SANTA FE, NM - In celebration of Thanksgiving, Santa Fe County offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26, 2021. County offices will resume regular business hours on Monday, November 29. Solid Waste Convenience Centers will reopen on Saturday, November 27. Essential services provided by Public Safety will continue as usual.

Appointments Required! Click for More information

Masks Are Required!

Join Webex Meetings Here
View Packet Material

Santa Fe County

Growth Management / Land Use

Commercial Business License

It is necessary to obtain and maintain a business license in order to operate a business within the unincorporated areas of Santa Fe County. The requirements of obtaining a business license are described in Ordinance 1992-3, the Business Registration and Licensing Ordinance. Business Licenses are not transferrable from one business owner to the next.

If a development project is being undertaken as a part of starting a new business the necessary requirements, inspections and fees will be included as a part of that approval process. If, however, an existing business is sold to a new owner or if a business is established without any new related development, a development application form and all related documents are submitted for that action.

When considering opening a business a good first step is to have a clear written concept of the business and to determine the zoning of the relevant property. Use the County’s Interactive Zoning Map as it is the simplest way to discover the zoning district, the allowed uses and whether the lot is in a traditional community or overlay district, etc. If the property lies within a community district, you can refer to the respective Community District Overlay Use Table in Chapter 9 of the Sustainable Land Development Code to determine what uses are allowed within the zoning district.  If the property is not within a Community District, you can refer to the Use Matrix Table in Appendix B of the Sustainable Land Development Code to determine what uses are allowed in the zoning district.

Once you have this information, please use the Staff Directory and contact the Commercial Development specialist to discuss the requirements of your submittal. There are a number of conditions and requirements that vary across the County depending upon the nature of the business, the zoning and existing development status of the property, as well as the condition of required offsite improvements.

Connect with Us


Sign up for news updates!

Get trusted alerts from your
local police & other agencies!

Neighborhood level information by text message.

Sign up now »