The Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) has identified an issue with the Business Licensing Service in which some businesses located in unincorporated Snohomish County have been erroneously prompted to apply for City of Snohomish endorsements on their business licenses. If you believe you may have been impacted, please contact DOR directly.
Who Needs a Business License?
All businesses and individuals conducting business inside the City of Snohomish are required to obtain a City endorsement on their business license. This includes all services and activities located and/or performed within the City limits and includes home occupations (running a business from your home), farmers market vendors, solicitors/canvassers, the rental of commercial property, and the rental of transient accommodations (hotels/motels, bed and breakfasts, boarding houses, and short-term rentals). Please see Snohomish Municipal Code Chapter 5.02 for a complete definition and license exemptions.
How to Apply
Businesses register with the City and state at the same time through the Washington State Department of Revenue. You will receive a master license from the state, showing both your City and state business licenses. Snohomish business licenses are renewed annually. For a list of fees please visit the State of Washington's list of variable business license fees.
If you already have a master license but need to add the City of Snohomish as an endorsement, please follow the instructions on the Department of Revenue website.
There are three types of business licenses:
- Snohomish General Business License: For businesses operating inside the City limits of Snohomish, including but not limited to mall spaces, farmers market vendors, home occupations, and food trucks. Please list the actual business address of where you are doing business (e.g., the Snohomish Farmers Market address is 105 Cedar Avenue, Snohomish, WA 98290).
- Snohomish Home Occupation Business License: In addition to a general business license, applicants must ensure their application meets the requirements for a home occupation business license if running a business out of their residence in the City of Snohomish. See additional information on Home Occupations below. Click here to verify your home is located in the City limits.
- City of Snohomish Non-Resident Business License: For businesses located outside of City limits but coming into City limits to do business.
When to Apply
A City business license should be obtained before beginning business. Please allow sufficient time for review of your application; the City shall approve or deny the license application within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification of application from the Washington State Department of Revenue. Additional review time may be required for special licenses.
What Other Licenses may be Required
- Change of Use: Required for all new businesses that represent a change in occupancy type for the space, such as a retail space changing to a restaurant, an office changing to retail, or a home changing to an office. Change of Use applications are processed through the City of Snohomish Self-Service Permit Portal.
- Special License Forms: Some businesses, such as mobile food vendors and solicitors, require additional forms as part of the license review process.
Renewing your Business License
Existing business licenses are renewed with the Washington State Department of Revenue.
City of Snohomish or Snohomish County?
City of Snohomish licensing requirements do not apply to businesses operating within unincorporated Snohomish County or other Snohomish County cities. Please verify that you will be conducting business in the City of Snohomish before applying for a City business license.
Snohomish City limits interactive map: Use the search bar to enter an address. If the property is outside the shaded area, it is not in the City of Snohomish.
If you are unsure whether your business activity is located within the City limits, please contact us.
Home Occupations (home-based businesses)
Home occupations are businesses operated out of a residence and are subject to the requirements of SMC 14.207.075(3). The purpose of these regulations is to maintain the neighborhood's residential character and reduce the impact of your business on the neighborhood. This means that if your business will have a lot of traffic, customers coming to the premises, emit noise, dust or odors, require outdoor storage, or take up a significant area of your home (more than 25% of the floor area), then it may be better suited for a commercial district rather than a residential neighborhood.
If you will be running your business out of your home, be sure to review the regulations of SMC 14.207.075(3) before submitting your business license application. City staff will review your application to ensure it meets the regulations for home occupations. The State application asks whether you are conducting the business from a residence. If your answer is "yes," it is processed as a home occupation. If your answer is "no" but it appears the business location is a residence, City staff will contact you during their review of your application.
Learn more about City of Snohomish tax rates here. Please note that the City does not levy a local business & occupation (B&O) tax.
No Longer in Business?
If you are no longer doing business in Snohomish and you wish to cancel your license, please contact the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Starting a Business
Are you starting a new business? Or, perhaps you are an existing business owner interested in moving to the City of Snohomish. If so, please visit Starting a Business for an overview of things to keep in mind as you plan for your new or relocating business.