220 Fourth Avenue South, Kent WA 98032 - (253) 856-5200


The Official Website of the City of Kent

Business Licenses

All businesses operating in Kent are required to obtain a City Business License.  Businesses obtaining a license for the first time are also required to register with the City for Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax purposes.  The registration process is used to help determine whether the business is subject to or exempt from the City's B&O Tax.  The business licensing and registration process generally takes two to four weeks. 


Where do I apply for a City of Kent Business License?

You can apply for a business license at the Customer Service counter located at 400 West Gowe Street, Suite 122 during regular business hours (Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)  The Commercial Business License Application Outside Contractor License Application and Rental Housing Business License are available online or by contacting the Customer Services Division at 253-856-5200.   General Business License information may be obtained online.


Regular annual business licenses are based on the number of full and part-time employees employed at each business. There is also a one-time $112.93 fee for a fire and life safety inspection for commercial businesses located inside the city limits only.  Contractor licenses are $101 annually.  Rental Housing application fees are based on the number of units in the complex.  See fee schedule for complete details.


Rental Housing Business Licenses my receive a waiver of business license fees under the Safe Tenants and Rentals (STAR) Program.  Please contact the Crime Prevention division of the Kent Police Department to learn how to qualify for this program.  A code violation in the preceding year will result in an additional $1,000 fee.

If my business is located in my home, do I need a license?

Yes, you do. The Home Occupation Business License Application contains a Home Occupation Questionnaire.  Please see Home Occupation Business License Information & Instructions for detailed information about home business occupation.  General business license information is also available.  When you file for a license, the Planning Department will review your application for compliance of City Codes and regulations. This is to make sure you are within the guidelines of a business operating from a home location.  If you are unsure about zoning restrictions contact the City of Kent Planning Department.

Do I need a State of Washington Business License if I get a City of Kent license?

Yes, in most cases both are required. For more information about licensing your business in Washington State contact the State of Washington Business Licensing Service.

Do I need a King County License if I get a City of Kent Business License?

A King County business license is required only if your business is located in unincorporated King County. Be aware that some Kent addresses are not within the city limits. If you are outside the city limits, check with King County.

Is there a business tax in the City of Kent?

Yes, the City of Kent has a business and occupation tax (B&O Tax)

Do you send out business license renewal notices each year?

Yes, we send out notices 7 - 10 days prior to year end. License fees are due by January 31st.

How long does it take to get a license issued?

The process takes 10 business days.

Are there any other special business licenses required by the City?

Some activities require additional licenses.  A Cabaret License is required for live music and/or dancing.  There are also licenses for electronic game devices such as jukeboxes, pool tables, amusement and electronic games. Applications for these activities have a separate application form, fee schedule and process. For more information, contact Customer Services at 253-856-5200 or at CustomerService@kentwa.gov

Fee Schedule 

as of January 1, 2014

Business License


Type Fee Comment Duration

Commercial Business License

(Businesses located inside city limits of Kent)

 Number of Employees        Fee

0-24                                   $213.93*

25-49                                 $313.93*

50-99                                 $513.93*

100 or more                       $713.93*


Pro-Rated after July 1st

0-24                                  $163.93*

25-49                                $213.93*

50-99                                $313.93*

100+                                 $413.93*


 *Fee includes a $112.93 Fire Safety Inspection fee for commercial businesses located within the city limits only and a $1.00 technology fee.

Application Filing Required





Contractor License


$51.00 (Pro-rated after July 1st)

Required for all contractors doing business in Kent who have a physical location outside of Kent.  

Rental Housing License Application


2 to 10 units - $101.00

11 to 50 units - $301.00

51 and above - $601.00

Home Occupation License
$26.00 (Pro- rated after July 1 of calendar year)
Application Filing Required Annual
Non-profit-IRS 501(3)(c) exempt Application Filing Required Annual
Religious organizations (non-business activities only) exempt Application Filing Required Annual
Special Fees for Other Business Activities 
Amusement Device $50 per device Annual
Arcade License (over 10 devices) $500 in addition to the above Annual
Cabaret (live music and/or dance) $50 per Year or $12.50 Quarterly Annual
Carnivals $25 (offering amusement rides only) Annual
Circuses & Sideshows $400 + $100 day over 4 days One-time event
Going Out of Business Sales $75 3 months
Mobile Vendors $101 per year Annual
Model Studio & Body Painting $1,000 Annual
Manager of Model Studio $500 Annual
Adult Entertainment
Exotic Dance Studio
All other Adult Entertainment
Managers & Entertainers

$500 $150 $150
Annual for each
Solicitors & Master Solicitor $10 for Master and one agent; $2 for each additional solicitor Annual
Sole Solicitor (working alone) $5 Annual
Pool & Billiard Tables $50 each for first two tables
$10 each additional
Public Dance and Dance Halls  $150 Annual
Public Dance Single Events $25 per day (Only 3 limited licenses in any calendar month or 6 limited licenses in any calendar year allowed.) One-time event
Taxicabs & Vehicles for Hire $101 (City & King County License Required) Annual
Temporary Amusement Device $10 per device (Fair, Carnival, Circus) limited to 14 days