The City of Ephrata works to be supportive of local business by limiting regulations and taxes whenever possible. However, anyone doing business should acquire a business license. The City of Ephrata Municipal Code 5.03.030 states that "It is unlawful for any person, company, association, corporation, or partnership to engage in any kind of business, trade or profession authorized by law within the city, without first obtaining a license as provided for by this chapter. This shall include all peddlers, hawkers, solicitors and itinerant merchants or vendors."
In an effort to make it easier to obtain a business license, the City of Ephrata has partnered with the Washington State Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS) for our community's business licensing management. This partnership became effective November 6, 2013 and allows "one-stop shopping" when maintaining or renewing your state and city licenses. File your online business license application or renewal at https://dor.wa.gov/ For assistance contact DOR at 1-360-705-6741.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- ZONING: Please check with the Planning Department on zoning and sign information, and the Building Department on building permits and tenant improvements. Planning Department phone number is 509.754.4601 ext. 124 and Building Department phone number is 509.754.4601 ext. 135.
- OWNERSHIP CHANGE: Licenses are not transferable. A new license application is required upon change of ownership, and/or when the primary business being conducted has significantly changed.
- RELOCATION: When a business relocates to another location within the city limits, an updated applicaiton must be made to the State of Washington BLS prior to the change in location.
- FEES: New Application fee is $80.00 and renewals are only $40.00.
- RENEWALS: All licenses shall be renewed annually and have an expiration date as determined by the State of Washington BLS. The expiration date will coordinate with the terms or expiration dates of all other licenses required by the state. Renewals shall be issued by the State BLS in cooperation with the City upon receipt from the business a request for renewal in the form prescribed by the State BLS.
- EXEMPTIONS: A person selling products, fruits or crops actually produced by the seller. A person making casual or isolated sales of goods or merchandise not in the course of a business at a flea market, rummage sale, yard sale, garage sale, bazaar or like sale when such sales, markets or bazaars are conducted on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or any City recognized holiday and provided also, that such flea markets, bazaars or the like shall be licensed by the City of Ephrata for operation at the particular location indicated on that license. Sales conducted by bona fide charitable or nonprofit organizations. Sales conducted by students of public or private primary or secondary schools.
- SMALL OR PART-TIME BUSINESSES: Wherein the annual gross income of a business is less than five-thousand dollars ($5,000.00) per year, that business is exempt from the payment of renewal fees but shall be required to pay the initial $80 new application fee. This exception does not apply to temporary/itinerant vendors.
- HOME BUSINESS: Please contact our offices 509.754.4601 ext. 124 for information regarding home businesses.