Apply for a Pawnbroker License

Looking to lend money at interest on the security of pawned articles? We'll walk you through the process of getting your license.

Online Form

Check your eligibility

You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415
  • Check if your property is properly zoned. Call the Zoning Department at 616-456-4100.

Check before submitting your application to avoid long delays in processing your license.

Review the laws and policies that affect pawnbrokers

All pawnbrokers need to comply with Act 273 of the Public Acts of the State of Michigan, for the year 1917.

Local Ordinance

Review Chapter 101 of the Grand Rapids City Code for more information about local regulations.

Important guidelines

Review these important pawnbroker regulations:

  • No pawnbroker shall accept or purchase any goods, articles, property, or thing from any person who is at the time intoxicated
  • No pawnbroker shall accept or purchase any goods, articles, property, or thing that the pawnbroker knows or has reason to believe is stolen

Gather your information

You'll need liability insurance for $1,000,000. We'll ask you to upload a copy of the certificate of insurance in the online application. Don't have a copy? Don't worry. You can check the option to have your insurance agent send the certificate. Make sure to list the City of Grand Rapids on the policy as additionally insured.

You'll also need to file a bond in the penal sum of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00). You'll need to complete a Pawnbroker Bond Form(PDF, 71KB) and attach it to your application to get a license.

Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Pawnbroker License Checklist(PDF, 183KB)  for more details.

Have your Visa or MasterCard ready

There is a $425 application fee for new licenses. The fee for renewal applications is $199. Application fees are non-refundable.

There's no extra processing fee to pay with a card online. We accept Visa and MasterCard payments online.

Complete the online application

We have an online form to guide you through this process. The application might take some time. That's why we recommend that you gather all the required information first.

Apply Online in English

Prepare for your inspection

The Fire Department will contact you to schedule a fire inspection.

We’ll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes. We'll call or email you to let you know that your license is ready. You can either pick it up from the office or we'll mail it to you. Your license is valid through the season. 

Make sure to keep a copy of your license in prominently displayed.

Note your licensed status outside your shop

All pawnbrokers need to notify those entering their shop that they are licensed. Paint or print your name in large legible characters over the outside door or entrance of your business together with the words, "Licensed Pawnbroker".

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.

Paper Form

Check your eligibility

You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415
  • Check if your property is properly zoned. Call the Zoning Department at 616-456-4100.

Check before submitting your application to avoid long delays in processing your license.

Review the laws and policies that affect pawnbrokers

All pawnbrokers need to comply with Act 273 of the Public Acts of the State of Michigan, for the year 1917.

LOCAL ORDINANCE

Review Chapter 101 of the Grand Rapids City Code for more information about local regulations.

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES

Review these important pawnbroker regulations:

  • No pawnbroker shall accept or purchase any goods, articles, property, or thing from any person who is at the time intoxicated
  • No pawnbroker shall accept or purchase any goods, articles, property, or thing that the pawnbroker knows or has reason to believe is stolen

Gather your information

You'll need liability insurance for $1,000,000. We'll ask you to upload a copy of the certificate of insurance in the online application. Don't have a copy? Don't worry. You can check the option to have your insurance agent send the certificate. Make sure to list the City of Grand Rapids on the policy as additionally insured.

You'll also need to file a bond in the penal sum of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00). You'll need to complete a Pawnbroker Bond Form(PDF, 71KB) and attach it to your application to get a license.

Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Pawnbroker License Checklist(PDF, 183KB)  for more details.

Prepare payment

There is a $425 license application fee for new licenses. The fee for renewal applications is $199. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:

MAILED PAYMENTS

  • Check
  • Money order

IN PERSON PAYMENTS

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)

Download the application

Fill out the PDF application and return it to us by mail or in person.

Download the Application in English

Mail or drop off your completed application

Make sure you have the appropriate payment ready. Refer to step 4 for accepted payment methods.

Prepare for your inspection

The Fire Department will contact you to schedule a fire inspection.

We’ll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes. We'll call or email you to let you know that your license is ready. You can either pick it up from the office or we'll mail it to you. Your license is valid through the season. 

Make sure to keep a copy of your license in prominently displayed.

Note your licensed status outside your shop

All pawnbrokers need to notify those entering their shop that they are licensed. Paint or print your name in large legible characters over the outside door or entrance of your business together with the words, "Licensed Pawnbroker".

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.

Phone

Make sure we're open

Our office hours are 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. We are out of the office on public holidays.

Call us for instructions

You can find our number in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you all the information you need to apply for your business license.

In Person

Check your eligibility

You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.

UNSURE IF YOU OWE?

  • Check if you owe court fees, property taxes or parking tickets. Call the Treasurer's Office at 616-456-3020
  • Check if you owe taxes to the City. Call the Income Tax Department at 616-456-3415
  • Check if your property is properly zoned. Call the Zoning Department at 616-456-4100.

Check before submitting your application to avoid long delays in processing your license.

Review the laws and policies that affect pawnbrokers

All pawnbrokers need to comply with Act 273 of the Public Acts of the State of Michigan, for the year 1917.

LOCAL ORDINANCE

Review Chapter 101 of the Grand Rapids City Code for more information about local regulations.

IMPORTANT GUIDELINES

Review these important pawnbroker regulations:

  • No pawnbroker shall accept or purchase any goods, articles, property, or thing from any person who is at the time intoxicated
  • No pawnbroker shall accept or purchase any goods, articles, property, or thing that the pawnbroker knows or has reason to believe is stolen

Gather your information

You'll need liability insurance for $1,000,000. We'll ask you to upload a copy of the certificate of insurance in the online application. Don't have a copy? Don't worry. You can check the option to have your insurance agent send the certificate. Make sure to list the City of Grand Rapids on the policy as additionally insured.

You'll also need to file a bond in the penal sum of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00). You'll need to complete a Pawnbroker Bond Form(PDF, 71KB) and attach it to your application to get a license.

Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Pawnbroker License Checklist(PDF, 183KB)  for more details.

Prepare payment

There is a $425 license application fee for new licenses. The fee for renewal applications is $199. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:

IN PERSON PAYMENTS

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)

Visit our office to apply

Visit us on the 2nd floor of City Hall. Our address is in the Contact Us section of this page. We'll get you an application and answer all of your questions about the process. Make sure you have your payment ready. You can see our accepted payment methods in step 4 above.

Prepare for your inspection

The Fire Department will contact you to schedule a fire inspection.

We’ll review your application

It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes. We'll call or email you to let you know that your license is ready. You can either pick it up from the office or we'll mail it to you. Your license is valid through the season. 

Make sure to keep a copy of your license in prominently displayed.

Note your licensed status outside your shop

All pawnbrokers need to notify those entering their shop that they are licensed. Paint or print your name in large legible characters over the outside door or entrance of your business together with the words, "Licensed Pawnbroker".

Renew your license

We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure to plan accordingly.