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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 must apply directly with the city; not through the state. Please visit the Peddlers/Solicitors Licenses page for information on how to apply.
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.
Visit the Gig Harbor Business 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 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.
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. Call the Planning Department at 253-851-6170 for more information.
For Hire (PDF) 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.
All marijuana-related uses are prohibited in the City limits. See Ordinance Number 1323 (PDF).
The license is renewable yearly. You will be sent a renewal notice from the State of Washington.
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.
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. For more information about the Hospital Benefit Zone (HBZ) district look at this map (PDF).
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.
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!
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.
Please be aware that remodeling requires a Building Permit. Please obtain these permits before commencing any remodeling activities. Find more information about building permits in the building permit FAQs (PDF).
Before making any additions or modifications to signage, you will need to apply for a Sign Permit (PDF).
To download an Excel Spreadsheet of the latest version of the Business License List: Business License List June 1, 2020