Licenses and Permits
To conduct business in Bellevue, permits and licenses may be required. All businesses must register for city and state business and occupation taxes. Our City Taxes offers details about business and occupation taxes and others. Construction, tenant improvements and certain land use activities require building and land-use permits from Development Services. Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service (BLS) has an online Business Licensing Guide that can assist you in determining some of your licensing needs.
Joint City and State Business License Registration
Businesses register with the city and state at one time. You will receive a business license from the state, showing both your city and state business licenses. Bellevue general business licenses are valid for the life of the business.
Complete the Business License Application and the city business license addendum. The fee for 2015 to register with Bellevue is $106 (Business License Application fee $19 and Bellevue registration $87). If you have any questions about registering your business with the city, please contact the Tax Division at 425-452-6851.
There are three ways to file the Business License Application and supplemental forms:
- File online, using your credit card. You can contact BLS at 1-800-451-7985. Filing online is the fastest method to apply because your application does not require mail delivery or the information to be inputted manually, which can save you a week or two in the registration process.
- Complete the Business License Application and the city business license addendum, and mail with the appropriate fee (check or money order made out to the Department of Revenue) to:
Business Licensing Service
Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 9034
Olympia WA 98507-9034
- File in person at the Business Licensing Service Department of Revenue office location in Tumwater.
You will receive your business license about four to six weeks after submitting your application.
Other Bellevue registration requirements
If registering a business physically located in Bellevue, your Bellevue license will be subject to zoning approved by the city's Development Services Department.
After your business license application is approved by the city, you will get your Bellevue registration number along with Business and Occupation (B&O) tax information. The city's 2015 exemption levels for business and occupation taxes are $160,000 in taxable gross receipts and/or 250 taxable square feet for offices located in Bellevue. You will not need to pay B&O taxes if you are below Bellevue's tax exemption levels. If your business start date was prior to the current quarter, you will be sent tax returns for previous quarters.
Home-based businesses with external indication of commercial activity should call the Development Services land use desk at 425-452-4188. Businesses operating on public or private property within the city limits must have the approval of the property owner.
For publicly owned properties, approval may be granted for park sites by the Parks & Community Services Department at 425-452-4278, and/or streets, sidewalks and other public rights of way by the Transportation Department at 425-452-4599. For privately owned property, permission must be obtained from the property owner.
The state Department of Revenue also administers a B&O tax. This is not jointly administered for the state and city. The telephone number for the Department of Revenue is 1-800-647-7706.
To find out if a business or a trade name is registered with the state, please visit the BLS Search Business Licenses. To make any changes to the legal entity name for your corporation, LLC or LLP, you must contact the Secretary of State at 360-753-7115.