Business Licensing - General Information and Links

What is a business license and do I need one?

A business license is the means whereby Salt Lake City Corporation grants you permission to engage in the business your license is issued for. The definition of business includes all activities, trades, professions or callings engaged in within the corporate limits of Salt Lake City and carried on for the business of gain or economic benefit.

If you engage in any business - either permanently or temporarily - within the corporate limits of Salt Lake City, you are required to maintain a valid, unexpired business license.

Section 5.02.005 states: Engaging in business means and includes, but is not limited to, the sale of tangible personal property at retail or wholesale, the manufacturing of goods or property, and the rendering of personal services for others for a consideration by persons engaged in any profession, trade, craft, business, occupation or other calling.

All commercial business licenses must be reviewed for zoning and building compliance, and fire safety code.

If your business is regulated by the State or if your business involves food preparation, you must also be in compliance with the appropriate State agency and the Salt Lake Valley Health department.

Why does the City license businesses?

Businesses are licensed to insure

  • The location is properly zoned for the activity to be conducted
  • The building the business will be operating in meets fire safety code standards
  • All state and local codes are adhered to, insuring the safety and well-being of our citizens
  • Businesses are properly regulated

The revenue from license fee collections goes into the City's general fund to pay for the cost of licensing and regulation and to insure continuation and improvement of City facilities and services.

How Long

Most business licenses in the city are general business licenses that can be issued within 30 days. A general business license is approved by:

Building 801.535.7224
Zoning 801.535.7700
Fire Department 801.799.4103
Salt Lake Valley Health Department - Food 385.468.3845
Salt Lake Valley Health Department - NON Food 385.468.3835
Department of Agriculture Issues 801.538.7144

If you have not been inspected by the Building department within five (5) business days after applying, please contact them at the number list.

Contact the Fire Department only after you have completed the New Business and Fire Checklist on the forms page.

Contact the Health Department three (3) business days after you applied at the numbers listed above.

Home Occupational Licenses are generally issued the same day as you apply.

How long does it take to receive a business license?
Icon: 
/i/icons/accordion-items/calendar.jpg
Cost
Commercial Licenses:

There is a non-refundable $141.00 base fee for each new commercial license application plus $20.00for each full or part-time employee.

Home Occupational Licenses:

There is a non-refundable $111.00 base fee for each new home occupation license application plus $20.00 for each full or part-time employee - there are restrictions on having employees.

Additional Fees:

In addition, based upon the type of business you are operating, there will be an additional Disproportionate Fee.  Please call (801.535.6644) or come into the office and speak with our staff prior to submitting your application.

Other Fees:

The fee for a change of name or change of location (from a commercial to a commercial location) on an existing license is $16.00 or $38.00 for businesses with regulatory fees, such as sexually-oriented businesses, private clubs, establishments with beer/liquor consumption, etc..  To change from a Home Occupation to a commercial location is $30.00.

Business fees are billed annually. For a new business, license fees for the current billing period must be paid at the time you file the application. These fees will vary depending on the license classification.

For approximate fees, call 801.535.6644 or go to the fee schedule page on the web.

You should receive a courtesy notice approximately 30 days prior to your renewal due date.  This is just a courtesy notice and you are still responsible to renew your license by the due date even if you do not receive the notice.  It is important that you maintain a current mailing address.

How much does it cost?
Icon: 
/i/icons/accordion-items/moneybag.jpg
Where To Apply

You can pick up applications at the Business License Office on the second floor of the City & County Building, 451 South State Street, Room 225, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Applications for a new business license are only accepted up until 4:30 p.m.  The telephone number is 801.535.6644.  The office is closed all Federal and State Holidays.

You can also download forms and information sheets and apply by mail once you have the correct fees.

Some types of business licenses require a police background check. You can only apply for these types of licenses by coming into the office.

Where do I go to get a business license?
Icon: 
/i/icons/accordion-items/uparrow.jpg
Required Items

This is what you need to apply for a general City business license:

  • Completed Salt Lake City Corporation Application for a New Business and Regulatory License form
  • All necessary fees
  • Registration with the Utah State Department of Commerce (business name, corporation, LLC, partnership)
  • State sales tax number (if applicable)
  • Federal tax ID number (if applicable)

Your application process will be smoother if you mail or bring all this information with you when you apply for your business license.  Incomplete applications or those missing the required fees will not be processed and could delay the opening of your business.

You can find the necessary information at these websites:

Utah State Department of Commerce

State Sales Tax

Internal Revenue Service

More Information

What do I need to obtain a business license?
Icon: 
/i/icons/accordion-items/clipboard.jpg
Home Based Business

If you're considering operating a business from your home and your home is located within the corporate limits of Salt Lake City, you will first need to obtain a Home Occupation Permit.  The Permit office is located in the City and County Building at 451 S State Street room 215; the Business License office is directly across the hall in room 225.

For information on Home Occupations you should click here and read the Ordinance in section 21A.36.030.  You can call the Buzz Center at 801.535.7700 for additional information about the types of businesses you can conduct from your home.

There is a base fee of $89.00 for a Home Occupation License.  In addition, based upon the type of business you are operating, there will be an additional Disproportionate Fee.  Before you can apply for the license you must have the Home Occupation Permit.

You can download these forms from our web site:

Can I operate a business from my home?
Icon: 
/i/icons/accordion-items/courts.jpg
Process Overview

Initial process all business license applications goes through.

Unregulated commercial business license process.

Regulated (alcohol, tow truck, S.O.B.) commercial business license process.

Special (food trucks, vending carts, ice cream trucks) commercial business license process.

Home occupation license process.

A general overview of the process an application goes through.
Icon: 
/i/icons/accordion-items/arrow3.jpg