Business Licenses

Steps for Licensing a Business in the City of Prescott:

  1. Apply for a combined Arizona & Prescott Tax License through Arizona Department of Revenue (if engaging in taxable activities)
  2. Apply for Business License
  3. Other Possible Licensing or Permits

Useful External Links

Arizona Department of Commerce Small Business Services

Arizona Department of Revenue


  • Budget and Finance
  • Tax and Licensing
  • City Hall

    201 S Cortez St

  • 928-777-1268


  • Yes. However, commercial and residential properties are treated differently for business license purposes.

    Commercial Rentals: You will need a separate license for each rental location (parcel) with an annual fee of $35 for each location. The online application type is “Business License Application (Business location inside City limits)”.

    Residential Rentals: Residential Rentals (defined as renting real property for a period of 30 days or longer used for a home or residence) are exempt from the business license requirement.  However, the transaction privilege tax license still applies.

  • Application for the business license is online. First you must create an account and then select the proper application type for your business. On this website you can apply for, pay the required fees, follow the progress of the approval, and finally, print the business license certificate.

  • Yes, you may be required to apply for a business license if you enter into the City to solicit or engage in business. If your business is physically located outside City limits and your only contact within the City is the delivery of pre-ordered goods, with either common carrier or company delivery vehicles, you are exempt from the business license requirement.

  • A single license will be required for multiple professionals co-located at a single business address. For example in the case of real estate agents in a real estate office, lawyers in a practice, multiple hair stylists in a salon, the requirement would be for one license.

  • City Code specifies the following exemptions to the business license requirement:

    1. Casual activity or sales. For example private sales activities such as the sale of a personal automobile or yard sale, on no more than three separate occasion during any calendar year, and musicians, musical groups and other performers and entertainment activity performed at a local venue or special event, excluding carnivals or circuses.
    2. Churches as religious institutions engaged solely as a place of worship.
    3. Schools whether public or private.
    4. Governmental entities, whether federal, state or municipal.
    5. Political organizations and homeowner associations as defined and registered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    6. Businesses physically located outside the municipal limits whose only contact within the City is the delivery of pre-ordered goods.
    7. Employees of another person or entity which holds a City license for such business, occupation or profession.
    8. Residential Real Property Rental (landlords who rent real property for a period of 30 days or longer used for a home or residence).
    9. All exemptions granted pursuant to the Arizona Revised Statutes. Some examples are (1) real estate brokers and agents when primary place of business is in another City or Town AND has a business license from that City or Town, (2) liquor wholesale distributors located outside City limits. (3) producers (farmers) of food products.
  • For all of the same reasons the City implemented this business license program, we believe you will benefit from a safer community, a “level playing field” in compliance, help the City with economic development efforts, and as a side benefit you will be listed in our business license registry which will be available on the City’s website.

  • The annual business license fee is $35 dollars with no proration. In addition, a one-time $40 fire inspection fee will be required for all businesses located inside the Prescott City limits with the exception of home occupations and commercial property landlords. License fees are paid online at the time of application.

    There are additional fees for vacation rental and structured sober living homes which will be paid in conjunction with the business license application. Click here to view a complete Business License Fee Schedule.

  • The $40 safety inspection fee is collected in conjunction with the business license application for businesses with a location in the City limits, except for home based businesses and commercial landlords. This one-time fee is collected to offset the costs of an inspection program.

    Inspections will be conducted on your business to assure a safe environment for you, your employees, and your customers. Fire extinguishers, exiting, aisles, storage, access, and electrical hazards are some of the items that will be inspected.

  • The Prescott City Code requires all persons who engage in any business activity within the City to obtain an annual city business license. This requirement includes:

    • Businesses located within the municipal limits of Prescott, and those who may be physically located outside of the limits but enter the City to engage in business activity.
    • For profit and non-profit
    • Occupations and professional services
    • Separate license per location
    • Special event vendors and promoter/sponsors

    Business activity, as defined in Prescott City Code, Chapter 4-6-1, means transactions or orders for goods and services with a financial exchange. This includes any trade, event, amusement, profession, occupation or performance of services whether engaged in for profit or not for profit.

  • A business license program will create a registry of businesses in the City, updated annually through license renewals. The following factors led the City to implement this new program:

    • Public Safety: To have numbers and types of businesses, accurate contact information in the event of an emergency, presence of hazardous materials
    • Code Compliance: To assure compliance with fire, zoning, and building safety codes
    • TPT changes: Prior to the centralization of transaction privilege tax (TPT) administration to the Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR), the City issued tax licenses for businesses subject to transaction privilege tax. Now the City no longer has the ability to maintain a business registry by tax licenses and share information from tax licenses with other City departments.
    • Economic development: To enhance economic development efforts by providing accurate business statistics, geographic areas for business activity, trend reports
  • The business license is not designed as a revenue generating tool. Instead, the fees were set to help cover the costs of the business license program such as staff, software, and services. The fees are accounted for in the General Fund.