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Adult Beverage

Adult Beverage

King County Business Licenses

Important Updates:

Ordinance 19030: On May 26, 2020, the Washington State Growth Management Hearings Board made a ruling in the FOSV, et al. v King County (Case No. 20-3-0004c) that affected the regulations for adult beverage businesses passed by Ordinance 19030. This Growth Management Hearings Board ruling remanded Ordinance 19030 back to King County and invalidated section 12-31 related to the zoning code criteria for type I, II, III winery, brewery, distillery manufacturing uses, remote tasting rooms, and the remote tasting room demonstration project area.

Although this ruling invalidated the sections of the zoning code criteria related to adult beverage businesses, it did not invalidate the Adult Beverage Business License requirements. However, King County is not able to issue or approve any Adult Beverage Business License for applicants seeking to comply with zoning code criteria that was implemented by Ordinance 19030. King County is able to continue processing Adult Beverage Business License applications for those businesses that are vested with an active building permit or land use permit, or those that are legal, nonconforming uses. If you have any questions, please contact the King County Permitting Division at (206) 263-3377.

Six-Month Moratorium: On June 23, King County Council passed a six-month moratorium related to adult beverage businesses. During this time, King County Permitting Division is not accepting or issuing any land use or building permits for any adult beverage businesses. Please refer to the King County Clerk of the Council webpage for more information.

Adult Beverage Business License Application Process:

A business license is required in unincorporated King County for all adult beverage businesses. The license fee is $100.

King County will notify all applicants within thirty days of applying if their business license has been approved. If approved, their business license application will be approved for one year or conditionally approved for six-months. In the case of a six-month conditional business license, King County will send each applicant a letter with additional actions that are needed to bring their adult beverage business into compliance.

To renew the adult beverage business license at the end of the six-month conditional business license, each applicant will need to demonstrate substantial progress in bringing their adult beverage facility into compliance. If renewed, the conditional business license will be valid for six additional months in which the business should be brought into full compliance. After the first year, all adult beverage business licenses will need to be renewed on an annual basis.

Adult Beverage Business License Application

To obtain a copy of an Adult Beverage business license application, please: