Business License / B & O Tax


NOTE: City of Bainbridge Island 2018 Business License Renewals and 2017 Business & Occupation (B&O) Tax Forms were mailed January 5, 2018.  Businesses must return their renewals and taxes by February 28, 2018, to keep their licenses valid and in good standing. If no renewal packet is received, please contact Finance & Administration at (206)780-8591.

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2018 Business License Application

2018 Nonprofit Business License Application
2017 Business and Occupation Tax Report

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FAQ


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, as well as the exercise of corporate or franchise powers and liquidating a business. For online and cloud-based businesses, engaging in business is defined as the physical address of the business as listed with the Internal Revenue Service. Without being all-inclusive yet bringing specific awareness to the public, engaging in business includes:

A more comprehensive list encompassing the definition is available within Chapter 5.05 of the Municipal Code.

NOTE: If a business has more than one location in the City, a separate license is required for each location.

The City recognizes the following exemptions from business licensing:

  • Business activity at the same fixed location that is limited to no more than one (1) day per week for four (4) consecutive weeks OR four (4) consecutive days in one (1) year
  • Farmers and gardeners selling their products on their own land
  • Garage sales
  • Coming onto the island for the mere delivery of goods and services
  • Businesses operated by persons under 18 years of age not generating more than $2,500 per year in gross revenue
Requests for exemption must be made in writing. Contact:

City of Bainbridge Island
280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-1812
Email: finance@bainbridgewa.gov
Fax: 206/842-5741

Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)

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How do I apply for a City Business License?

Complete a City Business License Application or Nonprofit License Application, attach payment due, and return it to City Hall:

City of Bainbridge Island
280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-1812
Email: finance@bainbridgewa.gov
Fax: 206/842-5741

Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)

Fees & Penalties available at http://www.bainbridgewa.gov/966/Fees-Penalties
Pay Online at www.bainbridgwa.gov/209/Pay-Online

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.

Certain businesses require additional information or permissions. It is the responsibility of the business owner or primary agent to provide the additional information and/or secure any and all approvals required by the City, County, and State. Common businesses requiring additional information or permissions include but are not limited to:
  • Cannibis Growing, Processing, and/or Retail Establishments
  • Commercial Parking Lots
  • Mobile Retail Food Establishments (i.e., food trucks)
  • Operation of (a) cabarets; (b) games of skill (i.e., video games); (c) amusement games (e.g., billiard tables, pool tables, foosball tables, etc.); (d) jukeboxes; OR (e) veterinary clinics or animal boarding facilities
  • Temporary Housing or Vacation Rentals (including AirBNBs)
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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.
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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 for your application to be processed) and $65 each calendar year to maintain your license.

Nonprofit Organizations are exempt from the cost of a Business License.

If you start business before applying for a business license, a 10% penalty per month of business prior to application up to $130 is assessed to the standard business license fee.

See the Fees & Penalties schedule for full information.
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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.
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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 following year for the license to remain valid and in good standing. Renewal forms are mailed to each business at the mailing address listed in the City database in early January. The renewal fee is $65 with penalties beginning March 1st. See the Fees & Penalties schedule for full information.

Nonprofit organizations are exempt from the Business License Renewal Fee.
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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 Reports are mailed with the Business License Renewal forms at the beginning of the calendar year. Businesses must return their tax report and any payment due by the last day of February to avoid penalties.  See the Fees & Penalties schedule for full information.

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.
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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. Contact:

City of Bainbridge Island
280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-1812
Email: finance@bainbridgewa.gov
Fax: 206/842-5741

Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)

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.

NOTE:  To prevent the potential for costly errors, always check with Planning & Community Development BEFORE MOVING your business to ensure the new location will meet zoning and code regulations.   

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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. Contact:

City of Bainbridge Island
280 Madison Avenue North
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110-1812
Email: finance@bainbridgewa.gov
Fax: 206/842-5741

Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)

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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.
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Please contact the Finance and Administrative Services Department with any questions about licensing requirements for doing business on Bainbridge Island at (206)780-8668.