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Business Licenses

Business License Ordinance | Requirements | Application Process | Home Business  
Short Term Rentals | Other Licenses | Sales Tax Reporting | B&O Tax | Fee Schedules 
Renewal Information | Additional City LicensesExternal Links

Please read through the following information before completing the application:

Business License Requirement

The City is pleased that you have chosen Kirkland as the place to operate your business. The Licensing Division is available to assist you with your business license application. A city business license is required prior to opening a business. Please read the “Frequently Asked Questions” about Kirkland’s Business License Program.
Business License Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)


Business license fees help pay for services that businesses need including those provided through the City’s Economic Development Program. To learn more about why the City collects a business tax, what services are supported by the tax and how Kirkland compares to other cities, read the “License Fee Supports Business Services” handout.City of Kirkland Business License Fee (pdf)

Applying for a Business License

You may apply for a city business license at the Licensing counter at City Hall, 123 Fifth Avenue during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 8-5, except for holidays). You may also obtain a business license application by choosing the appropriate form below and mailing your completed forms and licensing fees to City Hall Licensing Department.

Download the applicable business license application, business license fee worksheet, and Home Occupation Agreement

Click here if you need a City of Kirkland Business License application for a business located within the City of Kirkland city limits.

Click here if you need a City of Kirkland Business License application for a business located outside of the City of Kirkland city limits.  

To determine if your business is located within the City of Kirkland city limits, please contact the business license clerk at 425-587-3140 or

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Contact the business license clerk at 425-587-3140 (by e-mail: to have an application mailed to you.

The application process takes approximately two to three weeks. If the application indicates any problem areas, the department concerned will contact the business owner and work through the problem areas.

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Operating a Business from a private residence

A City of Kirkland Business License is required if you are operating a business from your home located within the City limits. You may also need a home occupation permit. You may contact the Planning Department at 425-587-3600 for more information.

Other Licenses Required

A Washington State Business License is required in addition to your City License. You may apply for a city business license before you have your state license, but the city license will not be released until you have your state license. Locally, you may make your application for a state master business license at the following locations:

Employment Security Building Tax Office
1530 140th Avenue NE, #100
Bellevue, WA 98005


Department of Labor & Industries
616 120th Ave. NE
Bellevue, WA 98005

Helpful information about licensing your business in Washington State is also available on the State of Washington Department of Licensing website.

Depending on the type of business, you may need additional state or local licenses:

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County Licenses

Be aware that some Kirkland addresses are not within the City limits. A King County license may be required for certain businesses located in unincorporated King County. King County does not require licenses for all businesses. If your business is located outside the City limits, and no activity is being performed in city limits, check with King County at 206-296-3504 for licensing requirements. A license from the State of Washington is also required

Sales Tax Reporting

Any retail sales tax generated in Kirkland needs to be reported to the Washington State Department of Revenue, under sales tax code #1716. Phone number to reach Department of Revenue is 1-800-647-7706.

Business & Occupation taxes

The City of Kirkland does not levy any type of business and occupation taxes, except for Utility companies. 

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Business License Fee and Renewal Information

The business license fee consists of two parts: a base fee of $100 and a revenue generating regulatory license (RGRL) based on number of employees. If you have part time employees, you may use the table on the business license fee worksheet to calculate your FTE (full time equivalent), multiply this number by $105.00 and add the $100.00 base fee to this total to determine your total licensing fee.

If the annual gross receipts of your business are less than $12,000.00, you are eligible to pay the registration fee of $50.00. No base fee or RGRL would be due in this case.

Some entities may claim an exemption from the license fees but registration and annual renewal of information are required. These businesses include:

     -Non-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3).  (A copy of the 501(c)(3)is       
     -Religious entities (only the core religious functions are exempt)   
     -Governmental entities (only activities that are exclusively government
       related are exempt).     

Contact the Business License Clerk at 425-587-3140 or email at for details concerning your specific situation.

Business licenses are valid for one year from date of issuance. A renewal notice will be mailed approximately 30 days prior to expiration date of the current license.

Additional City Licenses

Certain activities require additional city licenses. Included are cabaret licenses for live music or live music and dancing, and licenses for cigarette machines, amusement and electronic game devices, juke boxes, and pool tables. You may call the business license clerk at 425-587-3140 if you have questions about any special license that may be required for your business. See the chart below for fees that may apply.


Type Fee Comment


Amusement Device $50 per device annual
Cabaret (dance) $250
Cabaret (music) $100
Celebration $25
one-time event
Cigarette Machine $50

per machine
Juke Box $50.00
per machine
Pool Tables $50 per table annual
Public Dance or $100
Public Dance $25
one-time event

Finding a Kirkland Business

You may obtain information about any business licensed by the City of Kirkland by accessing our permit and licensing website at You will need to know the business name or address to search this database.

Helpful Links

The following links to various government agencies provide helpful business information:

King County Business Licenses
Public Health-Seattle/King County

Washington State Department of Licensing
Washington State Department of Revenue
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

Internal Revenue Service
Social Security
Small Business Administration

The following links to private organizations may provide useful business information. Please read our disclaimer.

Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
Kirkland Downtown on the Lake
Economic Development Council of Seattle & King County
Puget Sound Regional Council
Better Business Bureau

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Finance and Administration
Street Address: 123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033
Mailing Address: Utility Billing
P.O. Box 3865, Seattle, Washington 98124-3865

General Inquiries
T. 425.587.3001 | F. 425.587.3019