Chapter 5.02
BUSINESS LICENSES

Sections:

5.02.010    Definitions.

5.02.020    Business license required – Waiver.

5.02.025    Exemptions.

5.02.030    Application procedure.

5.02.040    License application form.

5.02.050    Term of license.

5.02.060    Procedure for renewing license.

5.02.070    Fees – Time for payment – Penalty.

5.02.080    Ineligible activities.

5.02.090    Revocation or suspension of license – Grounds.

5.02.100    Appeal.

5.02.110    Sale or transfer of business – New license required.

5.02.120    Temporary licenses – Fees.

5.02.130    License required for businesses located outside City limits.

5.02.140    License required for businesses contracting with the City.

5.02.200    Penalty.

5.02.010 Definitions.

Except as otherwise expressly declared or clearly apparent from the context in which used, the following definitions shall be applied in construing the provisions of this chapter:

A. “Person” means 1 or more natural persons of either sex, corporations, partnerships, associations or other entities capable of having an action at law brought against such entity, but shall not include employees of persons licensed pursuant to this chapter.

B. “Business” includes all services and activities engaged in with the object of pecuniary gain, benefit or advantage to the person, or to another person or class, directly or indirectly, whether part-time or full-time, except those businesses subject to the City’s utilities tax, Chapter 5.32 IMC. For the purposes of this chapter, the owner of any apartment building or buildings containing an aggregate of 10 or more rental units located on a single or contiguous lots and the owner of any business or commercial building containing any rental units shall be considered to be engaged in a “business.”

C. Engaging in Business.

1. The term “engaging in business” means commencing, conducting, or continuing in 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.

2. This section 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 section are illustrative only and are not intended to narrow the definition of “engaging in business” in subsection (C)(1) of this section. 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.

3. Without being all-inclusive, any 1 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:

a. 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.

b. Owning, renting, leasing, using, or maintaining an office, place of business, or other establishment in the City.

c. Soliciting sales.

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

e. 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.

f. Installing, constructing, or supervising installation or construction of real or tangible personal property.

g. Soliciting, negotiating, or approving franchise, license, or other similar agreements.

h. Collecting current or delinquent accounts.

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

j. 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.

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

l. Meeting with customers or potential customers, even when no sales or orders are solicited at the meetings.

m. 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.

n. Investigating, resolving, or otherwise assisting in resolving customer complaints.

o. 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.

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

4. 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:

a. Meeting with suppliers of goods and services as a customer.

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

c. 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 director member or attendee engaging in business such as a member of a board of directors who attends a board meeting.

d. Renting tangible or intangible property as a customer when the property is not used in the City.

e. 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.

f. Conducting advertising through the mail.

g. Soliciting sales by phone from a location outside the City.

5. A seller located outside the City merely delivering goods into the City by means of common carrier 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 (C)(4) of this section.

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. (Ord. 2843 § 1, 2018; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.020 Business license required – Waiver.

A. It is unlawful for any person to conduct, operate, engage in or practice any business in the City without having first obtained a business license from the City. If more than 1 business is conducted on a single premises, a separate license shall be required for each separate business conducted, operated, engaged in or practiced.

B. Business Threshold. All persons who engage in business within the City but do not maintain a physical place of business within the City shall be required to obtain a business license. For persons described in the preceding sentence whose annual value of products sold, gross proceeds of sales, or gross business income derived from engaging in business within the City does not exceed $3,000, the license shall be issued without payment of a license fee. All persons who engage in business within the City and who have a physical place of business within the City shall be required to obtain a business license and to pay the license fees established by the City without regard to the threshold established by this section.

C. Courtesy License – Nonprofit Fee Waiver – Nonprofit Organizations. Business activities carried on by nonprofit organizations shall be considered to be a “business”; however, no license fee shall be charged for the license with submittal of documentation of federal tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3), (4) or (10). Business licenses shall be valid until December 31st of the year for which they are issued and all renewals thereafter shall be for a period of 1 year commencing January 1st of the year for which the license is issued and terminating and expiring December 31st. (Ord. 2843 § 2, 2018; Ord. 2364 § 1, 2003; Ord. 2338 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.025 Exemptions.

A. Participants in a City-sanctioned event (sponsored or permitted, including special events) whose value of products sold, gross proceeds of sales, or gross business income from the event is less than $3,000 in a year may be issued a no fee business license. Those participants grossing more than $3,000 annually must obtain a city business license.

B. Businesses with only a post office box and no physical business location within the City of Issaquah and which do not do any business within the City of Issaquah are exempt from the requirement to obtain a business license.

C. Farmers who sell agricultural, horticultural or farm products which they have actually grown, harvested, or produced are exempt from the requirement to obtain a business license; provided, that this exemption does not apply to sale of firewood. (Ord. 2843 § 3, 2018; Ord. 2364 § 2, 2003).

5.02.030 Application procedure.

A. No business license shall be issued or renewed except upon written application made to the Washington State Department of Licensing Master License Service (MLS), in coordination with the Building Official, or his/her designee. Application for license shall be accomplished by filing a master business license with the MLS. Such application shall be signed by the person who intends to conduct, operate or engage in the business for which the license is to be issued, and shall state the nature and address or addresses of the business or businesses, or proposed business or businesses, of the applicant, and such other information as may be required by the Building Official, or his/her designee. A nonrefundable application fee in an amount equal to the first annual license fee for the business for which the license is sought, and the MLS handling fee, shall accompany the application. In the event that the license shall be granted, the application fee shall be credited to payment of the first annual license fee.

B. Application for a business license shall be made either at the City of Issaquah or with the Washington State Department of Licensing MLS and shall be accompanied by the proper fee.

C. If the applicant is a partnership, the application must be made and signed by 1 of the partners; if a corporation, by 1 of the officers thereof; if a foreign corporation, partnership or nonresident individual, by the resident agent or local manager of the corporation, partnership or individual.

D. The Building Official, or his/her designee, shall approve or deny the license. The Planning Director and Building Official shall indicate on the license application whether the proposed business meets all current zoning and building code requirements. If an application is denied by the Building Official, or his/her designee, the reason for denial shall be stated.

E. Neither the filing of an application for a license, or the renewal thereof, nor the payment of any application or renewal fee, shall authorize a person to engage in or conduct a business until such license has been granted or renewed. (Ord. 2489 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2338 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.040 License application form.

The business license application shall contain the provision that additional permits or licenses may be necessary before the owner can commence business. (Ord. 2489 § 2, 2007; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.050 Term of license.

All business licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be granted annually and have an expiration date as determined by the Washington State Department of Licensing, in cooperation with the City of Issaquah but shall have a term of at least 1 year. The license term or expiration date will be coordinated with the terms or expiration dates of all other licenses required by the state. (Ord. 2489 § 3, 2007; Ord. 2364 § 3, 2003; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.060 Procedure for renewing license.

All businesses shall renew their business licenses each year. Businesses must pay a renewal fee as established by the Issaquah City Council, in addition to paying the MLS handling fee. Renewal notification will be generated by the MLS 30 days prior to license expiration. (Ord. 2489 § 4, 2007; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.070 Fees – Time for payment – Penalty.

A. The fee for each license required by this chapter shall be $60.00 per year plus a $15.00 MLS handling fee. The fee for renewal of the license shall be $50.00 per year plus a $9.00 MLS handling fee.

B. All businesses required to obtain licenses under this chapter shall obtain the same and pay all fees as determined by the City of Issaquah and the MLS. Any business which fails to obtain and pay the license fees within 30 days of notice, in addition to any other penalties provided in this chapter, shall be assessed a $25.00 late fee levied by the MLS. (Ord. 2489 § 5, 2007; Ord. 2364 § 4, 2003; Ord. 1956 § 1, 1992; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.080 Ineligible activities.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, a license hereunder may not be issued to or held by any person who uses or occupies or proposes to use or occupy any real property or otherwise conducts or proposes to conduct any business in violation of the provisions of any ordinance of the City or the statutes of the State of Washington or any other applicable law or regulation. The granting of a business license shall not authorize any person to engage in any activity prohibited by federal, State or local law or regulation. (Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.090 Revocation or suspension of license – Grounds.

The Building Official, or his/her designee, may, at any time, suspend or revoke any license issued under the provisions of this chapter whenever the licensee, or any officer, employee or partner thereof:

A. Has violated any federal, State or City statute, law, regulation or ordinance upon the business premises stated in the license or in connection with the business stated in the license, whether or not the licensee, or officer or partner thereof, has been convicted in any court of competent jurisdiction of such violation; or

B. Is or has conducted, engaged in or operated the business stated in the license upon premises which does not conform to the ordinances of the City; or

C. Has maintained or permitted the business stated in the license to be conducted, engaged in or operated in such manner as to constitute a public nuisance; or

D. Has made any material false statement or representation in connection with obtaining the license. (Ord. 2338 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.100 Appeal.

A. Whenever the Building Official, or his/her designee, determines that there is cause for suspending, denying or revoking any license issued pursuant to this chapter, the Building Official, or his/her designee, shall notify the person holding the license by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, of his determination. Notice mailed to the address on the license shall be deemed received 3 days after mailing. The notice shall specify the grounds for suspension, denying or revocation.

B. The licensee may appeal the decision of the Building Official, or his/her designee, to suspend, deny or revoke a business license by filing a written notice of appeal to the City Administrator within 10 days of the Building Official’s, or his/her designee’s, decision.

C. Upon timely receipt of the notice of appeal, the City Administrator shall set a date for hearing the appeal. The Building Official, or his/her designee, shall mail notice of the date of the hearing to the licensee.

D. The hearing shall be de novo. The City Administrator may affirm, reverse or modify the Building Official’s, or his/her designee’s, decision.

E. The decision of the City Administrator shall be final. Any person desiring to appeal must file an appropriate lawsuit in King County Superior Court within 14 days of the City Administrator’s decision. (Ord. 2338 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.110 Sale or transfer of business – New license required.

Upon the sale or transfer of any business licensed pursuant to this chapter, the license issued to the prior owner or transferrer shall automatically expire on the date of such sale or transfer and the new owner intending to continue such business in the City shall apply for and obtain a new business license pursuant to the procedures established by this chapter prior to engaging in, conducting or operating the business. (Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.120 Temporary licenses – Fees.

A. Any person engaged in business within the City for a period not to exceed 30 days may obtain a temporary business license upon application to the Building Official, or his/her designee. The fee for this temporary license shall be $10.00. The temporary license may be renewed upon payment of the $10.00 fee.

B. The provisions of this section shall not exempt a person from the requirements of paying the tax imposed by Chapter 5.04 IMC. (Ord. 2338 § 1, 2002; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).

5.02.130 License required for businesses located outside City limits.

Businesses located outside the City, which furnish or perform services within the City limits and which conduct business for more than 30 calendar days within a calendar year, shall hereafter apply and pay for a regular business license. (Ord. 2489 § 6, 2007).

5.02.140 License required for businesses contracting with the City.

A license is required for businesses accepting or executing a contract with the City, irrespective of whether goods or services are delivered within or without the City, or whether the person’s office or place of business is within or without the City. (Ord. 2843 § 4, 2018).

5.02.200 Penalty.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a civil infraction and, upon conviction, shall be punished in accordance with the provisions set forth in IMC 1.36.030(A). Any person violating IMC 5.02.020 or 5.02.080 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished in accordance with the provisions set forth in IMC 1.36.030(B). As to violations of IMC 5.02.020 or 5.02.080, the Code Enforcement Officer and the City Prosecuting Attorney shall have the discretion, pursuant to IMC 1.36.030(C), to file such violations as civil infractions or criminal misdemeanors. With respect to any fine imposed upon conviction of either a civil infraction or a criminal misdemeanor, $250.00 of the fine shall not be suspended or deferred. (Ord. 1974 § 1, 1993; Ord. 1694 § 5, 1985; Ord. 1615 § 1, 1984).