Chapter 5.02
BUSINESS LICENSES

Sections:

5.02.010    Purpose.

5.02.020    Definitions.

5.02.025    Administration.

5.02.030    License required.

5.02.040    Exemptions.

5.02.050    Issuance of licenses.

5.02.060    Posting of license.

5.02.070    License not transferable.

5.02.075    Ownership change.

5.02.080    Fraudulent use of business license.

5.02.090    Denial or revocation of business license.

5.02.100    License renewal.

5.02.110    Compliance with codes and laws required.

5.02.115    Compliance with other codes.

5.02.120    Notice of noncompliance – Revocation – Final action.

5.02.130    Appeal to hearing examiner.

5.02.140    Violation – Misdemeanor.

5.02.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a means for obtaining public information and compiling statistical information on existing and new business in the city to regulate and ensure the legal conduct of businesses and to assist in the effective administration of health, fire, building, zoning and other codes of the city. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 § 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the words set out in this section shall have the following meanings:

A.    “Engaged 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.

1.    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 (A) 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.

2.    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:

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, 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.

3.    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 directors 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.

4.    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 (A)(3) 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.

B.    “Person” means any individual receiver, assignee, trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, partnership, joint venture, club, company, joint stock company, business trust, corporation, association, society or any group of individuals acting as a unit, whether mutual, cooperative, fraternal, nonprofit or otherwise, and includes the United States or any instrumentality thereof. (Ord. 030/2018 § 1; Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 § 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 021/2006 § 1; Ord. 782, 1985; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.025 Administration.

The city of Monroe city administrator or designee shall administer this chapter and shall have the authority to develop and implement administrative procedures to manage and enforce this chapter. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 5, 6 (Exh. A))

5.02.030 License required.

On or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, all persons engaged in business in the city shall apply for a business license. No person shall engage in any business within the city without first having secured a license to do so as hereinafter provided unless exempted in this chapter. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 2, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 021/2006 § 2; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.040 Exemptions.

A.    The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:

1.    Minors doing business or operating a business concern where no other person is employed by the minor;

2.    The United States or any instrumentality thereof and the state of Washington or any municipal subdivision thereof;

3.    Participants in a special event pursuant to Chapter 5.28 MMC where the following conditions have been met:

a.    The participant is identified on a list of participants to be provided by the applicant for a license under Chapter 5.28 MMC to the city administrator or designee at least three days in advance of the event;

b.    The participant to be exempt participates in no more than two such street fair events in any calendar year;

4.    Persons whose sole activity is the rental of real property;

5.    Participants in community-oriented open-air markets operated in accordance with MMC 18.12.190(B);

6.    Any person consigning items for sale in a retail shop possessing a valid city of Monroe business license;

7.    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 two thousand dollars 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.

B.    The license fee portion of this chapter shall not apply to:

1.    Fraternal benefit associations or societies as defined in RCW 48.36A.010;

2.    Nonprofit religious organizations;

3.    Nonprofit associations, clubs, or corporations maintained for the purpose of organized sports, charity, public school-related activities or municipal corporation-related activities, including police and fire department reserve organizations;

4.    Persons required to obtain a license and pay a license fee for a specific activity or business under other provisions of this code who have indeed procured such a license and paid the fee for such license. Persons licensed by any other public entity shall comply with the provisions of this chapter and state and federal law when engaged in business in the city of Monroe. (Ord. 030/2018 § 2; Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 3, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 1283, 2002; Ord. 782, 1985; Ord. 718, 1981; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.050 Issuance of licenses.

Any new nonexempt business shall make application for a business license prior to commencing business in the city. Application for license shall be accomplished by filing a master application through the State Department of Licensing’s Master License Service. Persons applying for a license must pay a fee as established by the city council by periodic resolution and the Master License Service’s handling fee. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 021/2006 § 3; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.060 Posting of license.

Each person required to obtain a business license under this chapter shall at all times post said business license in the place of business for which it is issued. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 § 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.070 License not transferable.

When the place of business of a person required to obtain a business license under this chapter is changed, the person shall inform the Master License Service of the change. A change of place of business may require the filing of a new master application with the Master License Service. Upon approval by the city of the new place of business, a new license shall be issued for the person’s new place of business. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 021/2006 § 4; Ord. 811, 1986; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.075 Ownership change.

When a licensed business changes ownership, the license of the previous owner may not be transferred to the new owner. The new owner shall apply for a license for the business by filing a master application with the Master License Service. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 021/2006 § 5; Ord. 811, 1986)

5.02.080 Fraudulent use of business license.

No person holding a city business license shall suffer or allow any other person for whom a separate license is required to operate under or display such person’s license and no person may maintain a business license obtained through a false or fraudulent application or return of any false statement or representation in or in connection with such application or return for such business license. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 § 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.090 Denial or revocation of business license.

The city administrator or designee may deny or revoke the license issued to any person required to obtain a business license who is in default in any payment of any license fee or who shall fail to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter. Notice of such denial or revocation shall be mailed to the person by the city administrator or designee and on and after the date thereof any such person who continues to engage in business shall be deemed to be operating without a license and shall be subject to any or all penalties provided for in this chapter. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.100 License renewal.

All businesses shall renew their business license each year. Businesses must pay a renewal fee as established by the city council by periodic resolution and the Master License Service’s handling fee. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 § 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 021/2006 § 6; Ord. 1283, 2002; Ord. 914, 1989; Ord. 811, 1986; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.110 Compliance with codes and laws required.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision hereof, a business license issued under this chapter may not be issued to any person using or occupying any real property in violation of the provisions of local ordinance, and state and federal law, as well as the

Monroe zoning code and all amendments thereto. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 4, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.115 Compliance with other codes.

The issuance of a business license under this chapter shall not relieve the applicant of complying with other provisions of the Monroe Municipal Code or other state or federal laws, rules, and regulations. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 5, 6 (Exh. A))

5.02.120 Notice of noncompliance – Revocation – Final action.

A pending application for renewal under this chapter shall be deemed in compliance with this chapter unless the applicant is notified by the city administrator or designee in writing that said application may not be granted because of noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter. In the event such notice is given, the applicant shall have ninety days from the date of such notice to comply with any section violated under this chapter prior to final action upon said application for renewal unless an extension for compliance is granted by the council; provided, however, that activities in violation of local, state or federal law may be abated in accordance with Chapter 6.04 MMC. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.130 Appeal to hearing examiner.

Any person aggrieved under the provisions of this chapter may appeal to the hearing examiner from such finding of the city administrator or designee within fifteen days from the time as such taxpayer was given written notice of noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter or an applicant is given written notice of denial. The city administrator or designee shall, as soon as practical, fix a time and place for hearing of such appeal, which time shall not be more than thirty days after filing a notice of appeal and the hearing examiner shall cause a notice of the time and place thereof to be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person appealing the city administrator’s or designee’s proposed action. At such hearing, the applicant or taxpayer shall be entitled to be heard and to introduce evidence on their own behalf. The hearing examiner shall thereupon make a finding and notify the appellant thereof by mail. The city may, before the appeal is to be heard, subpoena and require the attendance at such hearing of any person and may require such person to produce any pertinent books and records. Any person served with such subpoena shall appear at the time and place therein stated and produce the books and records required, if any, and shall testify truthfully under oath administered by the hearing examiner as to any matter required of such person pertinent to the appeal and it shall be unlawful for such person to fail or refuse to do so.

Hearing examiner action shall be final unless within thirty days thereof an appeal has been filed with Snohomish County superior court by writ of certiorari. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 §§ 1, 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 975, 1991; Ord. 711, 1980)

5.02.140 Violation – Misdemeanor.

Any violation of this chapter shall be deemed a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed ninety days or by both such fine and imprisonment, and any person who engages in or carries on any business subject to the provisions of this chapter without obtaining a business license, or who carries on such activities in violation of this chapter, shall be guilty of a separate violation of this chapter for each day during which the business is so engaged in or carried on, and any applicant or taxpayer who fails or refuses to pay the business license fee or any part thereof on or before the due date shall be deemed to be operating a business without having a proper license to do so.

This violation is separate from and in addition to any other remedy which the city may have. (Ord. 003/2014 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 006/2011 § 6 (Exh. A); Ord. 711, 1980)