Business Licensing & Permitting

Starting a business in Washington State?

Business.WA.Gov Small Business Guide is a great place to start! A comprehensive guide for Washington business owners and entrepreneurs, providing on-demand webinars, live chat, language assistance and payroll calculators, business licensing wizard, corporate entity registration and small business liaisons.

Additional resources:

Washington State Master Business License - WA Department of Licensing:also registers the business with the state departments of Revenue, Licensing, Labor and Industries, Employment Security, Secretary of State, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Washington State Business Licensing Wizard: build a checklist of items to do and permits you’ll need to consider when licensing your business.  

Secretary of State all new corporations locating in the State of Washington must file for Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State‘s office, which will issue a UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number.

Kitsap Business Licenses

Kitsap County does not require business licenses but the cities of Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Poulsbo each have business license requirements. Silverdale does NOT require a business license.

All city licenses are now integrated with the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service (BLS) to process all business licenses and renewals.

NOTE: Businesses NOT physically located in the city, but still doing work there, are required to obtain a license for the city.

photo of construction site


Kitsap County Department of Community Development (DCD) partners with residential and commercial customers to provide guidance and assistance through the design, building, and project review process. Their online services cover land use and building development projects and comprehensive information and resources to assist you before you buy or build.

Visit the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan website for current plan and update process and opportunities to provide input.


Home Business

“Home Business” permits allow certain business uses in residential zones if they are ancillary and secondary to the primary residential use. Kitsap County Code (KCC) Title 17 ‘Zoning’,  17.110.345, 17.381.040, 17.381.060.B.1 

  • Project Application
  • Home Business Land Use Application

Building Codes

The State of Washington adopted the 2015 edition of the Uniform Building Codes as amended by the Washington State Building Codes Council for all occupancies and jurisdictions according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Air Quality Regulations

Businesses need to be registered with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency if they have operations that generate air emissions such as dust, smoke, solvent fumes, or odors.

Water Quality Regulations

The Environmental Permitting Services arm of the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA)  is organized to help citizens, businesses, and project applicants understand and navigate Washington’s environmental permitting processes. Environmental permitting assistance is one of services provided by the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance.