Business and Special Licenses

Information on Business and Special Licenses is provided below and in the menu at left.

Business and special license forms can be downloaded at the right, or may be obtained at the first floor Customer Service Desk at City Hall, 415 W 6th Street, Vancouver WA 98660.  You may also submit completed forms and payments at the same location.

Information about taxi driver permits, including how to obtain taxi driver permit application materials, is found under Taxi Driver Permits. Information about Ordinance M-4037, the "Taxicab Ordinance," which was adopted on December 17, 2012, and repealed and amended sections of VMC 5.76, the “Vehicle for Hire Ordinance," is found under Taxicab Ordinance Changes to VMC 5.76 .

City Hall Customer Service Hours:

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wed

Vancouver Business License Basics

  • Unless exempt, anyone conducting any business in Vancouver must have a current and valid Vancouver business license. (Possible exemptions are listed on the Determination of Exemption Checklist form.)
  • Special Licenses are also required for some businesses in addition to the Vancouver business license. See Special Licenses link.
  • Business locations within the Vancouver city limits must be in compliance with City fire, zoning, and building codes.
  • If you are not sure if your business is located in the City limits, please check the Clark County Property Information Center online or call (360) 487-8410 ext 3.
  • As of January 1, 2007, the Business License fee for each location is $125 plus a surcharge of $50 per employee (or full-time equivalent) for up to 400 employees (or full-time equivalents).
  • Home-based businesses may also require a Home Occupancy Permit for a one-time fee ($122.02 effective January 1, 2014). See Home Occupation Permit link.
  • Each license must be clearly posted at the address for which it was issued.
  • Change of Business Name or Address: If the name or the location of the business changes, a new license reflecting these changes is required. There is no fee for the reissued license.
  • No business shall use or display the license other than the one to whom the license was issued.
  • A business license is valid for one year and expires on the last day of the month on the same month it was issued. Example: A license paid for on July 12, 2011 expires July 31, 2012.
  • The license is not transferable to a new owner. New owners must apply for a new business license.
  • License renewal: Renewal Invoices, that include a section to calculate the surcharge each year, are mailed 30 days prior to the expiration date. Return the completed Renewal Invoice and the appropriate fee prior to the due date to keep your license current.  A new license will be mailed to you after receipt of the completed invoice and renewal payment.
  • The Business and Occupation Tax was eliminated effective January 1, 2002.