Seasonal Business Uses

What is a Seasonal Business Use permit? 

Beginning in January 2023, we will offer a seasonal permit option for businesses wishing to use the public place solely during the warmer, drier season. These permits run from April through October, expiring on October 31st of the permitted year. Anyone wishing to set up for the next year’s season must submit a new permit application at that time.  

We currently offer two types of seasonal business permits: Seasonal Outdoor Café permits for sidewalk or curbspace cafes, and Seasonal Merchandise Display permits for sidewalk displays in the furniture zone. Please note: Merchandise displays in the frontage zone (directly abutting the business) can be set up without a permit if all required standards and guidelines are followed.   

Permit fees for seasonal business uses include issuance and inspection fees. Please see our Street Use Fee Schedule PDF on this page for more information. 

Interested in learning more? 

General, siting, and design standards for seasonal permits are quite similar to those for year-round permits, with just a few exceptions. Click the links below for our café and display permit pages; from there you can access the more detailed Applicant Guides.   

Permit Duration and Change in Ownership  

For Seasonal Business Use permits, which are valid from April 1 until October 31st, fees include issuance and inspection fees. See our Street Use Fee Schedule PDF on this page for more information. After October 31st, you are not permitted to place your equipment in the right-of-way. You will need to reapply each year for a seasonal permit through the Seattle Services Portal

Need to make changes to your existing display permit? You can request a permit revision through our Seattle Services Portal.   

It’s important to understand that all Street Use permits are temporary in nature and do not grant you permanent rights to occupy the public right of way. We may revoke permits pursuant to Seattle Municipal Code 15.04.070. If a permit is revoked or terminated, the right-of-way shall be returned to its original condition. 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.