Chapter 5.02


5.02.010    Purpose.

5.02.020    Definitions.

5.02.030    License – Required.

5.02.031    Exemptions from license requirements.

5.02.032    Agents responsible for obtaining license.

5.02.033    Required for building permit.

5.02.034    Separate license for branch establishments.

5.02.040    Fee.

5.02.045    Renewals – Fee.

5.02.050    Application – Requirements.

5.02.055    Background investigation of applicants.

5.02.060    Criteria for denial, suspension or revocation of license.

5.02.070    Standards of conduct.

5.02.080    Display of license.

5.02.090    New location.

5.02.100    Nontransferable.

5.02.110    Appeals.

5.02.120    Penalties.

5.02.010 Purpose.

The provisions of this chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the authority to license, regulate, make inspections and to impose excises for regulation or revenue in regard to all places and kinds of business, production, commerce, entertainment or exhibition, and upon all occupations, trades and professions and any other lawful activity as provided in RCW 35A.82.020. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.020 Definitions.

In construing the provisions of this chapter, except when otherwise declared or clearly apparent from the context, the definitions in this section shall be applied.

“Business” includes all activities, occupations, pursuits, or professions located and/or engaged in within the city, with the object of gain, benefit or advantage to the person engaging in the same, or to any other person or class, directly or indirectly.

“City” means the city of Clarkston.

“Employee” means any person who performs work, labor, or services for a business and is on the business’ payroll. For the purpose of this chapter, the term “employee” also includes self-employed persons, sole proprietors, owners, managers, partners, and all full-time, part-time and temporary employees or workers on the business’ payroll.

“Engaging in business” means:

(a) Commencing, conducting or continuing in any business, and also the exercise of corporate or franchise powers, as well as liquidating a business when the liquidators thereof hold themselves out to the public as conducting such business.

(b) This definition sets forth examples of activities that constitute engaging in business in the city, and establishes safe harbors for certain of those activities so that a person who meets the criteria may engage in de minimis business activities in the city without having to pay a business license fee. The activities listed in this definition are illustrative only and are not intended to narrow the definition of “engaging in business” in subsection (a) of this definition. If an activity is not listed, whether it constitutes engaging in business in the city shall be determined by considering all the facts and circumstances and applicable law.

(c) Without being all-inclusive, any one of the following activities conducted within the city by a person, or its employee, agent, representative, independent contractor, broker or another acting on its behalf constitutes engaging in business and requires a person to register and obtain a business license:

(i) Owning, renting, leasing, maintaining, or having the right to use or using tangible personal property, intangible personal property, or real property permanently or temporarily located in the city.

(ii) Owning, renting, leasing, using, or maintaining an office, place of business, or other establishment in the city.

(iii) Soliciting sales.

(iv) Making repairs or providing maintenance or service to real or tangible personal property, including warranty work and property maintenance.

(v) Providing technical assistance or service, including quality control, product inspections, warranty work, or similar services on or in connection with tangible personal property sold by the person or on its behalf.

(vi) Installing, constructing, or supervising installation or construction of real or tangible personal property.

(vii) Soliciting, negotiating, or approving franchise, license, or other similar agreements.

(viii) Collecting current or delinquent accounts.

(ix) Picking up and transporting tangible personal property, solid waste, construction debris, or excavated materials.

(x) Providing disinfecting and pest control services, employment and labor pool services, home nursing care, janitorial services, appraising, landscape architectural services, security system services, surveying, and real estate services, including the listing of homes and managing real property.

(xi) Rendering professional services such as those provided by accountants, architects, attorneys, auctioneers, consultants, engineers, professional athletes, barbers, baseball clubs and other sports organizations, chemists, psychologists, court reporters, dentists, doctors, detectives, laboratory operators, teachers, and veterinarians.

(xii) Meeting with customers or potential customers, even when no sales or orders are solicited at the meeting.

(xiii) Training or recruiting agents, representatives, independent contractors, brokers or others, domiciled or operating on a job in the city, acting on its behalf, or for customers or potential customers.

(xiv) Investigating, resolving, or otherwise assisting in resolving customer complaints.

(xv) In-store stocking or manipulating products or goods, sold to and owned by a customer, regardless of where sale and delivery of the goods took place.

(xvi) Delivering goods in vehicles owned, rented, leased, used, or maintained by the person or another acting on its behalf.

(d) If a person, or its employee, agent, representative, independent contractor, broker or another acting on the person’s behalf engages in no other activities in or with the city but the following, it need not register and obtain a business license:

(i) Meeting with suppliers of goods and services as a customer.

(ii) Meeting with government representatives in their official capacity, other than those performing contracting or purchasing functions.

(iii) Attending meetings, such as board meetings, retreats, seminars, and conferences, or other meetings wherein the person does not provide training in connection with tangible personal property sold by the person or on its behalf. This provision does not apply to any board of directors member or attendee engaging in business such as a member of a board of directors who attends a board meeting.

(iv) Renting tangible or intangible property as a customer when the property is not used in the city.

(v) Attending, but not participating in a “trade show” or “multiple vendor events.” Persons participating at a trade show shall review the city’s trade show or multiple vendor event ordinances.

(vi) Conducting advertising through the mail.

(vii) Soliciting sales by phone from a location outside the city.

(e) A seller located outside the city merely delivering goods into the city by means of common carriers is not required to register and obtain a business license; provided, that it engages in no other business activities in the city. Such activities do not include those in subsection (d) of this definition.

The city expressly intends that “engaging in business” include any activity sufficient to establish nexus for purposes of applying the license fee under the law and the constitutions of the United States and the state of Washington. Nexus is presumed to continue as long as the taxpayer benefits from the activity that constituted the original nexus-generating contact or subsequent contacts.

“License officer” means the person or his or her designee appointed by the mayor to act in such capacity.

“Person” includes the singular and the plural and also means and includes any natural person, firm, corporation, association, club, partnership, society or any group of individuals acting as a unit.

“Taxpayer” includes any person who engages in business or who is required to have a business license hereunder, or who is liable for the collection of any license fee or tax hereunder, or who performs any act, for which a license fee or tax is imposed by this chapter.

“Year” means the calendar year. [Ord. 1609 § 1, 2018; Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.030 License – Required.

No person shall engage in any business or activity in the city for which a license fee or tax is imposed by this chapter without first having obtained and being the holder of a valid and subsisting license to do so, to be known as a “business license,” issued under the provisions of this chapter, as hereinafter provided, and without paying the license fee or tax imposed by this chapter, which license fee or tax shall accompany the application for the license. Such license shall expire at the end of the calendar year in which it is issued and a new license shall be required for each calendar year. Each license shall be numbered and shall show the name, place and character of business of the licensee. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.031 Exemptions from license requirements.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

(1) Any instrumentality of the United States, the state of Washington, or political subdivisions thereof with respect to the exercise of governmental functions;

(2) Any farmer, gardener, or other person who sells, delivers, or peddles any fruits, vegetables, berries, eggs, or any farm produce or edibles raised, gathered, caught, produced, or manufactured by such person within the state;

(3) Any person who merely delivers within the city any property purchased or acquired in good faith from such person at his regular place of business outside the city where such person is not otherwise subject to the licensing provisions of this chapter;

(4) Any person, business, enterprise, firm or corporation which the city is forbidden to tax under state or federal law;

(5) Businesses operated not-for-profit shall be exempt from paying a business license fee upon application and satisfactory proof to the licensing officer of said not-for-profit status, however, all other licensing provisions apply;

(6) Business activities subject to the tax imposed by Chapter 5.03 CMC, relating to the licensing and taxation of public utilities;

(7) Private garage/yard sales of an infrequent nature upon residential property owned or tenanted by that person conducting such sale, limited to two such sales annually, each lasting not more than three consecutive days, for each particular parcel of property;

(8) No license shall be required of any person who operates a business in conjunction with nonprofit community festivals, as approved by the license officer, provided all the following criteria are met:

(a) The business does not operate within the city more than three consecutive days;

(b) The business does not operate within the city more than 12 days in a calendar year; and

(c) The business is authorized to participate in the community festival by the sponsor of the festival.

(9) Any person or business whose annual value of products, gross proceeds of sales, or gross income of the business in the city is equal to or less than $2,000, and who does not maintain a place of business within the city, shall be exempt from the general business license requirements in this chapter. The exemption does not apply to regulatory license requirements or activities that require a specialized permit. [Ord. 1609 § 2, 2018; Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.032 Agents responsible for obtaining license.

The agents or other representatives of a company doing business in the city shall be personally responsible for the compliance with this chapter by their principals and of the businesses they represent. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.033 Required for building permit.

No building permit shall be issued by the city to any person, firm or corporation engaged in any of the building trades until the requirement of this chapter has been complied with. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.034 Separate license for branch establishments.

A license application shall be completed for each separate branch or location of a licensed business, with no fee applied to such branch or location; provided, that the main location obtains the required license and pays all applicable fees. Warehouses and distributing plants used in connection with and incidental to a business licensed under the provisions of this chapter are not separate places of business or branch establishments. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.040 Fee.

A business license fee schedule shall be set by resolution of the city council. All business license fees shall be payable at the time of application and shall not be refunded or prorated, except when the license application is denied by the city. In the case of a license application being denied by the city, a $15.00 processing fee will be retained and the remainder of the application fee will be refunded to the applicant. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.045 Renewals – Fee.

(1) All licenses shall be renewable on January 1st of each calendar year. The licensing officer shall send notice of renewal to each licensee prior to January 1st of each calendar year to renew the license for the following calendar year.

(2) The renewal fee shall be set by resolution of the city council and shall be due on or before January 1st.

(3) A penalty will be assessed for payments received after January 31st. The amount of the penalty for late payment shall be set by resolution of the city council.

(4) Failure of the licensee to receive any such mailed notice shall not release the taxpayer from any fee or any penalties, nor shall such failure operate to extend any time limit set by the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.050 Application – Requirements.

All applications for business licenses shall be made in writing to the licensing officer upon forms provided. The licensing officer shall adopt forms and prescribe the information to be given therein as convenient and necessary for processing the application. The application shall include a declaration that the information contained therein is true and complete to the best of the applicant’s knowledge, signed by the applicant or authorized representative of the firm or corporation to be licensed. No license shall be issued until the application has been fully completed and all applicable ordinances have been fully complied with. In addition, the applicant shall obtain a UBI number from the Washington State Department of Licensing and a contractor’s registration, if applicable, and that information shall be included on the application. The applicant shall also be responsible for obtaining any additional licenses or certifications as required by state or federal law. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.055 Background investigation of applicants.

The Clarkston police department shall conduct a background investigation of all applicants for a new business license. Results of the investigation will be used to determine if criteria exist that may cause denial of a city business license. [Ord. 1424 § 1, 2008.]

5.02.060 Criteria for denial, suspension or revocation of license.

The license officer may deny a license to any applicant or may suspend or revoke any license when such licensee, or any other person with any interest in the application or license:

(1) Knowingly causes, aids, abets, or conspires with another to cause any person to violate any of the laws of this state or the city which may affect or relate to the applicant’s or license holder’s business;

(2) Has obtained a license by fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, or through inadvertence or mistake;

(3) Is convicted of, forfeits bond upon, or pleads guilty to any offenses directly related to the operation of the license holder’s business;

(4) Makes a misrepresentation of, or fails to disclose, a material fact to the city;

(5) Violates any building, safety, fire or health regulations on the premises in which the business is located after receiving warning from the city to refrain from such violations;

(6) Is in violation of a zoning regulation of the city;

(7) Fails to pay when due, or has failed to pay when due, any special assessment levied by the city or any entity created by the city as authorized by state law; or

(8) When a business or business activity becomes an instrument of or a cover for public disorder, crime, or other danger to public safety, morals or health. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.070 Standards of conduct.

Every licensee under this chapter shall:

(1) Permit reasonable inspections of his or her business premises;

(2) Ascertain and at all times comply with all laws and regulations applicable to such licensed business;

(3) Refrain from operating the licensed businesses on premises after expiration of his/her license and during the period his/her license is revoked or suspended. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.080 Display of license.

Every licensee under this chapter shall:

(1) Post and maintain such license upon the licensed premises in a place where it may be seen at all times;

(2) Carry such license on his person when he has no licensed business premises;

(3) Not allow any license or special permit to remain posted, displayed or used after the period for which it was issued has expired, or when it has been suspended or revoked, or for any other reason become ineffective;

(4) Not loan, sell, give, or assign to any other person or allow any other person to use or display, or to destroy, damage or remove, or to have in his possession, except as authorized by the license officer or by law, any license which has been issued to the licensee. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.090 New location.

A licensee shall have the right to change the location of the licensed business; provided he shall notify the license officer in writing prior to the change. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.100 Nontransferable.

No license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferable or assignable. When a business changes ownership, or upon substantial change in the type of business operated, a new business license shall be required. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.110 Appeals.

(1) Notification of Suspension, Revocation, or Denial. When the license officer determines that there is cause for denying, suspending, or revoking any license issued pursuant to this chapter, the officer shall notify the person holding such license by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, of the decision. Notice mailed to the address on file shall be deemed received three business days after mailing. The notice shall specify the grounds for the denial, suspension or revocation. The suspension or revocation shall become effective 10 days from the date the notice is delivered or deemed received unless the person affected thereby files a written request with the license officer for a hearing before the city council within such 10-day period.

(2) Hearing Procedure. Upon written request as set out in subsection (1) of this section, the city council shall schedule and hold a hearing as soon as practicable. During the pendency of the hearing and until action by the city council, the action of the license officer shall be stayed. At the hearing, both the applicant or licensee and the city shall be entitled to present evidence. Upon completion of the hearing, the city council shall:

(a) Accept the license officer’s recommendation as presented; or

(b) Determine no action is warranted; or

(c) Modify the recommended action.

(3) Appeal from City Council. Appeal from a decision of the city council shall be to the Asotin County superior court and must be served and filed within 30 days of the decision of the city council. In the event the applicant or license holder does not follow the procedures within the time periods set forth in this section, the action of the city council shall be final. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]

5.02.120 Penalties.

(1) Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or any lawful rule or regulation adopted by the license officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 and not to exceed the statutory maximums.

(2) Any taxpayer who engaged in, or carried on, any business subject to a tax or license fee without having his business license to so do shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter for each day during which the business is so engaged, or carried on; and any taxpayer who fails or refuses to pay the license fee or tax, or any part thereof, on or before the due date shall be deemed to be operating without having his license to so do. [Ord. 1366 § 2, 2003.]