Doing Business in Vancouver
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 and Special Licenses
The City of Vancouver requires any firm that conducts business in the city to either (1) hold a valid city business license, or (2) claim an exemption from the city business license, if qualified. The State of Washington also has business licensing requirements, and partners with the city to create a one-stop-shop where you can apply for, or renew, both your state and city licenses, if not exempt. For more information about city business license requirements, including exemption criteria, and links to the state’s licensing website, visit: Business and Special Licenses.
The city also requires that certain types of businesses (e.g., food vendors, pawnbrokers, movie theaters, etc.) hold a city special license, in addition to holding a city business license or claiming a license exemption. For more information about special license requirements, visit: Special Licenses, or contact Jack Allemang at (360) 487-8410 *option 3, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Occupation Permits
A business that is conducted from a residence located in the city limits is required to hold a valid Home Occupation Permit issued by the city’s Community & Economic Development Department (CEDD). For more information about home occupation requirements, contact CEDD at (360) 487-7803 or visit: Home Occupation Permit or contact Sandy Wozny at (360) 487-7820 or at email@example.com.
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 the following staff:
Business or Special Licenses: contact Jack Allemang at (360) 487-8410 option 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Occupation Permits: contact Sandy Wozny at (360) 487-7820 or email@example.com
Mobile Food Vending/Food Trucks: contact Kristian Corbin at (360) 487-7818 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Destination DowntownDestination Downtown is an effort by the City of Vancouver, with support from C-TRAN and Vancouver’s Downtown Association, to attract visitors and employees to local businesses, reduce drive-alone trips, make efficient use of on-street parking, and make downtown more vibrant and successful.
City Council designates May 2016 Small Business MonthThroughout the month of May, the City and its partners will host more than 25 training and networking events to celebrate the important contributions that small businesses make to the community. Visit VancouverBusinessResource.org for a full calendar of events.
Resources for Starting a Business (344 KB)
Startup in a Day Overview (293 KB)