David Bugher (253) 983-7739 • Fax (253) 512-2268 • DBugher@cityoflakewood.us
Assistant City Manager for Development/Community Development Director


The permit counter is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The last customer will be accepted at 4:15 p.m.

Helpful links:

BLS Partnership Coming June 7, 2018

We are pleased to announce that the City of Lakewood will streamline its business licensing by partnering with the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service (BLS). This partnership will become effective June 7, 2018. All businesses regularly scheduled to renew prior to June 7th will still renew with the City of Lakewood. 

What are the benefits of BLS partnership?

Our new BLS partnership allows you “one-stop” to maintain most of your state and city licenses. For the first time Lakewood businesses may go online to business.wa.gov/BLS to renew your state and city licenses. New or expanding businesses will also be able to apply for their city license online along with other state and local licenses. We are sure you will value the savings that comes with combined licensing.

What do I have to do?

Right now, do nothing.  You will receive a renewal notice from BLS, it may come a little later than your previous renewal notices. Please pardon the delay as we transfer over the system. From May 24th- June7th the City and BLS will be unable to issue any new or renewal business licenses. When you receive your renewal notice, if you have questions, call (800) 451-7985.

What fees will I have to pay?

Your renewal form will list the City of Lakewood license fee and the $11 BLS renewal processing fee. This first BLS renewal may be prorated (anywhere from 3-14 months) in order to change your current city license expiration date to match the expiration date BLS already has for your business in their system. This is typical for any business with licenses related to liquor, tobacco, gasoline, cities and many others. After a year, all the licenses will renew at the same time.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

You may contact us at City of Lakewood, (253) 589-2489, Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


General Business License Questions

Starting a business is a rewarding yet challenging endeavor. While there is no single source that outlines all required procedures, this page has been developed to assist you in starting your business. 

Businesses located or doing business in Lakewood must obtain a local business license prior to commencing operations. Start by obtaining a state business license and Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number from the state Department of Revenue . Depending on your business, you may also need a professional or specialty license, also available from the state.

After you’ve taken care of that, download and fill out the Lakewood business license application. Most applications contain fillable forms that can be filled in on-line. NOTE: In order to use fillable forms the form must be downloaded using Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

If the selected application does not open as a fillable form, click on the download icon in the upper right hand corner to open the application in Adobe Reader. For further information or assistance with an application please contact the Development Services Counter at (253) 512-2261 (option 1) or email us at  .

Specialty businesses may have additional application requirements and fees. A list of specialty business-related licenses is below.


Washington state business license

All businesses must obtain a Washington state business license. You may apply: A) Online , or B) In person at the Department of Revenue, 3315 S. 23rd St., Tacoma. Once you have applied it may take up to 10 days for your license to be verifiable online. Check by clicking here.

The city may not issue a city of Lakewood business license without proof of an open/current state business license. The city will accept a copy of the Washington state business license presented by the applicant as verification of a current license.


General business licenses

To conduct business in Lakewood, you must obtain a business license from the state and the city and pay an annual business license fee. The base fee is $60 annually. A City business license is required prior to conducting any business activity in the City.

  • New general business license applications must be submitted in person, with one valid form of identification at City Hall, Second Floor permit counter, 6000 Main St SW, Lakewood, between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Renewal of general business licenses may be submitted online if the license is for the same business.


Not-for-profit businesses and organizations

Organizations exempt from taxation under 26 USC 501(C)(3) and (4) must apply and obtain a business license, but shall be exempt from applicable business license fee.


Solicitor's & peddler's permit requirements

All persons conducting door-to-door solicitation in the City of Lakewood, whether you are located inside or outside of the City, are required to obtain a City of Lakewood general business license, and apply for a Solicitor/ Peddler permit.


Christmas tree lots and seasonal sales

Christmas tree lots and seasonal sales require a temporary business license and a temporary use permit approved by the community development director.


Temporary business licenses

Temporary business license applications must be submitted in person, with one valid form of identification at City Hall, Second Floor permit Counter from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 



​Vendors renting, leasing or otherwise using space on property owned by another must show proof that the property owner has authorized the use, identifying the location by vendor space or stall number.


Other types of licenses

Specialty license permits include:

  • Solicitors and peddlers
  • Theaters
  • Commercial kennels, hobby kennels, grooming parlor or pet shop licenses
  • Pawnshops and secondhand sales
  • Carnivals and circuses
  • Wrecking yards
  • Public dances, cabarets, dance halls, and teenage dances
  • Outdoor public music festivals
  • Massage businesses
  • Bondsmen
  • Adult cabarets
  • Panorams and peep shows
  • Massage parlors and bathhouses



Resources & Links

City of Lakewood Municipal Code - Title 5 : Business Licenses and City Regulations (click on Title 05)

Department of Revenue : Apply for your Washington State Business License, and/or UBI verification

WA State L&I : Verify your Contractor license #

Tacoma - Pierce County Health Depart : Opening a food business, mobile unit, catering or vending