Do you move throughout the City selling products or soliciting business? You'll need a Transient Merchant License.
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.
Some organizations and individuals are exempt from the permit requirement.
Here's a look at the license requirements:
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.
There is a $261 application fee. Application fees are non-refundable.
We use a third party system called Citizen Access for business license applications. If this is your first time using this system, it's a good idea to learn How to Create a Citizen Access Account.
Your application might take some time. That's why we recommend that you gather all the required information first.
Apply in English
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 for one year from when it is issued.
Make sure to keep a copy of your license in prominently displayed.
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).
There is a $261 application fee. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:
Fill out the PDF application and return it to us by mail or in person.
Download Application in English
Make sure you have the appropriate payment ready. Refer to step 4 for accepted payment methods.
Our office hours are 8 AM - 5 PM, Monday through Friday. We are out of the office on public holidays.
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.
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.
Transient Merchant License Checklist(PDF, 181KB)
Transient Merchant Ordinance
Apply for a Downtown Vendor License
Apply for a Mobile Vending Cart License