Chapter 5.02


5.02.010    Chapter and purpose.

5.02.020    Definitions – General.

5.02.025    Engaging in business.

5.02.030    Business license required – Posting.

5.02.040    Exempt from the City fee.

5.02.050    Exempt from City business license.

5.02.060    Program application and renewal.

5.02.070    License term or expiration.

5.02.080    Fee.

5.02.090    Late renewal.

5.02.100    License denial or revocation.

5.02.110    Violation – Enforcement.

5.02.120    Rules and rulings.

5.02.010 Chapter and purpose.

The primary purpose of the City’s business license program is for regulatory purposes to ensure that businesses are authorized and permitted in the proper zoning district. Additionally, for public safety and emergency purposes, the City requires current contact and operating information about each entity operating within its jurisdictional boundaries. Maintenance of current information with respect to business, trade, service, commercial and professional activities carried on within the City allows the City to carry out the duties and authorities delegated to it by the Washington State Constitution and the laws of the State of Washington as a noncharter code city. Such information can best be accumulated and maintained on a current basis through the establishment of a program for the license of such business activities. The business license program (“program”) is hereby established to protect the public and promote economic development and not intended to benefit any individual or class. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.020 Definitions – General.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given in this section:

(1) “Business,” “occupation” or “pursuit” means and includes all activities, occupations, trades, pursuits, professions, and matters located or engaged in within the City with the object of gain, benefit, or advantage to the applicant for business license or other person, directly or indirectly, whether part-time or full-time, whether resident or nonresident.

(2) “Casual or isolated sale” means a sale made by a person who is not engaged in the business of selling the type of property involved on a routine or continuous basis.

(3) “City” means the City of Woodinville, Washington.

(4) “Clerk” means such City employees or agents as the City Manager shall designate to administer this chapter, or any designee thereof.

(5) “Engaging in business” is defined in WMC 5.02.025.

(6) “Person,” “firm,” or “corporation,” used interchangeably in this chapter, means any individual, receiver, assignee, trustee in bankruptcy, trust, estate, firm, co-partnership, joint venture, club, company, joint stock company, business trust, corporation, association, canvasser, peddler, solicitor, 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. 662 § 1, 2018; Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.025 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 (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 (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. 662 § 2, 2018)

5.02.030 Business license required – Posting.

(1) Any person or entity that engages in any business, occupation, home occupation or pursuit, including nonprofit activities, in the City shall license that business with the City’s program. To license under the program a person must submit an application in accordance with the procedures established by the City and pay the applicable license fee.

(2) 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.

(3) It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association, unless specifically exempted herein, to maintain, conduct or operate any device, vehicle or thing for the purpose of engaging in or operating any business or occupation, or to engage in any business, calling, profession, trade, occupation or activity, without first having secured the license to do so, and paying all fees prescribed herein.

(4) A business license shall be posted in a conspicuous location at the place of the business. (Ord. 662 § 3, 2018; Ord. 610 § 1, 2015; Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.040 Exempt from the City fee.

Fees adopted by resolution, pursuant to WMC 5.02.080, do not apply to:

(1) The performance of governmental or proprietary functions by any instrumentality of the United States, the State of Washington, or any political subdivision thereof, including City of Woodinville sponsored civic events.

(2) Accredited public or private schools, colleges, or universities, as to their education endeavors only; churches and other religious bodies, as to their religious activities only; political groups and organizations as to their political activities only.

(3) Organizations exempt from taxation under 26 USC 501(c)(3) and (4) must register under the business license program, but shall be exempt from paying the license fee. This shall not constitute an exemption from all other applicable taxes and fees, including administration and renewal fees established by the State of Washington, pursuant to RCW 19.02.075. Such organization must be able to show satisfactory proof of such status to the City. (Ord. 610 § 1, 2015; Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.050 Exempt from City business license.

Licensing requirements and the fees adopted by resolution, pursuant to WMC 5.02.080, do not apply to:

(1) Minors, a person under the age of 18, engaged in business or operating a business concern where no other person is employed by the minor.

(2) Casual or isolated sales.

(3) Real Estate Agents. For the purposes of this chapter, “real estate agent” means a person who is licensed under Chapter 18.85 RCW and whose license is being retained by a broker licensed as a broker under Chapter 18.85 RCW (“designated broker”). Due to the unique legal controls placed upon the real estate agent/broker relationship, a real estate agent whose license is retained by a designated broker holding a currently valid City of Woodinville business license is not required to have his/her own separate business license if the real estate agent engages in no business in Woodinville other than the work with the designated broker and the designated broker includes the real estate agent in counting the number of employees. (Ord. 662 § 4, 2018; Ord. 610 § 1, 2015; Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.060 Program application and renewal.

(1) A person shall register a business with the program by submitting an application in accordance with the procedures established by the City, in coordination with the Clerk, giving such information as is deemed reasonably necessary to enable the enforcement of this chapter.

(2) If a business is located at two or more separate locations within the City, a separate business license shall be required for each business.

(3) If more than one business is conducted or operated on premises, a separate business license shall be required for each business that meets the requirements for business license. Each business owner must separately register a business with the program.

(4) A business license is transferable. A person engaged in business within the City shall notify the Clerk of a change of business location within 30 days of the location change or by the next license renewal date, whichever date occurs first.

(5) A person who has registered a business under the City’s program shall renew the license on an annual basis, in the same manner as the original application for license including payment of fees.

(6) A person engaged in business within the City must comply with all applicable City ordinances and code provisions, and State and Federal laws. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.070 License term or expiration.

A business license shall be valid for a term of 12 months, unless otherwise established, and shall expire on the date determined by the City. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.080 Fee.

The fee to register with the City’s program, or renew such license, shall be as set forth in a fee resolution adopted by the City Council. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.090 Late renewal.

Each business license issued must be renewed annually on or before the expiration date, or expiration of any prorated period. Failure to renew a business license by the expiration date may result in an increase in the amount of the renewal fee by 50 percent. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.100 License denial or revocation.

(1) An application for license required under this chapter may be denied or revoked by the City based on any of the grounds provided below:

(a) If the person who obtains the license or any of the business officers, directors, agents, owners or employees of the business fail to comply with the requirements of this chapter.

(b) If a person procures license by fraud or misrepresentation of fact, or the person who obtains the license or any of the business officers, directors, agents, owners or employees of the business obtain license so as to practice some illegal act or some act injurious to the public health, safety and welfare.

(c) Whenever a person fails or refuses to pay the license or renewal fee.

(2) The City shall not deny or revoke a business license without cause. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.110 Violation – Enforcement.

A violation of this chapter shall constitute a violation of this code subject to the provisions of Chapter 1.03 WMC, General Penalty. (Ord. 685 § 7, 2019; Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)

5.02.120 Rules and rulings.

The City Manager may, from time to time, adopt, publish and enforce rules and regulations not inconsistent with this chapter or with State law. The purpose of such rules and regulations is to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The City Manager may also issue letter rulings from time to time which are applicable only to specific businesses. Such administrative rulings shall be binding on the City and the applicable business. (Ord. 587 § 2, 2014)