Departments > Administration > City Clerk > Business Licenses

Business Licenses

If you are opening or operating a business in the city limits, you are required to add a City of Gig Harbor addendum to your state license. Business is defined as any activities, occupation, pursuits or professions with the object of gain, benefit or advantage to the licensee or to another person or class, directly or indirectly, whether part-time or full-time.

What about regulations and permit requirements?

Before considering starting a business, be sure to check with the Building and Planning Departments to find out if your business is allowed in the area you are proposing and whether any remodeling plans will meet current code requirements. This is important to do, especially before making a commitment to lease or buy space.

Peddlers and Solicitors

Peddlers and Solicitors must apply directly with the city; not through the state. Go to PEDDLERS | SOLICITORS for information on how to apply.

To Register Your Business With the City and State

The City of Gig Harbor is participating in a joint business licensing program with the State of Washington Business Licensing Service. Most businesses may now apply online for the City of Gig Harbor and various state and local agencies using a single form with addendum pages for each participating municipality.      

To Apply On-Line, by mail, or Add a City of Gig Harbor Addendum to Your Existing Washington State License

Visit the City of Gig Harbor License Information Page. You will be instructed how to apply online or by mail.  You will receive faster service when you apply online and will generally have your Business License within approximately two weeks.  Questions about the Business License Application form or the City of Gig Harbor Endorsement Addendum form should be directed to the Department of Revenue at 1 (800) 451-7985. You will receive one Business License from the State showing both your city and state business licenses.  Please note that your license is subject to City approval, in particular, zoning approval by the City’s Planning department for businesses physically located within city limits.

Home-based business Requirements

Home-based businesses should call the Planning Department at (253) 851-6170.

For Hire Driver Rules

For Hire companies and drivers must be approved at city hall to operate locally. These applicants must get approvals based on the physical address of their office, regardless of where they operate.

Marijuana Related Uses

All marijuana-related uses are prohibited in the City limits. See Ordinance No. 1323

Renew on Time!

The Business Licensing Service charges a late renewal penalty fee of 50% of the amount of the combined licensing fees due for a business location, up to $150 maximum. In order to avoid being charged this penalty fee, it is important that you submit your renewal application before the expiration date. It's easy to do at the new My DOR link.

Tax Information

If you have retail sales within the boundaries of the City of Gig Harbor you should use the City’s 4-digit location code 2708 on the Washington Combined Excise Tax Return, line 18. If your business is located within the Hospital Benefit Zone District (see link below), you will report to the 4-digit location code 2788. Click here for map of Hospital Benefit Zone (HBZ) District.

More FAQ's

What if the business is a non-profit organization?
All businesses operated not-for-profit must obtain a business license, however, they are exempt from paying a business license fee upon satisfactory proof of non-profit status by submitting this information to the Department of Revenue.

What if the business is in my home?
Businesses operated from your home within city limits are called "Home-Occupation". It is important to obtain information from the Planning Department about the rules governing home occupations and what regulations apply. The fees are the same and you may use the same application process. Indicate on the application that you are applying for a home occupation license.

What about zoning regulations?
The City of Gig Harbor has zoning requirements to provide for orderly development. Certain businesses are allowed in certain areas of the city. Before considering starting a business, contact the Planning Department, to ask whether your proposed business is allowed in the area, especially before making a commitment to lease or buy space!

Why do I need a Fire Marshal Inspection?
The Fire Marshal Inspection is required by code and free of charge with your business license approval. This service is to assure the city and yourself, the business owner, that any safety issues have been addressed, such as blocked emergency exits and sufficient fire extinguishers. The inspection will be repeated on an annual basis.

What about remodeling my new business?
Please be aware that remodeling requires a Building Permit. Please obtain these permits before commencing any remodeling activities. Building Permit FAQ's

Before making any additions or modifications to signage, you will need to apply for a Sign Permit.

Do I have to renew my license?
The license is renewable yearly. You will be sent a renewal notice from the State of Washington.

How do I obtain a city business license list?
Each month the State sends an updated list of all licensed businesses in the City. Some are located within city limits; many are not. Here is a link to the latest Business License List.