October 19, 2012 in Business

City business license processing will be by state

By The Spokesman-Review

Starting Nov. 13, Spokane businesses will apply for new licenses or renew licenses online through the state Department of Revenue.

The city’s business license fees will not change. Nearly all city businesses pay a $110 license fee each year.

The difference now will be an added $9 state processing fee, said Marlene Feist, the city’s spokeswoman.

City officials have been moving toward state-handled fees for years, she added.

“It’s primarily meant as a more convenient option,” she said. “It’s being adopted to make it easier to register and pay online.”

Spokane business owners currently can’t pay license fees with credit cards. Starting Nov. 13, applicants will be able to use credit or debit cards.

Spokane is one of more than 50 Washington cities that have made the shift to the state’s Business Licensing Service. Others include Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake and Richland.

Temporary business licenses – for businesses operating fewer than 90 days per year or without a permanent location – will still be processed at City Hall.

The $9 state fee won’t be imposed on brand-new businesses. Those firms instead pay the $110 license cost and a one-time $15 state business license fee.

State Revenue Department spokesman Mike Gowrylow said the state program tends to increase the number of businesses that comply with licensing requirements.

“The process reveals businesses registered with the state that should be registered with the city but aren’t,” he said.

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