Apply for a Transient Merchant License

Do move throughout the City selling products or soliciting business? You'll need a Transient Merchant 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

Make sure you need this license

Exemptions

Some organizations and individuals are exempt from the permit requirement.

  • Individuals under 18 on foot in the neighborhood of their residence and under supervision of a school or recognized charity or religious organization
  • Individuals exempt by State or Federal law
  • Authorized representative of a church, charitable organization, education, fraternal organization, or political group
  • Individuals or businesses doing business at a City-operated market

Review the requirements

Here's a look at the license requirements:

  • May not operate in the downtown area
  • May not obstruct any street, alley, sidewalk, or driveway
  • May not use a fixed stand
  • May not stop or remain in any one location for longer than is necessary to make a sale
  • Door to door sales may only be made between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm

Food or beverage sales

If you're selling food and/or beverages, you'll need a food permit. Your permit will come from either the Kent County Health Department (616-632-7100) or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (517-284-5771).

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 Transient Merchant License Checklist(PDF, 181KB) for more details.

Have your Visa or MasterCard ready

There is a $239 application fee. 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

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.

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

Make sure you need this license

EXEMPTIONS

Some organizations and individuals are exempt from the permit requirement.

  • Individuals under 18 on foot in the neighborhood of their residence and under supervision of a school or recognized charity or religious organization
  • Individuals exempt by State or Federal law
  • Authorized representative of a church, charitable organization, education, fraternal organization, or political group
  • Individuals or businesses doing business at a City-operated market

Review the requirements

Here's a look at the license requirements:

  • May not operate in the downtown area
  • May not obstruct any street, alley, sidewalk, or driveway
  • May not use a fixed stand
  • May not stop or remain in any one location for longer than is necessary to make a sale
  • Door to door sales may only be made between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm

FOOD OR BEVERAGE SALES

If you're selling food and/or beverages, you'll need a food permit. Your permit will come from either the Kent County Health Department (616-632-7100) or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development(517-284-5771).

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 Transient Merchant License Checklist(PDF, 181KB) for more details.

Have your payment ready

There is a $239 license application fee. 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.

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.

Phone

Make sure we're open

Our office hours are 8 AM - 5 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

Make sure you need this license

EXEMPTIONS

Some organizations and individuals are exempt from the permit requirement.

  • Individuals under 18 on foot in the neighborhood of their residence and under supervision of a school or recognized charity or religious organization
  • Individuals exempt by State or Federal law
  • Authorized representative of a church, charitable organization, education, fraternal organization, or political group
  • Individuals or businesses doing business at a City-operated market

Review the requirements

Here's a look at the license requirements:

  • May not operate in the downtown area
  • May not obstruct any street, alley, sidewalk, or driveway
  • May not use a fixed stand
  • May not stop or remain in any one location for longer than is necessary to make a sale
  • Door to door sales may only be made between the hours of 9:00 am and 9:00 pm

FOOD OR BEVERAGE SALES

If you're selling food and/or beverages, you'll need a food permit. Your permit will come from either the Kent County Health Department (616-632-7100) or the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development(517-284-5771).

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 Transient Merchant License Checklist(PDF, 181KB) for more details.

Have your payment ready

There is a $239 license application fee. 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.

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.