Special Events

The City as well as various community organizations sponsor a variety community-wide events each year.  

Special Event Organizers are responsible to:

Vendors seeking to engage in business, as defined by Ordinance 2018-35, at special events are responsible to:

  • Work closely with event organizers to ensure rules for business licensing are followed; and
  • Understand continuous business on the island is subject to standard business licensing requirements.

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Business Licensing for Special Events

Vendors at special events typically fall under:

Event Organizers should consider the following when determining how best to ensure their vendors are in compliance with City business licensing requirements:

  • Event organizers can require vendors as Temporary Stationary Businesses to obtain a "Fee-Exempt" City business license. Please be aware, the application must follow the standard approval processes which could take up to two weeks.  Municipal Code states a business license must be in place before undertaking business activity.
  • Vendors physically located on Bainbridge Island do not typically qualify as a Temporary Stationary Business. However, island-based vendors may qualify for the Minimum Threshold Exemption if their gross yearly income on the island is $2,000 or less per year.
  • The City will allow event organizers to eliminate the requirement of a City business license for vendors if (a) event organizers obtain a Special Event Permit, and (b) require vendors to show proof of a Unique Business Identifier (UBI) demonstrating the vendor holds a business license with the State. Vendors must understand continued business on the island prior to or past event date(s) requires a valid City business license in good standing.

How to Apply for a "Fee Exempt" Business License

To apply for a license as a Temporary Stationary Business or under the Minimum Threshold Exemption, apply for a "Fee-Exempt" City of Bainbridge "endorsement" through the Washington State Business Licensing Service. The application will be reviewed by the City to ensure it meets fee-exempt requirements.  

Please Note: The City will attempt to reach a business owner or responsible person twice to discuss fee-exemption qualifications.  If no response is received, the application will be automatically denied for failure to provide required information.


If the exemption is approved, the vendor does not pay the $65 business license fee but obtains a City business license. The fee-exempt license is renewable each year.  City auditing through the Washington State Department of Revenue and self-reporting will determine the continued eligibility of the fee-exempt status.

The City of Bainbridge Island proudly supports and appreciates our business community.  You may contact COBI Business Licensing Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., at (206) 780-8591 or finance@bainbridgewa.gov.