Business Licenses

Click here to open a PDF version of this tip sheet.

Do I need a business license? 

Generally, all businesses operating in or soliciting business in the corporate city limits of Tacoma are required to be registered and licensed with Tacoma.  You need to register with the City if you are located within the City’s limits, solicit, or conduct business in Tacoma, whether directly or through a representative, or do business with the City of Tacoma through contracts.  If you are unsure whether or not your business is required to register, contact the Tax and License Department at 253-591-5252.

Corporations, LLC or LLP

If your business is a corporation, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership, you must first contact the Corporations Division of the Secretary of State at 360-725-0377.

General Contractors

All sub-contractors working at a job site in Tacoma must also be licensed with the City of Tacoma.  If any of your sub-contractors do not have a City of Tacoma business license have then contact Tax & License Division at 253-591-5252 or download the Application for Certificate of Registration and Licensing. Post this printable flyer to post at your job site.

How to Apply

There are two ways to apply for registration and business license:

By Mail – To apply by mail download the Application for Registration and Business License form, complete the form and mail it to the address listed.  Please allow 10 to 15 business days to process.

Online – New businesses can now apply for their City of Tacoma business license online using FileLocal, your one stop for local business licensing and tax filing.  Online user fees apply.  Please allow 3-5 business days to process your application.

Home Occupations and Agreement

If your business address is based from your home and you live inside the City of Tacoma limits, a Home Occupation license is required.  Please complete and return the Home Occupation Agreement.

Regulatory Licenses

In addition to a business license, some business activities require a regulatory license not listed here. To help you better understand the City’s requirements for specific industries, Tax and License created Activity Specific Online Guidelines.

Complete all Information and be sure and sign all necessary applications; Applications can be mailed to:

City of Tacoma – Tax and License Division
747 Market Street, Room 212
Tacoma WA 98402-3770

If you have questions contact the Tax and License Department at 253-591-5252.

Tacoma Open Data

Need to know if a business is licensed in Tacoma? Visit the City of Tacoma’s Tacoma Data website and look at the list of Active Business Licenses.

Tacoma Data is a free service provided for informational purposes only. Creating a list for commercial purposes is prohibited by law.

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