Obtaining a Business License
After completing your business plan, it’s time to register your business. Register your business BEFORE signing a lease or spending any start-up money. Find out what to expect by reviewing the steps below.
The following table provides a summary of the different licenses that may be required, estimate fees, and typical approval times. More detailed information can also be found in the sections below.
2-14 business days
2-14 business days
$5 per name
2-14 business days
1-7 business days
60 to 90 days
$25 to apply
1-3 days for licensing + 10 days for equipment
No setup fee
Same day online or up to 5 weeks by mail
Choose a Business Structure
The business structure that you choose will have legal and tax implications. Learn about the different types of business structures and find the best suited for your business.
We encourage you to seek legal, tax, and/or accounting advice for more detailed information.
Register with the Secretary of State
- Corporations, limited liability companies (LLC), and limited partnerships must register with the Washington Secretary of the State. Sole proprietors and general partnerships skip this step.
- The Secretary of State will issue a Unified Business Identifier (UBI) and send you formation documents. Be sure to use the same name and UBI when dealing with all agencies.
- Learn the requirements for your entity type.
License Your Business with the State and the City of Spokane Valley
Determine Your Licensing Requirements
The Business License Application is a single application used to apply for a Spokane Valley Business License and many other state licenses and permits, and to register trade names with the state. The system charges a $19 base filing fee each time an application is submitted. The fee for the Spokane Valley license is $25.
- Review the list of business licenses and permits available through this system to get as much accomplished as possible with each filing session. The system charges a base filling fee each time an application is filed or re-filed.
- Make sure your trade name is available.
- The Spokane Valley Business License is also available at City Hall.
Submit a State Business License Application
Use the Business License Application to apply for the Spokane Valley Business License and State Business License, and state licenses and permits as well as to establish accounts, including:
- A taxpayer account (Department of Revenue).
- Unemployment insurance (Employment Security Department).
- Workers’ compensation (Department of Labor and Industries).
- Trade name registration
- Most specialty licenses, including Liquor, Lottery, and Cigarette and/or Tobacco Retailer.
After you submit your license application, these agencies will contact you to set up your accounts.
Re-Filing the Business License Application
You may need to file (or re-file) a Business License Application when you:
- Change address or finalize your business location.
- Plan to hire employees in the next 90 days.
- Need a minor work permit to hire employees under 18 (takes about 1 day).
- Apply for a liquor license, which you do after securing your location (takes 60-90 days to approve).
If using the Business License Application, there is a base filing fee of $19 each time an application is filed or re-filed.
Apply for Business Licenses for Other Jurisdictions, if Needed
If you open another location or cater outside the City of Spokane Valley, you’ll also need a business license for that city. The state Business Licensing Service processes business license applications for many cities, but if you don’t see yours listed, contact that city directly.