Businesses that require a regulatory endorsement

The City of Seattle regulates some business activities. These businesses require a:

  • standard business license
  • regulatory endorsement added to the business license

The application process varies for the different business types requiring a regulatory endorsement. Review the information on this page for details about license fees and renewal dates. If you need to apply for a business license that requires a regulatory endorsement, please contact us.

Businesses regulated by Seattle

Adult entertainment

Adult Entertainment | Business Licenses

Adult entertainment businesses need a regulatory license. Adult entertainment businesses provide performances of a sexual nature. There are two different license types required for people in the business: entertainer license and manager license. The business also needs a premises license for the building.

Adult entertainment license type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Entertainer License $145 per year Dec. 31 Yes
Manager License $145 per year Dec. 31 Yes
Premises License $720 per year Dec. 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.270 for legal details about adult entertainment license requirements.

Alarm system monitoring

Alarm System Monitoring

Businesses that monitor alarm systems need a regulatory license. Alarm system monitoring companies that provide the monitoring service pay license fees based on the total number of accounts monitored. See the table below for the fees.

To apply for an alarm system monitoring license, contact Terry Boyle at 206-684-8406 or at terry.boyle@seattle.gov. If you have questions about licensing or false alarms see the alarm system monitoring FAQ page.

Alarm system monitoring fees for central stations

Monitored alarm systemsAnnual license feeLicense expiration date
1 to 100 $100 Dec. 31
101 to 200 $200 Dec. 31
201 to 500 $400 Dec. 31
Over 500 $500 Dec. 31


Alarm system monitoring companies that maintain a service contract with a customer and then subcontract with another alarm system monitoring company to provide the actual monitoring service pay fees based on the number and type of systems monitored. Fire alarm system fees are determined by building size.

Alarm system monitoring fees for dealers

Type of systemAnnual license feeLicense
expiration date
Burglary, Property, Panic, Robbery $10 per alarm system Dec. 31
Fire alarm:
1-2 stories and <200,000 sq ft
$76 per alarm system Dec. 31
Fire alarm:
3-4 stories and <200,000 sq ft
$223 per alarm system Dec. 31
Fire alarm:
5+ stories or >200,000 sq ft
$693 per alarm system Dec. 31

False alarm fees

Alarm system monitoring companies must pay a fee each time there is a false alarm. There is no false alarm fee for fire alarms. For more information, see the Seattle police department false alarm program.

You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.10 for legal details about alarm system monitoring license requirements.

All-ages dances

All-Ages Dances

All-ages dances, which admit youth under 18-years-old, need a regulatory license.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
All-Ages Dance $120 per year Sept. 30 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.295 for legal details about all-ages dances license requirements.

Amusement device

Amusement Device | Business License tax

Amusement devices need a regulatory license. Amusement devices include pool tables, shuffleboard tables, jukeboxes, arcade games, pinball machines, kiddie rides and any other entertainment device that the public can pay to use.

Amusement device license type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Non-coin $500 per year Nov. 30 Yes
$0.25 to $0.50 to play $50 per device Nov. 30 Yes
$0.51 to $1.00 to play $100 per device Nov. 30 Yes
$1.01 to $1.50 to play $150 per device Nov. 30 Yes
$1.51 to $2.00 to play $200 per device Nov. 30 Yes
$2.00 or more to play minimum price per play multiplied by the number of devices (max $1,500 per machine) Nov. 30 Yes
Darts, countertop devices $25 per device Nov. 30 Yes
Shuffleboard, pool, billiards $25 per device Nov. 30 Yes
Jukebox or other music device $50 per device Nov. 30 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 5.32 for legal details about amusement device license requirements.

Burglar alarm dealer

Burglar alarm dealer

Businesses that sell burglar alarm systems need a regulatory license. Additionally, these businesses must register with the Seattle Police Department.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Burglar alarm dealer $75 per year Dec. 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.08 for legal details about burglar alarm dealer license requirements.

Horse-drawn carriage

Horse-Drawn Carriage

Horse-drawn carriage businesses need a regulatory license.

Horse-drawn carriage license type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Carriage $60 per year  March 31 No
Driver $20 per year  March 31 No
Horse $60 per year  March 31 No


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.315 for legal details about horse-drawn carriage license requirements.

Mobile home park

Mobile Home Park

Mobile home parks need a regulatory license.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Mobile Home Park $55 per year (plus $12.50 per space over 10) July 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 22.904 for legal details about license mobile home park requirements.

Panoram device or peepshows

Panoram Device or Peepshows

Panoram or peepshow businesses need a regulatory license. Panorams and peepshows show live or recorded entertainment to a viewer in a booth or stall.

Panoram license type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Device $85 per year Dec. 31 Yes
Location $85 per year Dec. 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.42 for legal details about panoram license requirements.

Public bathhouse

Public Bathhouse

Public bathhouses and reducing salons need a regulatory license.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Public Bathhouse $340 per year Dec. 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.36 for legal details about public bathhouse license requirements.

Public garages or parking lots

Public garages and parking lots

Parking lot and parking garage businesses need a regulatory license. You must also charge and collect the Seattle commercial parking tax.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Public garage or parking lot $6 per 1,000 sq ft, or $0.90 per parking stall March 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.48 for legal details about public parking lot and parking garage license requirements.

Recycling business

Recycling Business

Businesses that collect or process material that can be recycled need a regulatory license.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Collection and processing of recyclables $100 per year March 31 No


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.250 for legal details about recycling collectors and recycling processors license requirements.

Rental housing agency

Rental Housing Agency

Rental housing agencies need a regulatory license.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Rental housing agency $5,000 surety bond Last day of February No


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.222 for legal details about rental housing agency license requirements.

Residential sellers

Residential Sellers

Residential sellers need a regulatory license. Residential sellers travel from house to house (or door to door) selling goods or services.

Residential sale license type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Agents $50 per year May 31 Yes
1 or more employees $225 per year May 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.260 for legal details about residential sellers license requirements.

Taxis and for-hire vehicles

Taxis and Taxi Associations; For-Hire Vehicles

Taxis and for-hire vehicles need a regulatory license. For more information, see licenses and inspections: taxis, for-hires and limos.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Taxicab or for-hire $600 per year June 30 Yes
Taxicab association $1,000 per year Dec. 31 No


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.310 for legal details about taxi and for-hire license requirements.

Tow company license

Tow Company License_FAS

Towing companies that work within Seattle need a regulatory license. For more information, see licenses: tow companies.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Tow company $500 per year Dec. 31 No

Trade show

Trade Show

Trade shows need a regulatory license. Trade shows are temporary events such as home shows, street fairs, community festivals, hobby shows and business fairs.To be considered a trade show, the event must

  • last no more than 14 days
  • have at least 25 participants

The organizer of the show is responsible for obtaining a trade show license and listing all show participants on the license application. Please submit both your completed application and license fee at least one business day before the show opens. There is a 10% penalty for submitting the application late.

You may have to pay admission tax if you charge a fee to enter the trade show. For more information, see the admission tax page.

Download the trade show license application

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Trade show $5 per unlicensed participant Varies No

You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.20 for legal details about trade show license requirements.

Used goods dealers, pawnshops and scrap-metal dealers

Used Goods Dealers, Pawnshops and Scrap-Metal Dealers

Pawnshop businesses and scrap-metal businesses need a regulatory license. If you sell used goods, please contact us for license requirements.

Used goods license type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Dealers $130 per year March 31 Yes
Scrap dealers $130 per year March 31 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 6.288 for legal details about pawnshop and scrap metal business license requirements.

Weighmasters and weighers

Weighmasters and Weighers

Weighmasters and weighers need a regulatory license. Weighmasters and weighers use scales to correctly weigh products and commodities.

License type Cost Expires on Half-year license
Weigher None April 30 No
Weighmaster $40 per year April 30 Yes


You can read the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) Chapter 7.04.565 for legal details about weighmaster and weigher license requirements.