Business Registration Requirements

Learn the who, what, when, where and how of registering your business with the City of Vancouver, State of Washington, or the Federal government below.

State and Federal registration can be completed by mail or online by clicking on the links below. 

City of Vancouver registration information and business license application materials can be obtained online; however, the application materials and check must be mailed or delivered to one of the addresses shown on the application form.  Mastercard, Visa, and debit cards can be used for payments of up to $2,000 in person or on the telephone with receipt of completed application materials.

City of Vancouver:

Unless exempt, anyone conducting any business within the City of Vancouver must have a current and valid Vancouver business license; AND if the business is located within Vancouver city limits, the Community Development Department must determine and confirm that fire, zoning, and/or building codes have been met.

Vancouver business licenses:

  • As of January 1, 2007, for each location, download and complete a Business License Application and Business License Fee Surcharge Worksheet and return both forms with the $125 annual fee plus the surcharge of $50 per employee (or full-time equivalent) for up to 400 employees.
  • Return Business License Application, Surcharge Worksheet, and fees to:
    PO Box 8995, Vancouver, WA 98668, or
    City Hall, 415 W 6th St, Vancouver WA 98660.
  • Specialty/Regulatory license: to determine whether your business requires an additional specialty/regulatory license call (360) 487-8410 ext 3.
  • Businesses operated from home may require a Home Occupation Permit.  For information about Home Occupation Permit requirements, see Home Occupation Permit, call (360) 487-7800, or e-mail
State of Washington:

Anyone conducting any business in the state of Washington must register for a Master Business License and obtain a UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number for tax purposes.

New businesses need to:
  • Determine your business structure.
  • Visit the Washington State Department of Revenue, Business Licensing Service website for state licensing requirements.
  • File your Master Application and other state required forms.
  • Contact applicable jurisdictions to determine whether there are local licensing requirements.

All businesses must complete a master business license application through the Washington Business Licensing Service. The application is used to apply for:

  • A Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number to identify ownership and structure of your business
  • Any additional state license(s) that may be required
  • A Registered Trade Name (Doing Business As)

Construction and electrical contractors must register with Washington Department of Labor and Industry as well as provide proof of bonding and insurance. For convenience both the contractor registration and application for a Master License can be obtained through the Labor and Industry office.


Businesses consisting of more than one person may require a Federal Employer (tax) Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service to identify the business entity.