Who needs a general business license?

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

  • Located within City limits and generating $2,000 or more per year within City limits, or
  • Located outside City limits, but conducting business within City limits and generating $2,000 or more per year 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

Until January 1, 2019 (effective date December 24, 2018), the City of Shoreline will maintain its partnership with the State of Washington Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service (DOR BLS) to handle applications for business licenses through the State’s combined-licensing process. If you need to register a business license or renew a currently active one:

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

You can register or renew through DOR BLS until December 24, 2018. After December 24, 2018, DOR BLS will stop accepting and processing business license applications for Shoreline in anticipation of our transition to FileLocal, effective January 1, 2019. You can choose to apply or renew a license before December 24, 2018 or wait until January 1, 2019 to register or renew on FileLocal.

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.