Issues Renewing Business License Online

Question & Answer (Edhat)

Is anyone else having issues with renewing a Business License online?

I have been trying to pay online now for about two weeks. It tells me I left the page static for too long and it logs me off.  I’ve had to change the password a couple of times too.

The deadline is Jan 31 and I’m at my wit’s end.  The only time I’ve had this month to do it is the weekends and the online business that hosts the page is closed on weekends.

Anyone have an answer for me?  Can I just go into the Courthouse or City Hall to renew?

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  1. Yes, it’s a nightmare this year! You can’t go in person, and the online procedure was super confusing. Even the option listed at the bottom of the renewal letter that mentions downloading a form doesn’t work either. I sent my check and a copy of my letter to the address on the letter I got from the city, and explained my problem. I hope I don’t get fined for noncompliance.

    • Just download the form from Avenu’s website. It’s not in the most obvious place. You have to follow the login for taxpayers link. At that point you’re given a bunch of options including a link to a PDF fillable form.

  2. Agreed the renewal process has been handed to a private company that in my personal experience wasn’t ready for the job last year or this year and I just have to wonder why it was done in the first place?. I agree with other comments that this has turned into a more confusing and time consuming process, unclear instructions, just not what one should expect when trying to pay for a business license. The staff at Avenu Solutions or whatever it’s called seem nice enough but the whole experience both years left me wondering why the ability to pay over the counter has disappeared. In my experience over many years I recall the office being efficiently run and if there was a question there was always someone there who would get it resolved then and there. I guess there is probably a reason bc I know government doesn’t like face to face with citizens too much anymore. Maybe the old staff just retired and this is the millennial way of handling it because helping people over the counter is simply below them? So instead their job is to administer a contract with an out of town vendor that’s not ready for prime time?

  3. After several tries (with different browsers) I was finally able to pay online a couple of weeks ago. Then this week I got an urgent demand notice from Avenu saying my business category had changed and PAY UP…. except in the same post I got a cheesy paper “license” that MUST BE POSTED. I went online, and copied all the pages that said I was paid in full, and chalked it up to yet another example of how much worse Government has become in every aspect of control over our lives. Outsourcing this simple function instead of having one dedicated local employee at a help counter in City Hall is a farce.

  4. I hate hate hate this Avenu system. It was a nightmare last year; I complained to them and to the City, and it hasn’t gotten any better. AARRGGHH.

    PS: I’m amused to see this wording on the City’s most recent email: “City of Santa Barbara Business Tax Certificates (business licenses)”. This and some other mentions make it clear that this program has nothing to do with licensing us to do business, it’s simply a tax.

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