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

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.

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

  • Starting a Business

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.

  • General Business Licenses

To conduct business in Lakewood, you must obtain a business license 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.

  • Not for Profit Businesses and Organization

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 & General Business Licenses for the Starlite Swap Meet

    • Temporary (outdoor vendor) & General (indoor – white building) business license applications are only accepted in person at City Hall, 2nd floor Permit Counter from 9:00am – 1:00pm
    • Linked are the requirements and sample documents necessary to obtain a City temporary or general business licenses for the Starlite Swap Meet.
    • Please refer to Ordinance No. 610 info sheet and the linked Administrative Policy regarding definition and duration of Temporary (outdoor vendor) Business Licenses.
  • 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