King County business licenses
Any person or business in unincorporated King County engaged in offering, conducting, or advertising public entertainment and/or amusement for the use or benefit of the public is required to have a King County Public Entertainment License (Title 6* of the King County Code).
Potential types of businesses requiring a Public Entertainment License include those offering karaoke; live musical entertainment including use of a disc jockey; boxing or wrestling; skating; haunted houses; video arcades; pool and billiard halls; bowling alleys; skating rinks; shooting galleries; race tracks; drag strips; go-cart tracks; amusement parks; carnivals; and adult entertainment.
A license application must be filed within 30 days of the commencement of the activity. Most licenses require approval by the King County Sheriff's Office, the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review, and the Fire Marshal. Some activities require a conditional use permit by the County.
The license fee for a Public Entertainment and/or Amusement License is $200 per year, $100 per six months, or $50 for a one-night license.
Places offering public dancing require a Public Dance License. Fees also are $200 per year, $100 per six months, or $50 for a one-night license. Special operating standards exist if anyone under the age of 18 is on the premises. Department of Permitting and Environmental Review, Sheriff's Office, and Fire Marshal approvals are required before a license can be issued.
To apply for a Public Entertainment or Public Dance License, complete the License Application for Public Entertainment and Public Dance, available in PDF* (25KB) or fill-in MS Word* (130KB) format. For assistance, contact DPER at 206-296-6600.
Adult entertainment businesses in unincorporated King County, including peepshows and those offering nude and/or semi-nude dancing, require an Adult Entertainment License. The license fee is $750 per year.
All entertainers and managers in an adult business which offers nude or semi-nude dancing must have an Entertainer's or Manager's License. For more information, see Entertainers and managers.
To apply for an Adult Entertainment License, complete the License Application for Adult Entertainment, available in PDF* (41KB) or fill-in MS Word* (167KB) format. For assistance, contact DPER at 206-296-6600.
Carnival License fees are $40 per day for up to 10 units and $100 a day for more than 10 units. Units include rides, sideshows, and merchandise and food concessions. Proof of public liability insurance policy providing for a minimum of $300,000 bodily injury coverage per occurrence, $100,000 bodily injury coverage per person, and $25,000 property damage coverage is also required.
Amusement Park License fees are $200 per year for 1-10 units and $400 per year for 11 or more units.
A Go-cart Track License fee is $500 per year. Proof of public liability insurance is also required. Additional safety standards apply.
Theater Licenses are $100 per year per screen.
To apply for a Carnival, Amusement Park, Go-cart Track, or Theater License in unincorporated King County, complete the General Business License Application, available in PDF* (22KB) or fill-in MS Word* (92KB) format. For assistance, contact the Permitting Department at 206-296-6600.