Apply For A Business License Portland, Maine

Do I need a business license in Portland, Maine?

Not all businesses in Portland, Maine require business licenses. For a complete list of all businesses that do require business licenses, see the Business Licensing page on the City of Portland website. Some common businesses that do require business licenses include entertainment after 1:00 a.m., sales of alcohol, carnival and circus events, concert and dance events, outdoor markets or sales, food services, mobile vendors operating between 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m., and towing services.

Where do I find applications for business licenses in Portland, Maine?  

If your business requires a business license, you can download a business license application online from the Business Licensing page on the City of Portland website. You can also pick up an application at the City Clerk’s office, located at Room 203 in Portland City Hall, 389 Congress Street, Portland, Maine.

What information do I need to apply for a Portland business license?

To fill out the application for a Portland business license, you should be prepared to answer the following questions:

Who owns the business?
What is the company’s address?
Who is the contact person and what is their telephone number?
Where will be business be located?
When will the event take place?
What are the business hours?
Who owns the property where the business will take place?
Does any Portland City employee profit if this business license is granted? Explain.
Have you previously held a Portland business license?
What food or drink will be sold?

Most applications also ask if the applicant or associates have ever been accused or convicted of any violation of law.

What fees are required to obtain a Portland business license?

The application fee for all business licenses is $35.00. You only need to pay this application fee once, even if you are applying for several licenses at the same time. Both application and license fees must be paid annually. The application fee to renew a business license is $25.00.

The actual business license fee depends on the type of business license. You can view the complete fee schedule on the City of Portland website at

The business license fee is also listed on the business license application. The total cost may include additional inspection fees or other fees.

What happens after I submit my Portland business license application?

Most businesses that require business licenses in Portland will require an inspection by the Fire Department, the Health Department, or the Police Department. Contact information for these departments is available through the City Clerk’s Office or their website. Each type of application will provide specific information about what inspections are required.

Contact the City Treasury Division to make sure that there are no outstanding taxes or fees on the property where you intend to operate your business. If there are outstanding taxes or fees, your business license may be delayed.

City Treasury Division
Portland City Hall, Room 102
389 Congress Street
Portland, Maine

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: (207) 874-8490

Are there any other applications I need to file?

If you intend to run your business as sole proprietor or as a member of a partnership, you will need to file a d/b/a (doing business as) application. There is a fee of $10.00 to file a d/b/a application. Applications are available to download on the Portland City Clerk’s Office website.

When will I receive my Portland business license?

Most Portland business licenses are issued within four to six weeks after the application is submitted.

Where can I find more information about obtaining a Portland business license?

The City of Portland Clerk’s Office website contains more information. The Clerk’s Office also offers a City of Portland Doing Business Guide.

Portland City Clerk
Portland City Hall, Room 203
389 Congress Street
Portland, Maine

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone: (207) 874-8557

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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