Starting a Business in Kelso

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City of Kelso

Business License/Business & Occupational Tax



A City of Kelso Certificate of Registration is required for anyone conducting business within the City Limits of Kelso. It takes approximately 4-5 working days to process an application. Each application is sent to the Police Department, Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue and the Community Development Department for review.   

The Fee is $50.00 per calendar year and is non-transferable. The Certificate of Registration expires December 31st of each year. 

Business & Occupational taxes are also required. These forms will be sent out quarterly or annually based on your annual gross income. They are automatically mailed to all licensed businesses and must be submitted even is 'zero' tax is due.

Tax rates are:

  • $.001-Wholesale, Retail, Manufacturing and Contracting
  • $.002-Services and Other Activities

You only pay taxes on the 'gross income' for the business conducted within the City of Kelso.

For a Business License application, please contact the City of Kelso, Finance Department at 360-423-0900, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm. You may also email Lisa Wetle.


Business License Application

Starting a Business: Community Development Fact Sheet