Who needs a business license?The City of Tumwater requires all businesses engaged in any business activity within city limits to be licensed with the city, according to Tumwater Municipal Code (TMC) Chapter 5.04. This includes in-home businesses, in-city businesses (owned and operated in the city), out-of-city business that have transactions in Tumwater, and temporary businesses.
To Apply for a Business License
The City of Tumwater has partnered with the Washington State Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service (BLS), which allows you to apply for both a city license and a state license at the same time. If you already have a state business license, you can add the City of Tumwater to your current license. The City does not have a separate application form for a business license.
Visit the Business Licensing Service website for an application.
If registering a business physically located in Tumwater, your Tumwater license will be subject to approval by the Community Development Department, the Police Department, and the Fire Department. The Community Development Department determines if the business is an appropriate use within the zoning district, the Police Department determines if the business would be harmful to public interest, and the Fire Department ensures that all safety standards and fire codes are upheld.
There are three ways to file the Business License Application and supplemental forms:
- File online using your credit card. You can contact Business Licensing Service (BLS) at 1-800-451-7985 with questions. Filing online can save you a week or two in the registration process.
- File by mail when you complete the Business License Application and the City Business License Addendum and mail with the appropriate fee (check or money order made payable to the Department of Revenue) to:
Business Licensing ServiceDepartment of RevenuePO Box 9034Olympia WA 98507-9034
- Live chat and email assistance is available at the Department of Revenue or call 1-800-647-7706.
Please complete a Business After Hours Emergency Contact Form and forward to the Tumwater Police Department, 555 Israel Road SW, Tumwater, WA 98501. This form is used by TComm 911/Police Dept to notify you of an emergency or break-in after normal business hours.
Fees & Renewal
Tumwater General Business License Fee $50.00
Business License Application Processing Fee $19.00
General Licenses renew annually for $20.00, in addition to an $11.00 processing fee. Note: Physical address changes at renewal time require City approval. The expiration date of the city's license will be set to coincide with the renewal period established for each business's license.
According to the Tumwater Municipal Code, some businesses are required to acquire an Occupational Permit, TMC 5.06, and Sexually Oriented Businesses are subject to additional regulation, see TMC 5.50. Non-Profit Business Licenses require additional information. Cannabis growers and retailers are required to get a City of Tumwater Business License, but are also subject to additional regulation. Please see the Special Considerations page for more details about these special considerations.
The Business Licensing Clerk is available from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday to answer any questions you may have. You may contact the clerk by either calling (360) 754-4136 or stopping by City Hall at 555 Israel RD SW, Tumwater WA (map).