Port Orchard

Welcome to Port Orchard

Business Licensing FAQ


The City of Port Orchard is partnering with the Business Licensing Service at the State of Washington. Businesses can now apply online at www.bls.dor.wa.gov for the City of Port Orchard and various state and local agencies (including Department of Revenue, Secretary of State, Employment Security, Labor & Industry, and Department of Licensing and other municipalities) using a single form with addendum pages for each participating municipality.

You will receive one License from the State showing both your city and state business licenses.


To register your business with the City and State:

Visit the City of Port Orchard License Information Page.  You will be instructed how to apply online or by mail.  Questions about the Business License Application form or the Addendum form should be directed to the Department of Licensing at (800) 451-7985.

Applying online

Apply by mail
Adding a Port Orchard addendum to your existing WA state license
Other Registration requirements
Additional information
Renewing on time
Tax information


To apply on-line:

Complete the On-line Forms for both the State of Washington Business Lecense Application and the City of Port Orchard Addendum and pay the appropriate fees by credit card.  You will receive faster service when you apply online and will generally have your License within approximately two weeks.

To apply by mail:

Download the State of Washington License Application and the City of Port Orchard Addendum.  Send the completed forms to the State of Washington, Business Licensing Service, PO Box 9034, Olympia WA 98507-9034.  Include the appropriate fees made payable to “Department of Revenue.”  You will receive your Business License about four weeks after submitting your application.  Your city license may take longer to process.

To add a City of Port Orchard Addendum to your existing Washington State license:

Follow the same procedure outlined above, including completion of the Business License Application as well as the City of Port Orchard Addendum, if you are already registered with the State but need to register with the City of Port Orchard.
Please note that your license is subject to city approval, in particular, zoning approval by the city’s Planning department for businesses physically located within city limits.

Other Port Orchard registration requirements:

Home-based businesses should call the Department of Community Development at (360) 876-5533.

Additional Information

To find out if a business or a trade name is registered with the State please visit the Business and Professional License website.

Renewing your City business license

If you are a business that has one or more city or state business licenses to renew, you will be able to do so with just a single renewal for each business location.  Many of you will be eligible to renew over the Internet.  If so, instructions will be printed on the renewal notice you receive in the mail.
•    When the State Business Licensing Service sends your renewal notice, make any needed corrections including the owner names, addresses, and the Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number.
•    Submit the renewal to BLS by mail or over the internet with the appropriate fees.
•    After the renewal is processed, you will receive a “Business License” document that displays your City of Port Orchard business license endorsement along with any other business registrations and licenses that are handled through BLS.
•    Note the expiration month on your license and look for the next renewal notice to arrive about six weeks before that expiration date. At that time, you will also be charged the $9 Business Licensing Service renewal fee.
BLS normally charges a $9 renewal-handling fee. That fee will appear on the renewal notice. If your initial BLS renewal is prorated for less than 12 months, the handling fee will be waived until the next, full year’s renewal. To some of you this will be a new experience; to others who are already renewing other licenses through BLS, there will be no change other than your city license will be included on the renewal.
If you have questions about this program, please contact Business Licensing Service at (800) 451-7985.


Renew on time!

The Business Licensing Service charges a late renewal penalty fee of 50% of the amount of the combined licensing fees due for a business location, up to $150 maximum. In order to avoid being charged this penalty fee, it is important that you submit your renewal application before the expiration date.

Tax information

If you have retail sales within the boundaries of the City of Port Orchard you should use the City’s 4-digit location code 1802 on the Washington Combined Excise Tax Return, line 18.



How long will it take to process my business license?
If I sell at the Farmers Market, do I require a business license
What if the business is a non-profit organization?
Am I exempt from needing a business license
What if the business is in my home?What about zoning regulations
Do I have to renew my license
What happens if I do not get a business license

How long will it take to process my business license?

It takes approximately 2 to 3 weeks once the City receives your information from the Business Licensing Service.


If I sell at the Farmers Market, do I require a business license?

No – individual vendors selling at the Farmers Market are not required to have a separate business license.


Am I exempt from needing a business license?

There are certain exemptions to needing a business license.  You may review a copy of our Municipal Code Chapter 5.12 or you can contact the Finance Department at (360) 876-7020 for further clarification.


What if the business is a non-profit organization?

All businesses operated not-for-profit must obtain a business license; however, they are exempt from paying a business license fee upon satisfactory proof of non-profit status by submitting this information to the Business Licensing Service.

What if the business is in my home?

Businesses operated from your home within city limits are called "Home-Occupation." It is important to obtain information from the Department of Community Development about the rules governing home occupations and what regulations apply. The fees are the same and you may use the same application process. Indicate on the application that you are applying for a home occupation business license.


What about zoning regulations?

The City of Port Orchard has zoning requirements to provide for orderly development. Certain businesses are allowed in certain areas of the city. Before considering starting a business, contact the Department of Community Development, to ask whether your proposed business is allowed in the area, especially before making a commitment to lease or buy space!


What about remodeling my new business?

Please be aware that remodeling requires a Building Permit. Please obtain these permits before commencing any remodeling activities.



Before making any additions or modifications to signage, you will need to apply for a Sign Permit


Do I have to renew my license?

The license is renewable yearly. You will be sent a renewal notice from the State of Washington.


What happens if I do not get a business license?

There are significant penalties to businesses operating without a license.  They start at $500.00 per each 30 days in violation.


I want to have a food/vending cart for the summer.  Am I required to apply for a Business License?

Yes, a business license is required.  If you are a Vendor/Temporary Vendor operating on public property, you are also required to obtain a Vendor/Temporary Vendor Permit issued by the City Clerk’s office.  You can obtain an application here or at City Hall.  For questions regarding Vendor’s permits, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (360) 876-4407.


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