A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service. Section 418 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-391) authorizes the NPS to issue CUAs to authorize a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide commercial visitor services in parks. Without a CUA, other permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, such activities are prohibited under 36 CFR § 5.3.
A CUA is required if you, as an individual, organization, or company, provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:
The National Park Service will only issue CUAs for commercial activities and visitor services that:
Businesses and individuals may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA.
General information about CUAs in the National Park Service (NPS) can be found at the NPS's Commercial Use Authorizations website.
Information on Obtaining a CUA
The National Park Service defines Road-Based Commercial Tours as one or more persons traveling on an itinerary that someone has packaged, priced, or sold for leisure/recreational purposes and provides no other services except those incidental to road-based travel in a NPS area (on-board interpretation and incidental stops at visitor centers, restaurants, wayside exhibits, etc.).
The National Park Service (NPS) has withdrawn plans to implement a standard, nationwide CUA requirement for road-based commercial tours and will not increase commercial tour entrance fees. Road-based commercial tour operators should visit the NPS's Road-based Commercial Tour CUAs page for additional information.
Road-based commercial tour CUAs are not required at Point Reyes National Seashore at this time. However, if a road-based tour involves out-of-vehicle guided activities such as guided day hikes, a CUA may be required for those guided activities.
Download and complete the General Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Application. (665 KB MS Word .docx)
Submit the signed application and any additionally required documentation via email to Point Reyes National Seashore. See contact information below. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
The non-refundable application fee can be submitted by visiting pay.gov. Contact the park's Special Park Uses/Concessions office for the required permit number. See contact information below.
CUA holders must submit an annual report each year. Download the appropriate report from below and as an exhibit to each CUA document. This report provides the park with visitation statistics, reportable injury data, and a record of annual gross receipts.
You must return this report via email by the due date each year. See contact information below. Failure to return required reports or misrepresentation of statistics or earnings will result in denial of your next CUA application.
As of January 1, 2023, Point Reyes National Seashore ("Park") has implemented a new Commercial Use Authorization fee structure. The new fee structure is a Market Based Rate which is the National Park Service's preferred fee structure for Commercial Use Authorizations ("CUA") and is used by many parks.
The standard National Park Service market price gross receipts model will be used. A Market Price Management Fee will now be charged based upon a percentage of the gross receipts (see table below) earned from business in the Park. 100% of CUA fees paid remain at the Park and are used to fund oversight of the program, operational checks on operator performance, and projects that benefit CUA holders and access to the Park. The non-refundable $150 application fee will remain the same. If gross receipts are $5,000 or less, only the $150 application fee will apply.
As an example of the above is a fee chart: if a CUA holder earns $750,000 in gross revenue as a result of doing business authorized by the CUA. The NPS will charge 3% of gross receipts up to $250,000, 4% for the next $250,000, and 5% for the remaining $250,000, for a total CUA management fee of $30,000, minus the application fee.
The CUA holder will deduct the $150 application fee from the percentage of gross receipts before remitting at the end of the season. If the calculated market price fee is less than the application fee, there will be nothing further due, and the NPS will retain the application fee.
The application fee will be collected via Pay.Gov when the application is submitted. The Market Price Management Fee will be assessed and collected at the end of the season based on the mandatory CUA Annual Report (0MB 10-660). This fee may also be paid via Pay.Gov.
Companies with a CUA to operate in Point Reyes National Seashore
This list will be updated as CUA applications are received and permits are issued. If the company you are looking for is not listed, please contact the park's CUA office by email.
CUA Office contact information
Send the CUA Office a message expressing your interest in obtaining a CUA or in submitting a report. We will reply by email and you will be able to attach any applications or reports to your response.
Last updated: April 17, 2023