Business License

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Do I need a business license?

The City of Olympia requires all businesses located within the City limits; and/or who engage in business in or with the City of Olympia, regardless of geographic location, to be licensed by both the State of Washington and the City. Contractors must have City business licenses prior to beginning work in the City limits.

If you need to check your current State and City business license status please visit the State of Washington Business License Service.

Apply for/renew a business license

The City of Olympia has partnered with the Washington State Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS). You will apply for and renew your City of Olympia business license when applying for your State license.

Before you apply review the special requirements for home-based businesses and see if you need additional permits.

Home-based business information

Any business that is conducted from your home (within the city limits) in which you receive money in exchange for any product or service that you provide is considered a business.

Product consultants

Consultants may sell make-up, kitchenware, candles or a variety of other products, but they are all considered a bussiness. If you are a consultant and work out of your home in Olympia, you will need a business license and a home occupation permit.

Internet operation

Whether you are providing internet support or selling products over the internet, if the office or home you are working from is in Olympia, it is considered conducting business in the City.


Whether it is language or piano lessons, it is a business activity as far as the City is concerned. Lessons given from your home require both a business license and a home occupation permit.

In-home childcare centers

There are many things that are required from the state to open an in-home childcare center and sometimes a city business license is overlooked. Both a business license and a home occupation permit are required for this type of business.


Taking up a hobby can sometimes turn profitable. Fixing cars, catering, and craft making are great hobbies, but once money is exchanged for the product or service it is considered a business. Please make sure if you start to sell items made in the City, it is considered conducting business. You will need both a business license and a home occupation permit.

In addition to a business license, anyone operating a home-based business must provide proof of residency within the City and sign an acknowledgement of compliance with the Home Occupation Standards listed in Olympia Municipal Code 18.04.060.

The addendum must be filed directly with the City separate from the Business License Application, and must be received by the City before the business license application can be approved.

Occupational and Temporary Permits

Some occupations that present a heightened safety risk to the public require an Occupational Permit prior to issuance of a business license. Learn more on our Occupational Permits page.

Some businesses or activities that are temporary, seasonal or mobile may be required to obtain a Temporary Use Permit. Learn more in OMC Chapter 18.06.060 (section Z) and Chapter 18.06.040 (section 12).

Business & Occupation (B&O) taxes

The City will mail your B&O tax return approximately 30 days prior to its due date. It must be completed and returned even if no tax is due. Learn more on our Business and Occupational Taxes page..


Contact a business licensing specialist at 360.753.8327or

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