The City Of Lewiston

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General Business

General Business License

Purpose and Definition 
The licensing of all wholesale, retail and other businesses within the City is necessary for the purpose of protecting and providing services to the citizens and businesses of the City.

“Business or occupation” means all activities, occupations, callings, trades, pursuits or professions located or engaged in, within the City with the object of gain, profit, benefit or advantage.  Each business location is considered to be a separate business.

When Required
A business license is required when any person is:

        Selling any goods or performing any services;
        Soliciting or offering or holding out goods or services for sale or hire;
        Acquiring or using any vehicle or premises in Lewiston for business purposes;
        Delivering any goods, either at wholesale or retail.

If your business changes ownership or if you move your business to a new location, the business license is automatically void.  A new license is required if either event takes place.

All Business Licenses must be renewed annually on the license anniversary date.   Late penalty fees of fifty percent (50%) of the license fees are assessed forty-five (45) days after the license expiration date.

How To Apply 

For a business location within a Commercial Zone complete the Application for Commercial Location and the
Emergency Services Information Form.

For a business location outside the city limits complete the Application with No Physical Location.

Fee Schedule
Emergency Services Information Form
Application - Commercial Location
Application - No Physical Location

Submit application and any other required documents to: 

City of Lewiston
Business Licenses
PO Box 617 or 215 "D" Street
Lewiston ID 83501

You should discuss the type of business with the Business License Office for any additional information which may be required.  You may call the Business License Coordinator at 208-746-7363.

Time Frame 
A license review takes approximately fifteen (15) working days from the time we receive the license application to the time you receive your license.

Review Process
When the completed application has been received by the Business License Representative, copies are sent to the Fire Department, Building and Zoning Officials, and, in some instances, the Police Department and Health District.

The Zoning Official reviews the application to determine if the business is allowed in the zone.  In some instances, a conditional use permit may be required; if so, approval of the conditional use is required by the Planning and Zoning Commission before a business license may be issued. All business locations will be inspected for compliance with the laws of the State and the City.  Inspections may be conducted by the Building Division, Fire Department, City Sanitation and the North Central Health District Health Department. The inspection will be arranged through the Building Division and will be scheduled at a time during the normal working day convenient to the applicant.  The Fire Department reviews the use and structure for fire and life safety requirements not covered in the Building Code, i.e., water supply, Fire Department access and fire extinguishers. The Building Official reviews the condition of the structure in relation to the request.  The Building Division inspectors review for compliance with adopted codes including electrical, mechanical and building codes.  The Building Division also reviews the structure for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The Health District and the Police Department may also review some applications. 

Following the inspections, you will be given a letter containing the inspectors comments and a list of any corrections that may be required.  If corrections are necessary, we will give you a time in which to complete the work.  Some corrections may be required immediately; others may be completed within a short period of time.  During this period, the City, at its option, may issue a temporary or conditional business license so you can open for business.  If you do not complete the work within the time frame given, the City may revoke your business license.

Sanitation Service 
All premises in the City are assessed a minimum fee to fund the Solid Waste System.  Contact the Utilities Division at 208-746-1317 for information on the service and fee structure.  Failure to contact the Utility Division and specify a service level will result in the minimum fee being assessed.

Most new signs and the replacement of existing signs require a construction permit.  Signs are regulated by zoning, and the type and size of sign you may erect is determined by your business location.  Window signs are not generally regulated.  Portable readerboard signs are illegal.  Please contact the Zoning Official for more information at 208-746-1318, x250.