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General License Information

The information provided below is to be used as a guideline in helping you determine if requirements are met for a HOME OCCUPATION, GENERAL, GENERAL NON-RESIDENT, or TEMPORARY city business license.  This information is not all-inclusive and determinations or interpretations made by the Planning, Building, Fire or other appropriate departments may supersede the guidelines presented here. For additional information on Business Licenses and regulations, contact the Business Licensing Department at 425.263.8035.


Home Occupation businesses are a permitted use provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Occupation is clearly subordinate to the use of the dwelling as a residence;
  • Number of Employees – Occupations must be of such a nature that they are customarily carried on by the occupants, within the confines of a residence to the exclusion of accessory buildings and that there is not more than one person other than a member of the immediate family employed;
  • There is no stock in trade other than that produced by the inhabitants which are displayed or sold on the premises;
  • There is no exterior evidence that the structure is being used for any nonresidential purpose, with the exception of a non-luminous sign bearing the name and occupation, three (3) square feet maximum, placed flat against the building; and
  • There is nothing about the occupation which would disturb the surrounding neighbors, such as vibrations, smoke, dust, increased traffic, loud noises, or bright lights.


  • Parking Space Requirements and Square Footage of Business – The number of parking spaces necessary is determined by the type of business (restaurant, consultant, etc.). Contact the Permits Department at (425) 263-8000 for more information.
  • Signs and Advertising Displays – There are specific regulations for signs.  Contact the Permits Department at (425) 263-8000 for more information


  • Signs and Advertising Displays – There are specific regulations for signs.  Contact the Permits Department at (425) 263-8000 for more information.


A “temporary business” means and includes the following businesses having a transitory nature or fixed duration and operating from a fixed location within the city for up to thirty (30) days but not more than sixty (60) days within any calendar year.

  • Circuses, carnivals, rodeos, fairs or similarly transient amusement or recreational activities;
  • Christmas tree sale lots and flower stands;
  • Indoor or outdoor special sales, including swap meets, flea markets, parking lot sales, warehouse sales or similar activities;
  • Temporary stands for the sale of items such as food, toys, jewelry, goods, arts, crafts and firewood.

Upon approval, Temporary Licenses shall be valid for thirty (30) consecutive days at a fixed location and may be renewed by paying the applicable license fee and submitting a written request for the renewal; provided, however, in no event shall a temporary business operate within the city for more than sixty (60) days, whether consecutive or nonconsecutive, within any calendar year.

Contact the Business Licensing Department for details on applying for this type of Business License.

Amusement Center – any business located on or in premises within the city in which there are six (6) or more amusement devises installed for the purpose of play, use or operation

Amusement Device – any machine or device requiring the deposit of money or any other thing of value for its play, use or operation exclusively at a business occupying a fixed place or operation within the city, and which is based on skill and is played or operated only for amusement and entertainment of the player.

The city does not currently have a standard Business & Occupation Tax (B&O) tax; however, unless otherwise exempted pursuant to MMC Section 5.04.030, all businesses shall pay the base fee, plus an additional annual license fee calculated on the basis of the number of full-time equivalents employed by the business within the city.  This “FTE” fee may be paid in a lump sum at the time of business license issuance or on a quarterly basis at the licensee’s option.