FAQ Topic: New Business

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.

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.

What are Sonoma’s Living Wage regulations and how do I get more information?

The City of Sonoma’s Living Wage Ordinance (Sonoma Municipal Code Section 2.70) was adopted in 2004. The Living Wage applies to a very limited number of entities, and only if they employ more than six employees. These include the City of Sonoma itself and organizations that receive funding or financial assistance above certain levels from … Continued

Does the city require a business license?

Any person or company conducting business within the city limits of the City of Sonoma, whether ongoing or one-time only, is required to have an active business license. To apply for a business license, please download the business license application. You can determine the amount due for your license using the fee schedule listed on … Continued

Close window