Spokane city license

Effective November 21, 2021 until December 31, 2022 the business registration fee and the personal fees on initial applications are each reduced by 50%. After completing your application and submitting payment you must contact the City Taxes and Licenses Department for eligibility determination. Refunds will be issued by the city.

Requirements and fees

General business license
Variable

The city of Spokane requires a license for all businesses located within city limits, or conducting business within city limits. If you are not sure if you will do business within the city limits, contact the city directly before you apply.

If you will have more than one business located on a single property, you must complete a separate application for each business.

License fee is determined by number of employees who work within the city limits of Spokane.

Method for calculating employees

All owners, partners, corporate officers, agents, dealers, LLC members and managers, business trustees, and any person employed by or at any business within the city and/or persons who perform any part of their duties within the City of Spokane.

  • Part-time and temporary persons are also counted as employees.
  • Businesses located outside of the city limits of Spokane should count only the employees who come into the city to do business.
  • Sole proprietors and their spouses are not considered employees and should NOT be included in the employee count/fee.

Origination fee:

License fee:

$120

Employee fee:

1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee 

Renewal fee:

Businesses that have completed Section B or Section C of the City Addendum and whose gross annual income is $18,000 or below may be eligible for a reduced Spokane General Business Registration Fee at the time of renewal. Sufficient proof of gross annual income earned from business activities in the City of Spokane is required to qualify and sent to:

City of Spokane
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99201


Examples of acceptable documents:

  • Copy of your Schedule C.
  • Form 1065.
  • Form 1120 from the prior year.

Your registration will not be issued until the proper documentation is approved by the City of Spokane. If you have any questions, contact the city at (509) 625-6070.

Reported gross annual income

License fee

$0 through $18,000

$60 (reduced fee) + employee fee if applicable

Employees:
1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Above $18,000

$120 + employee fee if applicable

Employees:
1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Nonprofit businesses
$60

To qualify for the nonprofit endorsement, the business must be registered with the Office of Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation and submit a copy of their 501(c) 3 or 501(c) 4 tax exemption letter issued by the IRS.

Origination fee: $60

Renewal fee: $60

Social Purpose corporation (SPC) license
Variable

A for-profit corporation formed or qualified under the provisions of Chapter 23B.25 RCW as a Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) may be eligible for a discounted City of Spokane SPC business license and fee. To qualify you must first apply for the regular Spokane city general business license and pay full fees normally due. Afterwards, contact the City of Spokane directly to request the special SPC license status. If the discount is allowed, an adjustment to the amount of fees paid will be made. For more information, contact the city directly.

Origination fee:

License fee

$60

Employee fee

1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Renewal fee:

License fee

$60

Employee fee

1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Certified B corporation license
$60

A for-profit corporation that qualifies for the City of Spokane Social Purpose Corporation (SPC) status business license may also qualify for an additional business license fee discount by submitting proof the SPC entity holds the independent, commercial B-Lab Certification. For more information, contact the city directly.

Origination fee: $60

Renewal fee: $60

Non-resident businesses
Variable

If your business is physically located outside city limits, but conducts business within city limits, your license fee is determined by gross annual income earned within this city’s limits and number of employees:

Method for calculating employees

All owners, partners, corporate officers, agents, dealers, LLC members and managers, business trustees, and any person employed by or at any business within the city and/or persons who perform any part of their duties within the City of Spokane.

  • Part-time and temporary persons are also counted as employees.
  • Businesses located outside of the city limits of Spokane should count only the employees who come into the city to do business.
  • Sole proprietors and their spouses are not considered employees and should NOT be included in the employee count/fee.

Origination fee:

Reported gross annual income

License fee

$0 through $2,000

$0

Above $2,000

$120 + employee fee if applicable

Employees:
1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Renewal fee:

Businesses that have completed Section B or Section C of the City Addendum and whose gross annual income is $18,000 or below may be eligible for a reduced Spokane General Business Registration Fee at the time of renewal. Sufficient proof of gross annual income earned from business activities in the City of Spokane is required to qualify and sent to:

City of Spokane
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99201

Examples of acceptable documents:

  • Copy of your Schedule C.
  • Form 1065.
  • Form 1120 from the prior year.

Your registration will not be issued until the proper documentation is approved by the City of Spokane. If you have any questions, contact the city at 509-625-6070.

Reported gross annual income

License fee

$0 through $2,000

$0

Above $2,000 through $18,000

$60 (reduced fee) + employee fee if applicable

Employees:
1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Above $18,000

$120 + employee fee if applicable

Employees:
1 through 5 employees - $10 per employee
6 through 10 employees - $15 per employee
11 or more employees - $20 per employee

Spokane Municipal Code Chapter 8.01 Business Registration

You are not authorized to conduct business in Spokane until all local code requirements are met.

If you have checked any of the boxes in lines 5 or 10 on page 2 of this form, please call the Spokane Fire Department at 509-625-7041 to schedule your safety evaluation. Please be aware that the safety evaluation may discover related activities that could require additional Building or Fire Department permits and fees. We are here to help your business succeed and reduce your risk of a fire while avoiding citations, fines & possible business closure for non-compliance with local Municipal Codes. Thank you for helping make Spokane a safer place to live and work!

A few basic fire safety requirements for new businesses:

  • Provide address numbers/letters that are readily visible from the street. For each building the address must be posted with numbers/letters at least 4" in height placed on a contrasting background (IFC 505). Office tenant spaces require identification also.
  • Keep combustible storage to a minimum and away from electrical panels and any heat producing devices. Combustible storage shall not be stored in exits, exit enclosures, boiler rooms, mechanical rooms or electrical rooms (IFC 304, 305, 315).
  • Storage shall not encroach within 2' of the ceiling in non-fire-sprinkler areas of buildings and a minimum of 18" below sprinkler deflectors in fire-sprinkler areas of buildings (IFC 315.3.1).
  • Extension cords shall be maintained in good condition and shall not be used in place of permanent wiring or extend through ceilings, doorways, walls, floors, etc. (IFC 605.5).
Other business activities

You must contact the city of Spokane Department of Taxes & Licenses at 509-625-6070 directly for additional licensing, fees, or taxes if your business involves any of the following activities:

  • Collection of admission.
  • Commercial tree work.
  • Entertainment, concerts, or carnivals.
  • For Hire Vehicle or For Hire Vehicle Operator.
  • Gambling.
  • Mobile food vendors.
  • Utility business, occupation, or activity.

For the following business activities, please contact the listed department to obtain the required regulatory license in addition to the business registration.

Short term rentals: Development Services Center 509-625-6300

Businesses exempt from city licensing

Your business may be exempt from getting a city business license. For more information, please contact the city directly.

Apply for a city license

State tax registration $0
Registering your business name as a trade name $5
Business license application fee Variable

Online

Need help?
Setting up your business licensing and tax account
How to add a city license endorsement


By mail

Complete the following and mail to:

Business License Application and City Addendum

Business Licensing Service
P.O. Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034