The Commissioner of the Revenue issues Business Professional Occupational License taxes on businesses operating within the City of Salem. Every person or corporate entity engaging in business in Salem must obtain a business license per Salem Code SEC. 22-4.1 Most of the City license taxes are levied on the basis of gross receipts. Annual licenses are valid for each calendar year and must be renewed by March 1st of each year.
New businesses must obtain a license within 30 days of commencing operation in the City. Solicitors, Itinerant Merchants, and Peddlers must obtain a Salem License immediately and prominently display this license.
For a complete list of requirements to secure a City of Salem Business License please review the New Business Packet on our Forms page.
All delinquent taxes must be paid before the business license can be issued. To report an unlicensed business or check to see if a business has a current business license use the Reporting an Unlicensed Business form.
Please Email Business Tax for any questions.
Call before you hire. Before you hire a contractor to do a renovation or home repair take the time to call the Commissioner of the Revenue's office to see if the contractor is licensed to do business in this locality. Protect your investment in your home.
Online File and Pay is Now Available for 2023 Business License Renewals
We are pleased to announce that the City of Salem is now offering the option to file and pay for all Business License renewals online. Filings can be made by using the Business License Renewal Application website and entering the 5 or 6-digit account number and the last 4 digits of the federal ID/social security number associated with the business account. Account numbers can be found at the top left of your current business license or on the filing form that has been mailed to you. Please note the business account number is not the same as your business license number.
Renewals may be filed online with or without paying at the time of submission. If paying online, the payment must be made with a credit/debit card. The application and payment are due by March 1, 2023, to avoid a penalty regardless of site availability. Online filing is not available for out-of-area contractors at this time.
- Who needs a business license?
All businesses and professional operations must obtain a Salem business license before commencing operation in the City. This includes home businesses, special events, and those persons paid on a 1099. Contractors having a definite place of business in a locality other than Salem, but performing work within City limits must also obtain a Salem license. Please Email Sidney C Kuzmich for any clarification as to whether you are subject to being licensed.
- What will my license cost?
License tax for the first year of operation will be based on an estimate of your gross receipts from the date you begin operation until the end of the current year. Each subsequent year's license costs will be determined by your actual gross receipts from the prior year. Businesses are subject to supplemental billing for the first two years of operation. Tax rates vary by classification depending on the nature of your business and businesses may have multiple classifications.
All businesses making less than $50,000 in gross receipts will pay a flat $50 fee per classification. For businesses with gross receipts of $50,000 or greater please refer to the rate chart below:
- Contractors - $.16 per $100 gross receipts
- Retail and Short-Term Rental - $.20 per $100 gross receipts
- Repair, Personal, Amusement, and Business Services - $.36 per $100 gross receipts
- Real Estate, Financial, and Professional Services - $.58 per $100 gross receipts
- Wholesale Business- $.13 per $100 gross receipts or purchases
- What do I do to operate a business out of my home?
Home-based businesses must first be approved for a Home Occupation Permit through the Zoning Department. A new home-based business application must be submitted any time the location of the business/applicant changes.
- How do I know if a local business has a license?
Look for a Business License decal at all local businesses to know they have obtained their annual license, Email Commissioner of the Revenue, or contact our office by phone at 540-375-3019.
- Where do I file for Meals Tax?
The Commissioner’s office administers the Meals Tax.
Questions - Email Sidney C Kuzmich, Business License Inspector.
- Where do I file the Lodgings Tax?
The Commissioner’s office administers the Lodgings Tax.
Questions -Email Sidney C Kuzmich, Business License Inspector.
Personal Property: $3.40
Business Tangible Property: $3.40
Business Machinery and Tools: $3.20
Tax Payment Deadline for Personal Property and Business Tangible Property is May 31st
Business License renewal deadline is March 1st