Article 20.02
In General.


20.02.010    Definitions.

20.02.020    Purpose and Scope.

20.02.025    Persons Required to be Licensed, Exemptions.

20.02.030    (Repealed by Ord. No. 1972, Sec. 20; 8-2-88.)

20.02.040    (Repealed by Ord. No. 1954, Sec. 5; 12-1-87.)

20.02.050    (Repealed by Ord. No. 1447, 12-21-71.)

20.02.055    Characteristics of License.

20.02.060    City Manager Authority.

20.02.065    Application Requirements, Initial Issue.

20.02.075    Application Requirements, Renewal.

20.02.080    Criteria for Approval or Denial.

20.02.085    Grounds for Revocation of License.

20.02.090    Grounds for Suspension of License.

20.02.095    Appeal.

20.02.100    Posting of License.

20.02.010 Definitions.

Business. Any occupation, profession or commercial activity engaged in for profit or livelihood in the City. Any person who advertises or otherwise represents themselves to the public as engaged in business is presumed to be so engaged.

City Manager or Manager. The person holding the position of City Manager or any officer of employee designated by that person to perform duties stated within this chapter.

Domestic Help. An individual hired or employed primarily for the performance of domestic duties or chores including child care, the maintenance of a residence and the care, comfort and convenience of members of the residential household.

Garage Sale. A commercial activity, open to the public, conducted at a private residence where personal property is sold to others, provided that the number of sales at a particular residence does not exceed two sales during a calendar year, and provided that the duration of each sale does not exceed three consecutive days.

License. The permission, privilege or approval, granted by the City to engage in a business or activity regulated by this chapter.

Person. All natural and legal persons, including but not limited to, individuals, corporations, associations, partnerships and societies, whether or not engaged in a profit making endeavor.

Rental Unit. A single-family detached dwelling, attached townhome dwelling, live-work dwelling, or a dwelling unit within a multi-family dwelling, as defined by LOC, that is rented out for more than 30 consecutive days. "Rental unit" does not include units within a hotel or motel for transient residential rentals or units offered for short-term rental lodging, as defined by LOC, or where occupancy within the unit is for rent that is subject to the transient lodging tax (LOC 24.02.020).

Unlawful Business Activity. Any business activity which violates any provision of the City Code, or any other applicable law.

(Ord. 2830, Amended, 10/01/2019; Ord. 2343, Amended, 12/17/2002; Ord. 1972, Sec. 1, 08/02/1988; Ord. 423, Sec. 1, 04/18/1951)

20.02.020 Purpose and Scope.

Licenses required and restrictions imposed by this chapter and the Lake Oswego Code are enacted primarily for the purpose of regulation of businesses. The public’s interest is served by insuring that regulated businesses will be carried on in continuing compliance with applicable laws and ordinances and in a manner which does not detract from the public health, safety and welfare. Such licensing provisions are enacted pursuant to the City Charter, Section 4 and the home rule authority recognized in the Oregon Const. Art. XI, §2 and Art. IV, §1.

(Ord. 1972, Sec. 2, 08/02/1988; Ord. 423, Sec. 2, 04/18/1951)

20.02.025 Persons Required to be Licensed, Exemptions.

1.    No person shall conduct business within the City without having first obtained a license pursuant to this chapter unless that person is specifically declared exempt by subsection (4) of this section. Continuing compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the Lake Oswego Code is necessary for the maintenance of such license.

2.    No person shall carry on business within the City pursuant to a license which has been suspended or revoked.

3.    Any person that has neither a residence nor place of business within the City, but nevertheless carries on or engages in business themselves or through one or more agents or employees shall be licensed, subject to the requirements of this chapter.

4.    Exemptions. The provisions of LOC 20.02.020 through 20.06.300 shall not apply to:

a.    City-sponsored activities.

b.    Garage sales.

c.    Domestic help.

d.    Persons under the age of 19 who sell or deliver newspapers to subscribers.

e.    Individuals who are employed by a business which is required to obtain a license pursuant to this chapter.

f.    Persons whose primary endeavor is delivering goods for a business located outside the City.

g.    Individuals hired or employed on a casual basis by a household, business or other employer to supply labor and/or services only.

h.    Persons operating in the capacity of a subcontractor, but only if the primary contractor holds a City business license or is exempt from that requirement.

i.    A business with anticipated or established gross revenue during a calendar year of no more than $1,000 and at least 50% of which is owned by a person under 19 years of age. A person seeking to qualify for this exemption must establish its qualifications by competent evidence acceptable to the City, such as tax returns, accounts of prior years or business experience of similarly situated businesses.

j.    Businesses operating under a current, in good standing City franchise agreement or right-of-way license issued under LOC Chapter 51.

k.    Any conduct which is exempt from license or permit requirements by virtue of the constitution or laws of the United States or the State of Oregon.

l.    A person whose business consists of two or fewer rental units within the City.

m.    A warehouse used in connection with a business separately licensed with the City but located at a separate location within the City.

n.    A contractor, as defined under ORS 701.005, who possesses a contractor’s license issued by the Metropolitan Service District, pursuant to ORS 701.015 and 1) whose place of business is not located in the City, or 2) who earns less than $250,000 in gross revenues from business conducted in the City.

(Ord. 2819, Amended, 05/21/2019; Ord. 2231, Amended, 03/21/2000; Ord. 2125, Amended, 09/19/1995; Ord. 1972, Sec. 3, 08/02/1988.)

20.02.030 (Repealed by Ord. No. 1972, Sec. 20; 8-2-88.)

20.02.040 (Repealed by Ord. No. 1954, Sec. 5; 12-1-87.)

20.02.050 (Repealed by Ord. No. 1447, 12-21-71.)

20.02.055 Characteristics of License.

1.    A license issued pursuant to this chapter is a personal privilege and non-transferable, unless the transferee has first applied with the City and meets the requirements of this chapter.

2.    Unless otherwise provided, a license issued pursuant to this chapter is renewable as provided in LOC 20.02.075. Unless otherwise specified herein or in the terms and conditions of the license or license renewal, licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter remain effective for 12 full calendar months following the month the license is issued or renewed.

3.    A license issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended or revoked as provided in LOC 20.02.085 and 20.02.090.

(Ord. 2631, Amended, 09/24/2013; Ord. 1972, Sec. 4, 08/02/1988.)

20.02.060 City Manager Authority.

1.    The City Manager may adopt reasonable rules and regulations in order to carry out the provisions of and for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. The Manager shall prescribe forms for business license applications. The Manager shall review or cause to be reviewed applications for and renewals of business licenses, and shall submit such applications to appropriate City departments for investigation to determine and comment on the applicant’s compliance with the City Code and other laws.

2.    The City Manager shall have the authority to approve, approve with conditions or deny an application for or renewal of a business license. If the Manager determines that the application should be denied or approved with conditions, the Manager shall notify the applicant in writing of the decision. The notice shall state the reason for the decision and inform the applicant of the provisions for appeal. If the Manager’s decision is to approve without conditions, issuance of the license is notification of the decision and it does not need to state any reason or appeal rights.

(Ord. 1972, Sec. 5, 08/02/1988; Ord. 552, Sec. 2, 12/05/1957; Ord. 423, Sec. 5, 04/18/1951.)

20.02.065 Application Requirements, Initial Issue.

1.    Application for the initial issue of a license to a business shall be made to the City at least 30 days prior to the date the license is requested to be effective. The application forms shall provide for information necessary to determine the identity and address of the applicant and of the owner of the business to be licensed and shall provide for other information as may be requested by the City Manager. The application shall be signed by the applicant and shall constitute the applicant’s consent for the City to conduct an investigation of the applicant’s license request including permission to enter property to be used in conducting the business. The applicant shall submit information necessary to evaluate the applicant’s request and to determine compliance with applicable Lake Oswego Code requirements as determined by the City Manager. If the applicant fails to supply information so required or submits false or misleading information, the license may be denied and if issued, may be suspended and/or revoked.

2.    Applications shall be accompanied by any required fee. Application fees shall be non-refundable.

3.    In addition to an application fee any business or activity required to be licensed which has not received a license due to an application being received after the date on which it is due, as specified in subsection 1 above, shall pay a late fee.

(Ord. 1972, Sec. 6, 08/02/1988.)

20.02.075 Application Requirements, Renewal.Code Interpretations

1.    Application for renewal of a license shall be made to the City prior to the license expiration date of forms supplied by the City Manager. Persons filing late applications for license renewal shall pay, in addition to the application fee, a late renewal fee. Renewal fees are non-refundable.

2.    Upon receipt of a complete application for renewal of a license, the City Manager shall refer the matter to any department or agency within or outside of the City for review, investigation and comment as the Manager deems appropriate. If the City Manager has received complaints concerning the business or otherwise deems it appropriate, the Manager may treat the renewal application in the same fashion as an original application under LOC 20.02.065.

(Ord. 1972, Sec. 7, 08/02/1988.)

20.02.080 Criteria for Approval or Denial.

1.    Approval or denial of an application for initial issue or renewal shall be based on consideration of all available evidence indicating whether or not the applicant meets the requirements of the City Code. In the event no grounds exist for denial of a license, a license shall be issued.

2.    Any of the following may be grounds for denial of the license:

a.    Any false or incomplete statement made or acknowledged on the application form, or the failure to disclose a material fact on the application form; provided, however, that in the event such statement or omission is the result of excusable neglect, the applicant may resubmit an application with appropriate corrections.

b.    The business activity would violate any provision of the City Code or any other applicable law and could not be made to comply through the imposition of appropriate conditions.

c.    A previous history within the past three years of unlawful business activity by the applicant, which if continued would be grounds for revocation of the license.

d.    The business activity would endanger persons or property.

e.    The applicant’s past or present violations of law, even in the absence of conviction, presents reasonable doubt that the activity performed by the applicant can be performed without harm or danger to persons or property.

(Ord. 2772, Amended, 02/06/2018; Ord. 1972, Sec. 8, 08/02/1988.)

20.02.085 Grounds for Revocation of License.

The Manager, upon determining that unlawful business activity is occurring or has occurred, or that a business would not qualify for a license pursuant to LOC 20.02.080, shall notify the licensee in writing that the license is to be revoked. The notice shall be sent at least 30 days before the date of revocation. If the activity giving rise to the need for the revocation proceedings is discontinued, the Manager may terminate the proceedings. A notice of revocation shall state the reason for the revocation and inform the licensee of the provisions for appeal.

(Ord. No. 1972, Sec. 9; 8-2-88.)

20.02.090 Grounds for Suspension of License.

The Manager, upon determining that a business presents an immediate danger to person or property, may suspend the license of the business. The suspension shall take effect immediately upon notice being given by the Manager personally to the licensee or by delivery to the licensee’s business or residence as shown on the licensee’s application. The notice shall be in writing, shall state the reason for the suspension and inform the licensee of the provisions for appeal. Unless the Manager’s decision is reversed by the City Council or other competent authority, the Manager may continue the suspension so long as the reason giving rise to the suspension continues.

(Ord. No. 1972, Sec. 10; 8-288.)

20.02.095 Appeal.

1.    An applicant whose application for a license has been conditioned or denied, or a licensee whose request for license renewal has been conditioned or denied, or whose license has been suspended, or is to be revoked may within 10 calendar days after the notice of denial, suspension, revocation or approval with conditions is mailed or delivered, whichever is earlier, appeal in writing to the City Council. The appeal shall be filed with the City Recorder and shall state and include:

a.    The name and address of the appellant and business owner;

b.    The nature of the determination from which an appeal is taken and a copy of the determination;

c.    The reason or reasons why the determination is alleged to be incorrect;

d.    What the correct determination should be; and

e.    Any established fee for appeal.

2.    Failure to file such a statement with the Recorder and pay the fee within the time permitted constitutes a waiver of objections to the Manager’s decision. If a notice of revocation is appealed, the revocation does not take effect until final determination of the appeal. The filing of an appeal to a notice of suspension does not stay the effectiveness of that notice and the business may not operate until a final determination is made on the appeal. The appellant shall be provided at least 7 days written notice of the hearing on the appeal. The Council shall hold a hearing and consider the oral and written testimony and materials provided by the appellant, the City Manager or other interested persons. The Council may affirm, modify, remand or reverse the City Manager’s decision.

3.    In the event an action or proceeding has been commenced in Municipal Court for an alleged violation of law, which violation is substantially the same as the violation giving rise to a suspension or a revocation proceeding, the City Manager may direct the City Attorney to seek a stay of proceedings in Municipal Court. If the Municipal Court does not grant a stay and makes a determination that a violation of law does or does not exist and such determination becomes final, the determination is binding on the parties and may not be challenged through the licensing review, revocation or suspension process.

(Ord. No. 1972, Sec. 11; 8-2-88.)

20.02.100 Posting of License.

1.    Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the business license shall be posted in a conspicuous place upon the business premises, available for inspection by any interested person.

2.    If the licensee has no office, business premises or other established place of business within the City, the license, or a copy thereof, shall be at all times in the possession of the representative of the business present within the City while business is being transacted.

(Ord. No. 1972, Sec. 12; 8-2-88.)