City of Spokane Partners with Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service.
You may apply for a business license in person. They only accept cash or check payments.
The Business Licensing Wizard is a time-saving tool for up-and-coming businesses. Follow this secure link to the DOR website. Read about the Business Licensing Wizard on the DOR website.
Taxes and Licenses, under the Office of Finance, Treasury and Administration, functions as a license office for regulatory licenses provided in Division II of Title 10 and administers the various municipal taxes set forth in Title 8 of the Spokane Municipal Code. We are responsible for processing applications, registrations, returns and renewals; and billing, collecting, accounting and auditing of fees and taxes.
The following licenses may be required in addition to a business license.
SMC 8.01 and 10.40.010
No person may engage in business in the City or with the City without first having obtained and being the holder of a valid temporary business registration (PDF 128 KB).
“Entertainment Facility” is any hotel, restaurant, café, club, tavern, or similar place where live entertainment involving music, singing, dancing, or other similar entertainment is presented to the public, together with food or alcohol.
An “amusement facility,” or “entertainment facility,” is any business, club, or location that is required to have a City business license or permit in accordance with Chapter 4.04 SMC where concerts, dances, carnivals, circuses, teen club, all-ages venue, or a cabaret is presented to the public as a regular course of doing business, not including:
- A government entity, public or private schools or college; or
- A facility operated by an organization which has been recognized as exempt from federal income taxation and when the entertainment activities are but an occasional activity not related to the facility's primary purposes; or
- Licensed businesses whose primary function is to provide products or services and where the entertainment provided is not material to the economic viability of the business.
Entertainment Facility license application (PDF 349 KB)
Temporary Entertainment Facility license application (PDF 129 KB)
Chapter 4.04 SMC A permit is required for charitable solicitation.
- “Charitable purposes” means any benevolent, philanthropic, educational, patriotic, civic, fraternal, or religious purpose, actual or purported.
- To “solicit” means to request money, credit, goods, merchandise, time, or other assistance, financial or otherwise, upon the representation that it will be used for charitable purposes. Requests under this section may be oral or written and may include the offering for sale of articles and the making of announcements of and the invitation and sales of admission to events upon the claim that the proceeds shall be used for charitable or religious purpose.
- A permit is not required for solicitation by members of a charitable or religious organization among its members or persons present at a regular meeting of the organization.
A charitable solicitation permit is a Class I license as provided in Chapter 4.04.
A regular or temporary business registration issued under Chapter 8.01 SMC must have an Itinerant Vendor Permit under any of the following circumstances:
- Where the person is eligible for a city registration, and is engaged in the business of selling or delivering goods or services within the city from a fixed or temporary location as an itinerant vendor. Examples are people selling food or wares from mobile carts on the sidewalk or roving vehicles in the streets.
- Where the person travels from door to door as the principle means of conducting business offering, exposing for sale, or selling within the city any goods, merchandise, service, or product.
- Where the person engages in any business in the city with no permanent location.
Businesses with an itinerant vendor permit are required to:
- Refrain from using excessively noisy devices or methods to attract public attention to his wares or services and from shouting or calling his wares or services in a loud or boisterous manner;
- Keep all conveyances and containers for foodstuffs and edibles clean and sanitary and to keep all consumables well covered and protected from all dirt, insects or other contamination;
- Refrain from standing, by person or vehicle, upon any public way more than ten minutes in any one place;
- Move from a location adjacent to another's place of business or residence when requested by someone in charge of such business or residence;
- Move from a location included within the boundaries of a special event when requested by the chief of police or someone in charge of such special event;
- Refrain from any illegal, fraudulent or deceptive practice;
- Have upon his person for display upon inquiry by any person a copy of the City permit and, in addition, documents showing he is authorized by the copyright or trademark owner to sell the goods concerned.
Itinerant Vendor Application (PDF 226 KB)
- Drivers and Operators are now to apply online with the choice of debit/credit card payment online or mail in check/money order payment.
- Most documents showing compliance with the For-Hire Transportation regulations will be maintained by the For-Hire Operators the For-Hire Drivers are required to upload a copy of their driver license and a photo to be incorporated into the applicants license.
- Applications may also be mailed to Taxes and Licenses Dept 808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane ,WA 99201, email to email@example.com, or leave the application in the drop box outside City Hall on Post St. (please label envelope Attn: Taxes & Licenses). Payment should be made by check or money order or left in the drop box. Online payments cannot be accepted if you choose this method of application and over the phone payments are not available.
*Emailing documentation is only effective during COVID shutdown.
Chapter 10.34A For-Hire Transportation
Section 10.34.010 Purpose; Intent
This chapter is enacted in the exercise of the City of Spokane's police power to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of people in the city of Spokane and pursuant to the specific recognition of the city's authority to regulate all for-hire vehicles as defined in this chapter and operating within the city of Spokane.
10.34A.030 Scope and Applicability
This chapter applies to all drivers and operators of for-hire vehicles, by whatever name, description, or method of operation, engaged in providing or facilitating for-hire transportation services in the city of Spokane; provided, that for-hire transportation services provided at Spokane International Airport are covered by regulations promulgated by, or agreements with, the Spokane Airport Board.
Section 10.34A.040 For-Hire Transportation Activities Requiring License
It is unlawful to act as a for-hire driver or a for-hire operator within the city of Spokane without first obtaining a license to do so as required by this chapter.
A violation of this section is a class one civil infraction. Each subsequent violation is a separate infraction.
- “For-Hire Driver” means a natural person who drives a for-hire vehicle in affiliation with a for-hire operator for compensation on the streets of the city of Spokane.
- “For-Hire Operator” means entities or an individual, such as taxi operators, taxi associations, and transportation network companies, which affiliate with for-hire drivers to provide for-hire transportation services.
- “For-Hire Vehicle” means a vehicle used for the transportation of passengers for compensation upon the streets of the City of Spokane.
Online Application Instructions:
SMC 10.51.010 “No person may operate a mobile food vending unit within the city of Spokane without first obtaining a Mobile Food Vendor Permit under this chapter.”