City of Vancouver
Who needs a license?
The city of Vancouver requires all businesses to be licensed with the city if they are:
- Located within city limits, or
- Conducting business within city limits.
To confirm if your business location is within city limits, go to the city limits map or call the city at 360-487-8410 option 3, before applying for a city license.
A separate city business license is required for each location in the city; and if more than one business is operated at a single location address, a separate city business license is required for each business.
A business that expects to generate $12,000 or less in annual gross receipts in city limits must hold a city business license, but is exempt from paying all city business license fees. (Applicable state fees are still charged.)
An organization that qualifies for at least one city nonprofit employee-fee exemption criterion can apply for the city nonprofit business license and be exempt from city business license employee fee. The organization must attach a copy of its IRS 501(c) tax exempt certification letter to the license application.
Home Occupation businesses
A business with a location address that is a residence in city limits must hold a city business license; as well as, comply with city home occupation standards; see: Vancouver’s home occupation permit webpage. Fees for a home occupation business license are the same as for a general business license.
Some businesses may need a city special license in addition to obtaining a city business license. For more information, go to Vancouver’s Special Licenses webpage or contact city at 360-487-8410 option 3.
General, Non-Resident, and Home Occupation businesses
The license fee for a business operating in this city - whether based inside or outside this city - is determined by gross annual income earned within this city’s limits and number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees working within this city’s limits:
|Reported gross annual income
|$0 through $12,000
See Requirements and Fee Calculation Instructions
|Vancouver general business license
|Vancouver general non-resident business license
|Vancouver home occupation business license
|Vancouver nonprofit business license
|Other fees that may apply
|State tax registration
|Registering your business name as trade name
| Business License Application fee
REFUND PROCESS; CITY FEES ONLY: After applying, if you determine you obtained a city business license in error or paid the incorrect employee fee amount, you may be eligible for a full or partial refund of city license fees. See “How to Request Refund of City Fees” at: cityofvancouver.us/businesslicense or contact the city at 360-487-8410 option 3
How to apply
Apply by using one of the following options:
- Online with My DOR. My DOR works best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
- Login using your Secure Access Washington (SAW) user ID. If you don’t have a user ID or aren’t sure, see if you have an account first before signing up.
- Click Getting Started on the Business Licensing and Tax service.
- Follow the steps below based on your business status.
If you do not have an existing business
- Click File New Business License Application. Be sure to select the endorsements for which you wish to apply.
If you have an existing business
- If you haven’t already, add access to your business. You’ll need a UBI number and letter ID.
- Click on the business you want to apply for a license/endorsement under, then click on the location.
- Click File New Business License Application.
You can pay using an E-check or a major credit card (gift cards can’t be used).
Find more help for using My DOR, including video tutorials.
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
City of Vancouver
415 W. 6th St
Vancouver, WA 98668
Phone: 360-487-8410 option 3