Doing Business in Vancouver

City of Vancouver Business Assistance Center

Below you'll find a short list of items that all businesses will want to consider. Please visit Vancouver Business Resource for additional information and support

Business Licenses

The City of Vancouver requires a business license for any firm located or doing business in the City of Vancouver. Similarly, the state of Washington also requires a business license. The city partners with the State of Washington to create a one-stop-shop where you can apply, renew and pay for both the State and City license at the same time. Visit the Washington State Business Licensing Service to apply.

Special Licenses and Home Occupation Permits

The City will still process City Special Licenses and Home Occupation Permits. If you plan to operate a small business out of your home, contact our planning staff at (360) 487-7803 or review the City's Home Occupation Ordinance to determine if your business meets the criteria. If your business earns less than $12,000 in total gross receipts annually, you may be exempt from the City Business License requirement. To determine whether or not you are exempt and to file an exemption application, see the Determination of Exemption Checklist.

County and State Agencies

If you plan to operate a food or beverage business, please contact the Clark County Public Health Food Safety division and the Washington State Liquor Control Board for information on additional requirements and approvals.

Vancouver Business Resource

There are a number of local and regional organizations that can assist you with starting and growing your business. We encourage you to visit Vancouver Business Resource - this online resource provides information on starting a business, business assistance programs, incentives, networking opportunities and more.

The City of Vancouver supports and facilitates the creation and expansion of all businesses, large or small. If you have any questions, contact Rebecca Kennedy, Business Assistance Program Manager, at (360) 487-7896 or

Scroll down the page to see our small business video series.