Apply For A Business License Charleston, West Virginia

Does everyone in Charleston, West Virginia need to apply for a business license if they wish to do business?

Yes. All those who wish to engage in any business activity, regardless of where they are domiciled (live) are required by the City of Charleston to apply for a business license, also known as a Business & Occupational Tax Return (B&O).

What is the cost to apply for my business license?

There is absolutely no cost to apply for a business license with the City of Charleston. The definition of a business license is for non-sale business. If you plan to have a business that will incur and generate any sales, the license is called the Municipal License. The Municipal License does require a fee to be paid. The fee is dependent upon your business classification. As business classifications vary, the City of Charleston asks that you please call them or go to the office so they may advise you what classification category your business falls into. This will circumvent time and frustration for you. Please be aware that there is a Business License Tax called the Business & Occupational Tax that to the City of Charleston uses this term interchangeably with a business license. You cannot receive your business license without first paying for the B&O.

When must I renew my Business & Occupational Tax Return?

The Business & Occupational Tax Return is mandated to be renewed at the end of each business quarter. These payments are due in the months of April, July, October, and January. At this time, the only method that you may utilize to pay this is by cash or by check. Unfortunately, the City of Charleston does not accept credit card or debit card payments.

Who approves my business license?

There are four departments that peruse then either approve or decline your business license application: the Office of the City Collector, the Planning and Zoning Department, the Building Department, and the Fire Department. It takes approximately one to four days to receive a response.

What should I do before I apply?

It is your responsibility to ensure that you clear your business location with the Planning and Zoning Department, the Building Department, and the Fire Department. They will verify that the area you desire for business is within safety compliance standards. Your business license application won’t be processed until you have obtained approval from these entities.

How may I apply?

There are solely two ways to apply, by mail, or in person. For your convenience, the business license application and the Municipal License Application are on the website Remember the difference between the business license and the Municipal License. That question is answered under “What is the Cost to Apply for My Business License?” Please ensure you understand which you should use to apply. If a fee will be required, it must be included with your application in addition to a valid copy of a DMV-issued driver’s license or photo identification card. To mail your application:

Taxes, Fees and Licensing
915 Quarrier Street
Suite 4
Charleston, West Virginia 25301

I have additional questions. Who may I contact?

Contact the office of Taxes, Fees and Licensing, located at 915 Quarrier Street, Suite 4, Charleston, West Virginia 25301. The hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

If you prefer to correspond by email, write to:

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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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