Apply for a Business License

​Only a few types of businesses require a license to do business in Salem. Before you apply, determine if you need a business license.

License fees: The application fee is non-refundable.  Fees for licenses expiring on December 31 are prorated as follows [SRC 30.025]:

  • 75 percent if filed between July 1 and September 30
  • 50 percent if filed on or after October 1

Step 1: Read the Salem Revised Code

SRC Chapter 30 outlines the requirements for licenses in Salem. You will want to be familiar with the requirements for your business activity. 

Step 2: Apply for a license

Licenses cannot be transferred [SRC 30.035]. You need to apply in person at the Permit Application Center by bringing the following:

The following licenses require a signed background check advisory form so a background check can be completed:

  • Dealer in used merchandise
  • Night club
  • Special event

Step 3: Application review

Each application will be reviewed to decide if the applicant meets the license requirements and to verify the application information. A background check will be done for the licenses requiring one.

Approval: The applicant will be notified in writing and the actual license can be picked up from the Permit Application Center.

Denial: The applicant will be notified in writing and given a reason for the denial.  The applicant can appeal the decision as outlined in SRC Chapter 20J.

Application renewals

Renewals for a license must be completed within 30 days of the expiration date on the existing license.  A renewed license is effective as of the expiration date on the prior license. If an application to renew an existing license is not turned in before the current license expires, a new license is required.

Renewal forms and invoices are mailed in November to the address on record.  You are responsible for renewing your license by December 31 whether or not you receive the actual invoice.

Your renewal form and payment for the license fee can be submitted in person or by mail to the contact address.

Approval: The applicant will be notified in writing and the actual license will be mailed to the address on record.

Denial: The applicant will be notified in writing, and given a reason for the denial.  The applicant can appeal the decision as outlined in SRC Chapter 20J.

Contact us

Permit Application Center
General Questions
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Permit/License Processing
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Plans Intake
Monday–Friday
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mail payments to:
PO Box 3405
Portland OR 97208
Phone: