Start & Grow Your Business

Start & Grow Your Business Here

Whether starting a new business or growing/expanding an existing business, you can reduce risks, and thereby increase the chance of success, with planning and preparation. 

City of Mountlake Terrace elected officials and administrative staff want you and your business to succeed. Staff from various departments are available to assist you before you start a business and while you grow it.  The information provided below will help you get started.

Get to Know Mountlake Terrace

If you would like to know the latest information, regulations, opportunities or incentives associated with doing business in Mountlake Terrace and/or understand the market better, contact City staff, talk to local Business Association leaders, and stay in touch through print and/or online sources. Similarly, you will want to understand the state of business-related regulations.

  • Learn everything you want to know about our community including population and demographic information.
  • Local real estate agents: Bing/Google "Mountlake Terrace Commercial Real Estate Agents."
  1. Stephen Clifton

    Assistant City Manager
    Phone: 425-744-6209

  2. Christy Osborn

    Community & Economic Development Director
    Phone: 425-744-6281

  3. Permits

    Phone: 425-744-6267

Step 1: Develop a Business Plan

A business plan articulates what a business is about, where it is going, and how a business owner intends to take it there. A business plan will likely include a summary, company description, and map out the organization, funding strategies, a marketing plan, operations plan, potential sites, and management and organizational information. A business plan is critical and many banks require a business plan prior to lending.

Please visit the Community & Business Resources page for a complement of local, state, regional and federal agencies and organizations that may serve as valuable resources to you as you start up or expand your business.

Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) is a network of business advisors, trainers, and support staff who operate from Washington State University, Western Washington University, several of the state’s community and technical colleges, and selected economic development agencies. Our core services revolve around assisting our clients with making better informed business decisions to grow and sustain their businesses. We provide in-depth, confidential, no cost customized one-on one business advising, business training and advisor assisted market intelligence. 

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have been helping Washington businesses achieve their full potential for more than 30 years.  Locally, SBDC offers a free, confidential, one-on-one business advising. Information about WSBDCs can be found at Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) and Edmonds Community College (EdCC) which provides support for the EASC’s Small Business Development Center. Contact Janet Toth, EASC, at or 425-640-1435 to make an appointment.

SCORE (National Office) is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters. For over 50 years, SCORE has served as a source of free business mentoring and education.  As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.  EASC and Sno-Isle SCORE provide free in-person counseling for their clients by appointment throughout Snohomish County. Please contact Jack Stiegler at or 206-553-7320. 

Step 2: Find a Location and Check Zoning/Code Requirements

From getting enough office space, to capitalizing on foot traffic, to having enough room to expand – there is a lot that goes into finding your perfect business location. Before you sign a lease or purchase property, we recommend making sure that your business is allowed in the location you have chosen in addition to asking what regulations apply and what permits may be required.   

Staff is available to help you with issues often overlooked when starting a new business such as change in use requirements, traffic impact fees, transportation management programs/plans, design review, etc. 

Staff from Public Works and Fire & Building Departments support the Community and Economic Development Department functions and can also help you become familiar with code requirements for:

  • Zoning
  • Parking
  • Landscaping
  • Signs
  • Tenant improvements
  • Construction
  • Fire prevention
  • Home-based business operations
  • Barrier-free requirements
  • Stormwater quality management

Commercial Properties

Search available real estate, communities, properties and more within the greater Mountlake Terrace area. View availability and lease rates: 

  • ChooseWashingtonState.comIn the search box, click on any of the “Buildings,” “Sites,” “Businesses” or “Communities” icons.  Select your search preference (i.e., for sale or lease, office, retail, industrial, etc.) and then click on “more filters” and type in or choose Mountlake Terrace in drop-down menu. 
  • Economic Alliance Snohomish County

Step 3: Explore Financing Options

You have a variety of local, state and federal options for funding your business. Information can be obtained by contacting a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) and Edmonds Community College (EdCC) which provides support for the EASC’s Small Business Development Center. Contact Janet Toth, EASC, at or 425-640-1435 to make an appointment.

Step 4: Apply for Permits

Learn more information about permits and licensing. We recommend contacting the Permit Specialists in advance to discuss your project and get your questions answered.

Step 5: Get a Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.), ensures you are legally occupying a business space and your business meets all of the city’s required regulations. This may be required even if you do not need a building permit. The C.O. must be clearly displayed at your business at all times. Apply for a C.O..

Step 6: Business License and Registration

Per Mountlake Terrace Municipal Code 5.05.020, a business is defined as “the carrying on of any form of activity for gain, profit or advantage, whether direct or indirect.”  In Mountlake Terrace, business licenses are required for all businesses, including home occupations, single-family residence rentals, apartment complexes, and businesses located outside the city, performing work within the city.

Information on obtaining a business license application can be found online or in person at Interim City Hall. Business license hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. License fees are due at the time the business license application is submitted. We are unable to accept payment online or over the phone.

One of the requirements for a City of Mountlake Terrace license is that all applicants must have an Uniform Business Identification Number (UBI). You may find information about registering your business and obtaining a UBI number on the Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service webpage.

Need Help? Contact Us!

If you have any questions or need additional guidance, do not hesitate to contact us at or 425-776-1161 (general information) or 425-744-6211 (business licensing).