Chamber  at (707) 996-1033 for more information.  The winery directional signs throughout the Valley are managed by the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Association.

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