Mercer Island City Hall. File photo.

Mercer Island City Hall. File photo.

City amends code related to business licenses

Licenses now obtained through state online system.

The process of getting a business license on Mercer Island is now a little smoother. The city council at its Oct. 15 regular meeting adopted amendments to chapter five of the city code relating to business licenses.

In 2017, the state passed engrossed house bill 2005, which simplifies the administration of business licenses for municipalities. A requirement is that cities with business licenses must administer business licensing through the Washington State Department of Revenue’s Business License System (BLS) or the state’s FileLocal system.

Assistant to the city manager Ali Spietz, who presented the ordinance, explained that staff, after review, chose BLS because it is a free service while FileLocal is not.

Spietz said the changes have been communicated to each license holder via a mailer and also were noted in the city’s MI Weekly newsletter and on the city website. BLS began administering Mercer Island business licenses on Oct. 10.

Now people apply online and pay the fees, which remain at $30, for business licenses through BLS. People can no longer apply in person at City Hall.

The agenda bill explained that working with BLS also simplifies the process for businesses with multiple locations who need licenses in multiple jurisdictions, as they can now apply online for all of the needed licenses at one time.

The change also removes the city’s late fee but adds a new late renewal penalty through BLS. BLS also establishes license expiration dates on a rolling basis instead of on the city calendar year.

To renew a license, a person must apply and submit all fees due on or before the expiration date. Failing to renew by the license expiration date will result in a late renewal penalty. Failing to renew within 120 days of license expiration will result in license cancellation and the holder must submit a new application for a license to conduct business in the city.

So far there has not been any negative feedback, city clerk Deb Estrada and Spietz reported.

“No complaints on the process,” Spietz said.

Currently, there are about 4,000 business license holders on Mercer Island.

The ordinance passed unanimously.


More in News

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

A screenshot of Mercer Island’s new Winter Storm Ready webpage on its Let’s Talk Mercer Island website.
New Mercer Island city webpage houses storm info

Emergency alerts, updates, links.

Alan Roach and his dog, Roxie, reunited in their new apartment. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Al’s new apartment, a community effort

Mercer Islanders give housewares, furniture to formerly homeless man and his dog.

Courtesy photo
                                Elliot Newman (left) receives his MIYFS Family Inspirational Award from Mayor Wong on Jan. 7.
Elliot Newman receives 2019 Flash Family Inspirational Award

It was standing room only at the Jan. 7 city council meeting when Newman received his award.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Most Read