Business In Yelm

Starting a Business:

We are excited to welcome your business! Whether your business is located in the City of Yelm, or if you are coming into the City to do business, you must first obtain a City of Yelm Business License through the Washington State Department of Revenue

  1.   File your online business license application or renewal
  2.   Get a city or state license
  3.   Access Washington business information instantly

If you are operating a business in your home, inquire about obtaining a Home Occupation Permit. If you are going door to door, inquire about obtaining a Peddler Permit. If you are a driver for hire, inquire about obtaining a Driver for Hire License. These are all additional permits excluding the business license.

Zoning & Permitting- Yelm has a variety of commercial zoning districts that allow a wide range of retail commercial activities. If you are interested in starting a business in Yelm, or relocating an existing business, the first stop should be the Planning & Building Division. This is an opportunity for applicants, at no cost, to meet with City staff to discuss a proposed project before investing time or money. The intent is to identify all requirements before the project begins to aid citizens in making an informed decision. Existing retail spaces may need little to no improvement, while some changes may require extensive upgrades. The City of Yelm Building Department shall perform an inspection of all retail spaces prior to opening the business to the general public. South East Thurston Fire Authority conducts annual fire inspections of all commercial buildings in the City of Yelm at no cost to the business owner. SETFA contacts the business owner to schedule the inspection, and distributes a checklist of violations commonly found prior to performing the inspection.

Existing Businesses:

B & O Taxes- Yelm collects a business and occupation tax, based on the type of business you operate and gross income generated, or value of products produced. All Business & Occupation Tax filings can be completed using our electronic filing form at You must file a tax return each quarter even if no tax is due.

Special Events- The Yelm Sign Code allows additional signage for special events such as grand openings, sidewalks sales, and anniversary sales. You can have up to four special events a year at your place of business, up to 2 weeks each. Contact the Planning & Building Division for this free permit.

If your company is interested in working with Yelm, the City maintains Small Works and Consultant rosters through Municipal Research Services Center of Washington.