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Businesses operating in King County may come under the jurisdiction of State, County, and, where applicable, city regulations. The location of the business, as well as the nature and scope of the business, determines what types of business licenses are required.

King County issues business licenses for businesses engaged in certain regulated activities in unincorporated King County.  Check jurisdiction and zoning information.

King County does not require a general business license. Unless your business is engaged in a regulated activity in unincorporated King County, no King County license is required. However, all businesses located in unincorporated King County must be in compliance with zoning code regulations.

A King County business license is required only for a few types of businesses as explained below.

Important - please note:

  • A King County business license is required only if:

    1. The business engages in a regulated activity and

    2. The business is located in and/or operates in unincorporated King County.

      See types of licenses for more information.

  • If the business is located in unincorporated King County, the business must be in compliance with zoning code regulations. See business zoning for more information on conducting a business out of your home or other zoning questions.

    • If the business is located or operates within city limits of any incorporated city in King County (such as Seattle, Kent, Issaquah, etc.), you must check with the city instead of King County to find out the city's requirements for business licenses. For more information, see city licenses.

For more information

The Permitting Department can address questions only about the types of business licenses that it issues (see list).

For general business license questions, you must contact Washington State Business Licensing at 1-800-451-7985.

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External links

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