Kenmore requiring businesses making $2,000 annually or more register, pay fees

The city voted to decrease the annual income threshold from $12,000 to $2,000 for brick and mortar businesses, and includes nonprofits.

The city of Kenmore is increasing the range of small businesses required to pay for a business registration throughout city limits. Effective Dec. 7, businesses in Kenmore with a reported annual gross income over $2,000 are required to have a city business registration.

The $2,000 threshold was changed from $12,000 and adopted by City Council ordinance (no. 20-0511) on Sept. 28. Nonprofits with a physical location in Kenmore are also required to obtain a Kenmore business registration.

For existing Kenmore businesses, applying for a business registration for their first time, the fee is $29 ($10 city fee; $19 DOR-BLS administration fee), with an annual renewal fee of $20 ($10 city fee; $10 DOR-BLS). An initial business registration application fee for an existing nonprofit business is $19 ($0 city fee; $19 DOR-BLS), with an annual renewal fee of $10. A new or reopening business will have an initial fee of $100 ($10 city fee; $90 DOR-BLS), with an annual renewal fee of $20 or $10 for a nonprofit business.

Kenmore is one of two cities in the state that requires only businesses with a physical location in the city to have a business registration/license—most cities require businesses to obtain a business license in each city where they are engaging in business.

The city first adopted a business registration requirement in 2013. Thanks to to state legislation, the Department of Revenue established a model ordinance requiring cities to amend their business registration/license ordinance, establishing a minimum gross annual revenue threshold to be met before a city business registration/license is required. The requirements also called for municipalities to participate in one of two online platforms for business licensing to make it easier for businesses to access.

“Kenmore’s approach to business registration has always focused on the importance of keeping in touch with our local businesses to learn about their needs and keep them informed. That is even more important in our city in 2020,” Mayor David Baker stated in a press release.

How To Obtain a City Business Registration

Kenmore businesses that reported an annual gross income of over $2,000 in the previous year will need to apply for a “city endorsement” through the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing division (DOR-BLS), using the same MyDOR portal used to apply for a state business license. Kenmore is one of 145 Washington cities partnering with DOR-BLS for administration of their business registration/licensing programs. For assistance, contact DOR-BLS at 1-800-451-7985. See the city’s website for information about businesses that are exempt from the business registration program,

Kenmore Business Directory

As a Kenmore registered business, you are eligible to be included in the city’s business directory located at Submit the business directory form providing the information that you would like listed, including a description of the services your business provides. Then receive a window cling and sticker.

A City Regulatory Business License is Not a Business Registration

In addition to the new business registration, Kenmore will continue to require regulatory business licenses for certain types of businesses, such as second-hand sales, massage therapy, marijuana retail, and some entertainment businesses. To learn more, go to the city’s website at

Note: Pursuant to Kenmore Municipal Code 5.105.060.F, a person engaged in business in the city must comply with all applicable city ordinances and code provisions, and state and federal laws. Receipt of a business registration does not waive this requirement.

For more information about doing business in Kenmore, check out the business section of the city’s website at