Business Licenses

All businesses and persons doing business within the City of Forest Grove need to obtain a business license each year.

Starting a successful business requires a great deal of preparation. Each business/applicant is responsible for complying with all local, state, and federal laws.

All businesses operating within the Forest Grove City limits must comply with the City's building, zoning, and public safety requirements. A business license is not a statement or waiver that the business complies with local, state, and federal laws. The City license does not constitute a permit to engage in any activity prohibited by law.

The City Business License is not a regulatory tool. The license is used to collect necessary emergency contact information for the Police and Fire Departments, provide statistics on the types of businesses operating within the City, and to raise revenue.

New Business Licenses

There are several steps when starting a business and applying for a City of Forest Grove Business License.

  1. Step 1 - Determine the Business Type
  2. Step 2 - Obtain the Necessary Applications
  3. Step 3 - Determine the Cost for Your Application
  4. Step 4 - Submitting Your Application

There are three primary license types, which are determined by your business.

  • General Business License - This license type includes home-based businesses, retail businesses, contractors, rental properties, etc. There are multiple application types associated with this license type. They are basically the same, with some details hardcoded to streamline the application completion process. The fees are the same for all of these types. If selling used goods, a Dealer's Permit may be required. There is no fee for this permit, but the application must be submitted along with the General Business License application. If you are considering establishing a business from your home, a Home Occupation Permit may be required. Please contact the Planning Department at 503-992-3233 to inquire. There is no fee for this permit, but the application must be submitted along with the General Business License application.
  • Exemption Permit - This license type is for utilities, churches, and non-profit businesses that provide information they are not receiving funds to operate. Being a 501(C) business does not necessarily mean you qualify for an exemption. As the name implies, businesses of this license type are exempt from the fee, while still submitting emergency contact information.
  • Temporary 30 or 60 Consecutive Day License - This license type would be for seasonal business activities such as Christmas trees and fireworks stands. There is a lessor fee for this license and can only be obtained one time per 12-month period.

It is important to keep your business information updated. When it is time to renew your business license, a renewal notice will be sent to the information on file approximately thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date. It will have the current information on file for your business, along with the current renewal fees. Please update the form making any necessary changes. Submit the entire form even if there are no changes along with your fee.

If you are a contractor with a CCB/LCB and a Metro license, please submit copies along with your renewal notice.