Who needs a general business license?

Shoreline requires all businesses to be licensed with the City if they are:

  • located within City limits, or
  • located outside City limits, but conduct business within City limits.

Exemptions include the following:

  • Businesses that only deliver goods purchased outside of the City.
  • Retail sales at events sponsored by the City or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that occur six (6) days or less and gross five thousand ($5,000) or less yearly within the City.
  • Recreation instruction or performance service at events sponsored by the City or a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that gross five thousand ($5,000) or less per calendar year within the City.

All business licenses need to be renewed annually through the Business Licensing Service, via mail or online.

How to apply

Shoreline has partnered with the State of Washington Business Licensing Service (BLS) to handle applications for business licenses through the state’s combined-licensing process:

Apply Online 

If you have general questions, need assistance filling out the form, or trouble submitting the forms online, please call the BLS directly at 1-800-451-7985. 

You may also mail the following completed forms with the appropriate fee to:

State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034 

Business License Application
City License Addendum

Who needs a regulatory business license?

The following businesses require a regulatory business license:

Adult Cabarets
Adult Panoramas
Public Dances
Regulated Massage Businesses
Secondhand Dealers

It is important to note that some activities require criminal background investigations, zoning/land use approval, and review by the Fire Marshall when a license is issued, transferred or renewed.

For more information and to obtain a license for a regulated business, contact the City Clerk's Office.