Spokane requires all businesses to be registered with the city if they are:
A UBI number is a 9-digit number that registers you with several state agencies and allows you to do business in Washington State. A UBI number is sometimes called a tax registration number, a business registration number, or a business license number. Use the Business License Application to apply for a UBI number.
The application process varies depending on each specific license, but can take up to one hour.
There is a $90 non-refundable processing fee for the initial Business License Application. Renewals will be charged a $10 non-refundable processing fee. You must also pay different fees associated with the various licenses, registrations, or permits you may need for your particular business. For more information, see the License Fact Sheet.
Yes. Although there are over 100 state licenses that can be obtained by using the Business License Application, your business may have additional local, state, or federal licensing requirements. The Department of Licensing will provide you with information to identify those additional requirements.
Sole proprietors who aren't employers usually don't have to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). However, all other business types must apply for this registration whether they have employees or not. For more information about who needs an EIN or how to apply, visit the Internal Revenue Service.
You can make a record search request through the State of Washington Business Licensing Service. They can also provide information about corporations or individuals conducting business under a trade name, or verify the existence of a business. To look up business information online, go to:
You have many decisions you need to make before you apply for a business registration.
The following are some resources to help you get started.
Online - The fastest way to file!
Online applications are typically processed within two business days. It may take up to 21 days if you file by mail.
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
Base Fee: $120.00 per 12 month period. $90 Washington State Processing Fee for initial registration, $10 processing fee for renewals.
Temporary Registration: $60 for first 90 days, $50 to renew for additional 90 days if renewed within the first 90 day license period.
Branch Fee: $120.00 for each additional location. Mobile carts or other mobile units from which business is conducted is considered an additional location. Washington State Processing Fee waived.
$19 non-refundable Washington State Processing Fee for any employees added after initial registration.
Personnel Definition: Any person employed by or at any business within the City and/or persons who perform any part of their duties within the City of Spokane.
|Number of Personnel||Fee Per Person*|
|1 through 5||$10.00 each|
|6 through 10||$15.00 each|
|11 or more||$20.00 each|
*Per Person Fee is based on the total number of personnel working at each location.
Nonprofit Entities: Nonprofit entities which have received certification from the state and/or federal government as a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 are entitled to a reduced registration fee. The reduced business registration fee is one-half the basic registration fee plus inspection or other applicable fees or charges. Nonprofit businesses are exempt from personnel fees. Any applicant for a reduced fee registration must present sufficient proof of nonprofit status as granted by the state or federal government.
Business Evaluation Site Fee: Site evaluation fees apply ONLY to businesses located within the City limits with any of the following criteria:
Fire Department Safety Inspection fees are $88.00.
Taxpayers whose gross business revenues do not exceed $18,000 per calendar year are “eligible persons” entitled to a reduced business registration fee. You must provide IRS filed documents as proof of gross revenues. For computation of gross revenues, revenue from outside the city is not included. Gross revenues means the revenues to the taxpaying entity and are not computed separately for each individual partner, principal, employee, or other constituent part of the taxpayer. Please call 509.625.6070 if you have further questions.
Section 08.02.0207 New Business – Fire Department Safety Evaluations
For information on Food Service and On-site Waste Disposal System Permits, visit the Spokane Regional Health District website.
Businesses engaging in business in the City for a period of ninety days or less within a twelve-month period, or businesses without any permanent location either within or without the City, may obtain a temporary business registration in lieu of a regular business registration. (SMC 10.40.010)
Temporary registrations are good for 90 days. Please fill out a Temporary Business Registration Application (PDF 128 KB)
A temporary registration is $60 for first 90 days.
If you find you will be operating your business more than the 90 days, you may renew for an additional 90 day period.
You may want to consider applying for a regular business registration if you expect to be in business for over 90 days.
A business site evaluation fee may also apply.
A business with a regular or temporary business registration must have a separate Itinerant Vendor Permit under any of the following circumstances:
You should receive your tax forms from Department of Revenue, Department of Labor and Industries, and the Employment Security Department at the end of the first quarter in which you start reporting. You will need to file personal property taxes with your county assessor. Contact your local assessor for instructions.
New accounts generally need to report every quarter; however, you may change your reporting frequency to monthly or annually. You will be notified of any changes and sent the appropriate tax returns for filing. Personal property listings must be filed with your county assessor's office by April 30 of each year.
You may change or correct your first activity date by simply writing to Business Licensing Service at:
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
Processing time can range from 10 days for the online application to 3–6 weeks for the paper application.
As soon as it is assigned, you may begin using your UBI number for business purposes. Some business licenses require that you have the license posted before you can officially open your business to the public.
You may begin business operations immediately after your UBI number is assigned, as long as you don't need any additional licenses that require agency approval (for instance liquor, lottery, or vehicle dealers). For licenses that need approval, there's a waiting period while the appropriate agencies complete the process.
We'll mail you a Business License, and the Department of Revenue will send you information about handling sales tax and business and occupation taxes. If you indicate on the Business License Application that you plan to hire employees, the Department of Labor and Industries and the Employment Security Department will send you information about employee quarterly report forms.
If your business is a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited liability partnership, or requires a specialty license available through the Business Licensing Service, you will need to renew your license annually. The expiration date is determined when you apply, and will be printed on the top right hand side of your Business License under the Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number.
Business Licensing Service sends a courtesy renewal notice to owners approximately 45 days before their license expires. If you don't receive a renewal notice, please contact the Business Licensing Service at 1.360.705.6741.
For those licenses not handled through the Business Licensing Service, contact the regulatory agency listed on your license or permit.