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Business License Information

Who needs a business license?

If you do business in Renton, you need a business license from the City of Renton. Over 80% of these funds are used to improve and expand our streets. All activities, occupations, trades, professions and matters located or engaged in within the City or anywhere else within the City's jurisdiction with the object of gain, benefit, advantage or profit to the business enterprise or to another person, directly or indirectly.

How do I get a business license for the City of Renton?

One of the requirements for the City of Renton's license is that all applicants must have an Uniform Business Identification Number (UBI). You may obtain this number from Washington State Department of Revenue located at Centerpointe Campus, Cascade East Building, 20819 72nd Avenue South Suite 680, Kent, WA 98032. Phone: (425) 656-5100.

Once you have a UBI number, the next step is to complete the City of Renton application.

Please Note: It can take 2-3 weeks from the time the completed application is turned in until the business license is approved and issued.

Other Requirements and Information: 

  • Restaurant and Food Handlers are required to submit a copy of their Health Department Certificate with their City of Renton
    Business License Application. (WAC 246‐217)
  • Portable fire extinguishers must be provided, 2A‐10BC minimum size. Exact number and placement details can be obtained
    from Fire Prevention. Annual service required.
  • Annual inspections will be conducted by the City’s Fire Department, per adopted City Ordinances.
  • Prior to commencing your business, you may be required to meet with Fire and/or the Building Department and the Water
    Utility to determine whether your business will meet all applicable City codes for the type of business proposed.
  • Permits may be required from Fire and/or the Building Department and the Water Utility for your proposed use, operation or
    remodeling.

HOME BASED BUSINESS

If your business is a home-based business, complete a Home Occupation application.   If you live in an apartment you must have written permission from the landlord to conduct business out of the apartment. You should check with Zoning to verify if the business can be conducted out of that location.

IN-CITY COMMERCIAL BUSINESS

If your business location is zoned Commercial, complete a commercial business license form.    All applications in the City limits of Renton are sent to the Building/Zoning Department for approval, then forwarded on to the Fire Prevention Department for approval. When the application is returned to the Business License Division all the information is recorded and a Business License is printed and sent to the Business.

OUT-OF-CITY BUSINESS

If your business is located outside the city limits of Renton, but you are going to be conducting work within the city limits of Renton, complete an Out-of-City Business license application.

City of Renton Business License fees are based on total Full Time Equivalent employees (FTE) worked in a year by all personnel; including corporate officers, partners, family, etc., regardless if a salary is paid or not. You are billed at the end of each anniversary date of the business's original application for a City Business License. This annual report must be paid each year to keep your license valid.

GAMBLING, ENTERTAINMENT AND ADMISSION TAXES

GAMBLING TAX

If your business has pull-tab sales, punch board sales, card tables, bingo or raffle sales, you will need to report and pay a monthly or quarterly gambling tax. All taxes will be due and payable the following month succeeding the month in which the tax was accrued. If a person or organization has taxes due in the amount of $10,000 or less in a calendar year, then they may report and make payment on a quarterly basis. Please see monthly/quarterly returns and Renton Municipal Code.

ENTERTAINMENT TAX

Any coin-operated machine, structure, apparatus or device of any type that may be played or operated by one or more persons for entertainment or amusement or as a game of skill is considered an Entertainment Device. The fee to be paid for each entertainment device is $30.00 per quarter, per machine. Entertainment/Amusement taxes are reported on a quarterly basis. Please see forms here.

ADMISSION TAX

Any business which imposes a fee for admission to any event, ie music, sporting event, movie theater, is subject to an admission tax by the City of Renton. A tax of 5% on each admission charge will be due and payable to the City of Renton on a quarterly basis. Please see forms here.

If you have any questions regarding the City of Renton's business license requirements or need help applying for a new Renton business license or renewing an existing Renton business license, please email Linda Weldon or call 425-430-6851.

 

Helpful Links

Additional Resources

For information to help start a business, check out the Washington State Department of Licensing or review the Operating a Business: A Business Resource Guide.

For information regarding securing a business license from the Washington State Department of Licensing or registering with the state departments of Revenue, Labor and Industries, Employment Security, or the Office of the Secretary of State, please check out the Master Business License Application. Please note that the state business license or the Master Business License are separate from and in addition to the Renton business license.

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The Renton Small Business Development Center provides local small and medium-sized business with professional, no-fee, confidential, one-on-one advising, plus research services, training classes and seminars that can help your company thrive and grow. For more information call (425) 235-7819 or view the website: www.wsbdc.org.