Business License / B & O Tax
NOTE: City of Bainbridge Island 2018 Business License Renewals and 2017 Business & Occupation (B&O) Tax Forms will be mailed in early January 2018.
Who needs a City Business License?The Bainbridge Island Municipal Code states "every person who engages in business activities within the City shall apply for and obtain from the director a license for the privilege of engaging in business within the City for each calendar year or portion thereof." Engaging in business means commencing, conducting, or continuing in business, and also the exercise of corporate or franchise powers, as well as liquidating a business. Without being all-inclusive yet bringing awareness to the public, engaging in business includes:
- General Contractors and All Subcontractors
- Home-based Businesses
- Mobile Retail Food Establishments (i.e., food trucks)
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Temporary Housing or Vacation Rentals (including AirBNBs)
NOTE: If a business has more than one location in the City, a separate license is required for each location.
How do I apply for a City Business License?Complete a City Business License Application and return it to City Hall:
280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-1812
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)
NOTE: The City of Bainbridge Island accepts electronic signatures on its Business License Application.
When your application is received, it will be reviewed for compliance with legal, zoning, and signage requirements. If there is a compliance-related question or problem, or if further information is required, the applicant will be contacted. If the application is approved, a license certificate will be mailed to the applicant. This process could take up to two weeks, or longer if compliance issues arise.
Do I need a State of Washington Business License to obtain a City Business License?Yes. The Washington State Department of Revenue issues a "Uniform Business Identification" (UBI) number required as part of the City's application. Visit http://bls.dor.wa.gov/file.aspx to obtain your UBI number.
How much does a City Business License cost?A City Business License costs $65. You will pay an initial $65 at the time of your application (the fee must be included with your application in order for your application to be processed) and $65 each calendar year to maintain your license.
Where do I post my Business License?Your City Business License must be posted in clear public view in the place of business for which it is issued.
How do I renew my Business License?City Business Licenses are renewed each calendar year regardless of license issue date. Each City Business License expires on December 31 of the year issued and must be renewed by the last day in February of the follow year for the license to remain valid and in good standing. Renewal forms are mailed to each business at the mailing address listed in our City database in early January. Penalties begin March 1st.
Are there City Business & Occupation Taxes?Yes. Businesses with gross receipts of more than $150,000 earned on Bainbridge Island are subject to the City's Business & Occupation Tax set at 1/10 of 1 percent. Business & Occupation Tax forms are mailed with the Business License Renewal forms at the beginning of the calendar year. Nonprofit organizations are only subject to Business & Occupation Taxes as a result of undertaking for-profit activities. Commercial parking businesses are subject to the City's 30 percent commercial parking lot tax.
What if my business moves to a new location and/or the mailing address changes?You are required to notify the City of changes in the business physical and/or mailing address. Please send a letter or email confirming your old address, your new address, and the date the new address becomes effective. For a physical address change, a new license will be sent without charge.
NOTE: For businesses located within the City of Bainbridge Island, each new physical location will be reviewed for compliance with legal, zoning, and signage requirements. This process could take up to two weeks, or longer if compliance issues arise.
How do I cancel or close my Business License?If you wish to cancel or close your Business License, please send a letter or email listing the Business Name, Business License ID#, and effective date of cancellation/closure.
What if I sell my business?The Business License issued is personal and non-transferable. No license shall allow another person to operate a business under the seller's license. The new owner must apply for a new license. You are required to notify the City of the sale of the business as the City cannot license to a new owner without confirmation of the sale.
Please contact the Finance and Administrative Services Department with any questions about licensing requirements for doing business on Bainbridge Island 206-780-8668.