Chapter 5.04


5.04.010    Definitions.

5.04.020    Required—Exceptions.

5.04.030    Application—Procedure.

5.04.040    Application—Form.

5.04.050    Renewal.

5.04.060    Fee—Late payment—Reissuance.

5.04.070    Term.

5.04.080    Change of ownership—Reapplication.

5.04.090    Temporary business license.

5.04.100    Prohibitions upon issuance.

5.04.110    Revocation or suspension—Grounds.

5.04.120    Appeal.

5.04.130    Violation—Penalty.

5.04.010 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.    “Business” means and 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. Any enterprise that meets the general definition of “business” shall be considered a separate and distinct business subject to the requirements of this chapter; provided, that a component or incident part of a separate business shall not itself be considered a separate business. For the purposes of this chapter, nonprofit organizations shall also be included under the term “business.”

B.    Engaging in Business.

1.    “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 minimus 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 (B)(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 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, 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 (B)(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.

C.    “Incidental home business” means any business conducted within a residence that falls below the minimum requirements for a home occupation permit, as stipulated in Title 18 of this code.

D.    “Person” means one 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.

E.    “Special event” means any event or activity (excluding organized amateur sporting events such as Little League baseball, amateur soccer, etc.) which is organized primarily for the purpose of promoting cultural, artistic or entertainment endeavors, including, but not limited to, arts and crafts fairs, cultural exhibitions, vocal or instrumental concerts, shows, festivals and camps, and is open to members of the public and/or use of all or any part of any city park. Special events are not limited to those events conducted on public streets or in public buildings but may include events occurring entirely on private property. The term “special event” does not include public service instructional classes.

F.    “City clerk” means the city clerk of the city of Poulsbo or his or her designee.

G.    “State” means the Washington State Department of Revenue. (Ord. 2018-22 § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2011-17 § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2010-20 § 1 (part), 2010; Ord. 2000-23 § 1, 2000; Ord. 96-10 § 1, 1996; Ord. 91-37 § 1 (part), 1991: Ord. 84-32 § 1, 1984)

5.04.020 Required—Exceptions.

A.    It is unlawful for any person to conduct, operate, engage in or practice any business in the city of Poulsbo without first having obtained a business license from the city. If more than one business is conducted on a single premises, a separate license shall be required for each separate business conducted, operated, engaged in or practiced. If business is transacted at two or more places by a person within the city, a separate license shall be required for each place at which business is transacted.

B.    A nonprofit organization shall complete the business license application form; however, it shall be required to pay a license fee only as required by Section 5.04.090(B).

C.    Pursuant to RCW 36.71.090, no business license shall be required of any farmer, gardener or other person to sell, deliver or peddle any fruits, vegetables, berries, eggs or any farm produce or edibles raised, gathered, produced or manufactured by such person. Furthermore, no business license shall be required of any minor engaging in a de minimis entrepreneurial venture with permission of the property owner, including, but not limited to, such trade and activities as running a lemonade stand.

D.    Incidental home businesses, as defined in Section 5.04.010, are exempt from the requirement to obtain a business license under this chapter. The exemption provided in this subsection shall not apply to home businesses requiring a home occupation permit as defined in Section 18.48.150.

E.    Threshold with Fee-Free License. For purposes of the license required by this chapter, 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, shall submit a business license registration application to the director or designee and shall not engage in business in the city until a business license is issued, but such licensees shall not be required to pay the ordinarily applicable business license fee. The fee-exemption threshold provided by this section does not apply to regulatory license requirements or activities that require a specialized permit. (Ord. 2018-22 § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2000-23 § 2, 2000; Ord. 97-17 § 1, 1997; Ord. 96-10 § 2, 1996; Ord. 91-37 § 2, 1991: Ord. 84-46 § 1, 1984; Ord. 84-32 § 2, 1984)

5.04.030 Application—Procedure.

A.    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 business license application through the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service, in coordination with the city clerk or designee. Persons applying for a license must pay a fee as established in Section 3.12.040(D), and the Business Licensing Service handling fee.

B.    Application for a business license shall be made online or by mail with the State of Washington Department of Revenue or submitted in person at the city of Poulsbo on a form to be furnished for that purpose and accompanied by the proper fees. Each application submitted in person or by mail shall be signed by the person or other authorized representative of the firm or corporation to be licensed.

C.    The city clerk shall approve or deny the license. Each application shall be reviewed by city departments for compliance with all other city code requirements. If any city department recommends denial of the license, that department must submit its recommendation in writing to the city clerk. If an application is denied by the city clerk, the reason for denial shall be stated.

D.    Neither the filing of an application for a license nor the payment of the fee shall authorize a person to engage in or conduct a business until such license has been granted. (Ord. 2011-17 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 91-37 § 3, 1991: Ord. 84-32 § 3, 1984)

5.04.040 Application—Form.

The business license application shall contain the provision that additional permits may be necessary before the owner can commence business. (Ord. 84-32 § 4, 1984)

5.04.050 Renewal.

A.    Businesses must pay a renewal fee as set forth in Section 3.12.040(D), and the Business Licensing Service’s processing fee.

B.    City business licenses shall be granted an expiration date as determined by the State of Washington Department of Revenue in cooperation with the city. The expiration date will be coordinated to match the expiration date already established for the state business licensing account. License fees will be prorated accordingly with respect for any license term granted for less than or greater than twelve months during the adjustment to match the account’s established expiration date.

C.    Neither the filing of an application for renewal nor the payment of a renewal fee shall, of itself, authorize a person to engage in or conduct a business. (Ord. 2011-17 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 97-17 § 2, 1997: Ord. 96-10 §§ 3, 4, 1996; Ord. 91-37 § 4, 1991: Ord. 84-32 § 7, 1984)

5.04.060 Fee—Late payment—Reissuance.

A.    The fees for application and for renewal of city business licenses are set forth in Section 3.12.040(D).

B.    If any license issued under this chapter is not renewed by the date of expiration, the Business Licensing Service may assess the late renewal fee authorized by RCW 19.02.085 in addition to the license fees due for renewal. (Ord. 2011-17 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 2003-16 § 11 (part), 2003; Ord. 96-30 § 1, 1996: Ord. 92-33 § 1, 1992; Ord. 91-37 § 5, 1991: Ord. 84-32 § 5, 1984)

5.04.070 Term.

All city of Poulsbo business licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter will expire on the date established by the State Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service, and must be renewed on or before that date in order to continue conducting business in the city. (Ord. 2011-17 § 1 (part), 2011: Ord. 96-10 § 5, 1996: Ord. 91-37 § 6, 1991: Ord. 84-32 § 11, 1984)

5.04.080 Change of ownership—Reapplication.

Upon the sale or transfer of any business licensed pursuant to this chapter, the license issued to the prior owner or transferor shall automatically expire on the date of such sale or transfer and the new owner intending to continue such business in Poulsbo shall apply for and obtain a new business license pursuant to the procedures established by this chapter and the fees established by Section 3.12.040(D) prior to engaging in, conducting or operating the business. (Ord. 2003-16 § 11 (part), 2003: Ord. 91-37 § 7, 1991: Ord. 84-32 § 6, 1984)

5.04.090 Temporary business license.

Any person engaged in business within the city for a period not to exceed fourteen days within any three consecutive months may obtain a temporary business license upon application to the city clerk. The fee for this temporary license is set forth in Section 3.12.040(D)(4). The temporary license may not be renewed during that calendar year. (Ord. 2020-02 § 1, 2020: Ord. 2018-22 § 1 (part), 2018; Ord. 2010-20 § 1 (part), 2010; Ord. 2003-16 § 11 (part), 2003; Ord. 2000-03 § 1, 2000; Ord. 96-10 § 6, 1996; Ord. 92-33 § 2, 1992; Ord. 91-37 §§ 8, 11, 1991; Ord. 84-32 § 12, 1984)

5.04.100 Prohibitions upon issuance.

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 of Poulsbo or the statutes of the state of Washington or any other applicable law or regulation. No license shall be issued to or renewed for any business subject to payment of a business improvement area assessment if such assessment, any installment thereof or interest thereon is delinquent. 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. 89-05 § 1, 1989: Ord. 84-32 § 8, 1984)

5.04.110 Revocation or suspension—Grounds.

The city clerk 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;

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

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

D.    Has made any material false statement or representation in connection with obtaining the license. (Ord. 91-37 §§ 9, 11, 1991; Ord. 84-32 § 9, 1984)

5.04.120 Appeal.

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

B.    The licensee may appeal the decision of the city clerk to deny or revoke a business license by filing a written notice of appeal to the city council within ten days of the city clerk’s decision.

C.    Upon timely receipt of the notice of appeal, the city clerk shall set a date for hearing the appeal. The city clerk shall mail notice of the date of the hearing to the licensee at least twenty days prior to the hearing date.

D.    The hearing shall be de novo. The city council may affirm, reverse or modify the city clerk’s decision.

E.    The decision of the city council shall be final. Any person desiring to appeal must file an appropriate action in Kitsap County Superior Court within fourteen days of the city council’s decision.

F.    Following revocation, no business license shall be issued for a period of twelve months to the person or business entity whose license was revoked, or to any business entity owned or controlled by such person or entity. (Ord. 96-10 § 7, 1996: Ord. 91-37 § 10, 1991; Ord. 84-32 § 10, 1984)

5.04.130 Violation—Penalty.

A.    Any person, as defined in this chapter, and the officers, directors, managing agents, or partners of any corporation, firm, partnership or other organization or business violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall have committed a civil infraction and, upon a determination by the Poulsbo municipal court that such infraction has been committed, shall pay a civil monetary penalty to the city of a sum not to exceed two hundred dollars. In addition, each and every day during any portion of which a violation of any provision of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted constitutes a separate infraction. Penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the city’s general fund to be used for general purposes of the city.

B.    In addition to the penalties provided in this section, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is a public nuisance and all remedies given by law for the prevention and abatement of nuisances shall apply thereto.

C.    Any person deemed to have committed a civil infraction under subsection A of this section who shall fail to come into compliance, or remain in compliance, with the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for a term not exceeding ninety days or by a fine in an amount not more than one thousand dollars or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that such condition or violation continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense and shall be punishable accordingly. (Ord. 96-30 § 2, 1996: Ord. 84-32 § 13, 1984)