Doing Business In Seward
Thank you for your interest in doing business in Seward!
Seward City Code requires that all businesses operating within city limits obtain a city business license. The City Clerk's Office will process your business license application as quickly as possible. Please call us at (907) 224-4046 or stop by City Hall and we'll be more than happy to help you!
The following is required to obtain a city business license:
- A completed city business license application and fee of $30
- A valid State of Alaska business license (and occupational/professional license, if applicable)
- Registration/compliance with the Kenai Peninsula Borough to collect sales tax
- Approval from the Community Development Department
- Approval from other city departments that all city accounts are current and in good standing (this is done internally)
If you have questions about business location or zoning/use, please contact the Community Development Department at (907) 224-4049 before starting the licensing process to confirm the proposed business location is properly zoned for the intended use.
Below are the forms you'll need to obtain a City of Seward business license:
- The cost of a City of Seward business license is $30 and it is renewed annually.
- The cost of a State of Alaska business license is $50, also renewed annually.
- The cost to register with the Kenai Peninsula Borough to collect sales tax is free. The borough has businesses file their tax returns on a quarterly basis. Call (907) 262-4441, ext. 2175 for sales tax questions.
If you are operating a charter, taxi cab, or lodging business, you will be required to complete additional paperwork - please see below.
Charters, Taxis, and Lodging
Charter businesses should contact the Seward Boat Harbor at 907-224-4350 for additional paperwork such as registration to collect passenger fees and insurance required by City Code to operate as a charter business.
Vehicles for Hire (Taxis) require additional permitting from the clerk's office:
- A completed vehicle for hire application for each vehicle used for a for-hire service. A $100 permit fee is charged for each vehicle.
- Proof of valid insurance on each vehicle intended for hire.
- Proof of a valid chauffeur's license for each listed driver on the vehicle for hire permit application.
Short-Term Rentals (Nightly lodging or B&Bs) with 5 or less rooms are required to obtain a lodging permit:
- Lodging Permit Application approved by the Community Development Department
- Short Term Rental Welcome Packet
- A successful annual life safety inspection conducted by the Seward Fire Department (form will by furnished at the time of the inspection)
- An application for Certificate of Registration for Hotel/Motel Room Tax Collection (applies for all businesses that provide nightly lodging services)
Mobile and Roving Vending
In May, 2014, the Seward City Council passed legislation to allow for mobile vending and roving vending on City property by permit. There are eight locations designated for mobile vending permits. In April, 2018, council approved an updated policy for the Mobile Vendor program.
If a business is interested in obtaining a mobile vendor or roving vendor, please read through the council approved policy and mobile vending locations below. Also listed are links to download permit applications for mobile and roving vending, as well as the new language implemented in the City Code to allow for this type of business.
Mobile and Roving Vending Policy (this includes maps of the eight designated mobile vending locations on city property) Updated April 23, 2018
- 2020 Mobile Vendor Application
- 2020 Roving Vendor Application
- City Code Language on Mobile and Roving Vendors
*Transient Merchants - Please note a mobile vendor can also be allowed to operate on private property. This is defined as a transient merchant. Transient merchants engage in temporary business not exceeding 150 consecutive days in a calendar year. Transient merchants operate exclusively from private property. A city business license is required to be a transient merchant or a mobile or roving vendor permit.
- City of Seward Business License Application
- State of Alaska Business License - This can also be done online (and is much quicker).
- State of Alaska Occupational Business License (if applicable)
- Kenai Peninsula Borough Sales Tax Application
(Submit directly to the Kenai Peninsula Borough)
- Short Term Rental - Lodging Permit Application
- Vehicle for Hire Application
Lodging Permits - The Community Development Department is currently revising the lodging application form. Please check back in December 2018 for an update.
Annual Life Safety Inspection - This is a two-part form that will be furnished at inspection time.
Hotel/Motel Tax (Bed Tax) Forms - The Finance Department is responsible for processing application forms and for the collection of bed tax. Please call (907) 224-4050 with any questions.
- Hotel/Motel Bed Tax Application Form
- Hotel/Motel Tax Return Form
- Hotel/Motel Tax Return Form Instructions
- Nightly Tax Exempt Form - Schedule A
- Monthly Tax Exempt Form - Schedule B
- Information on Government Issued Credit Cards
- Information on State Issued Credit Cards
- List of Tax Exempt State Agencies