All individuals and firms doing business in Bellingham, whether located inside or outside the City limits, must register with the City Finance Department and are subject to the business and occupation (B&O) tax, unless specifically exempted by Bellingham Municipal Code.
B&O taxes are based on the gross revenues of a business and is similar to the State of Washington B&O taxes. B&O taxes support a wide variety of City services, including: police, fire, park, and library services. For more information about the B&O tax, please refer to A Guide To Business and Occupation Tax (PDF).
Filing City License and B&O Taxes
- No convenience fees
- File returns
- Pay balances due (e-Check)
- Update account information
- Close a business
Please make sure to keep your email address updated to receive important notices. Registered businesses may receive an email with instructions and a pin number. It is the owners responsibility to ensure filings are returned prior to their due date.
- Instructions For Online Business and Occupation Tax (PDF – 26 pages)
- Instructions For Online Business and Occupation Tax (PDF – 8 pages – No Screen Shots)
File by Mail or In Person
Complete the B&O Tax Form (PDF) and make your check or money order made out to the Finance Director. If you have difficulty opening this form please make sure you have the latest version of Adobe.
City of Bellingham
210 Lottie Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Amended returns are filed by completing the standard return form with the correct data. On the top of the form write “Amended Return”. Calculate the taxes and penalties as normal, and in the previous balance box enter any payment that was submitted with the original return. Amended returns MUST be completed in paper form. You are required to include a brief explanation of why you are submitting an Amended Return.
Additional Information and Forms
- A Guide To Business and Occupation Tax (PDF)
- Confidential Tax Information Authorization (PDF)
- Instructions For Online Business and Occupation Tax (PDF)
- Instructions for Online Business and Occupation Tax without pictures (PDF)
- Multiple Activities Tax Credit Form (PDF)
- Service Income Apportionment schedule(PDF)
- Urban Village Tax Credit Application (PDF)
- Voluntary Disclosure Program (PDF)
- Voluntary Disclosure Program Application (PDF)
- Other Taxes
For more information please refer to “A Guide to License & Business and Occupation Tax (B&O)” available online, refer to the BMC section 6.0, or contact the Business License and Tax Division at 360-778-8012. For tax guidance please contact your accountant.
The State Department of Revenue also administers a State B&O Tax. Register your Business with the City at the Department of Revenue Washington State. This is not jointly administered for the State and City and is only for registration purposes.
See our Taxes section for information on property, sales, utility, and other taxes.