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  • Business Licenses  

    Who needs one?
    Certain types of businesses require a business license. Business Licenses are intended to protect the general public, and ensure the business is meeting public safety requirements. Failure to comply with licensing requirements could result in additional fees, penalty payments and/or operational restrictions.


    Most Common

    Businesses Requiring a License

     Certificate of Use License applies to:
        Bars & Restaurants
        Food/Grocery/Convenience Stores
        Drug Stores
        Smoking Establishments
    Second Hand License applies to:
        Used Car Dealers
        Used Car Parts Dealers
        Pawn Shops
        Antique Shops
        Consignment Shops
        Other retailers of used merchandise

    Taxi Licenses:
        Taxi Cab Driver's License (licenses the driver)
        Ground Transportation License (license plates for the vehicle)

    of Businesses Requiring a License


    How do I get one?
    Submit the correct License Application and fees (check or money order only) to the Central Permit Office. Some types of licenses also require additional documents, such as a driver’s license or proof of insurance.

    How does the City review my application?
    On every kind of business license the Central Permit Office will check to be sure the applicant doesn’t owe the City any money (water bills, taxes, parking tickets, etc.). Some licenses also require a background check, and some require an inspection of the business location by the Fire Prevention Bureau, Code Enforcement, and Zoning.

    How long does it take?
    Assuming all the above reviews are satisfactory, the license can be issued in as little as two weeks to three months, depending on the type of license, the inspection results, the applicant’s willingness to address any shortcomings, and other factors.

    How long is it good for?
    Most licenses are good for one year; each license application will specify the applicable time period (ex: the Certificate of Use is renewable every two years). All licenses must be renewed prior to their expiration date.

    Who do I contact if I have questions?

    Pam Dalton, Business Licensing Coordinator
    Phone: (315) 448-8474
    City Hall Commons - Room 101
    201 E. Washington St., Syracuse, NY 13202

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City Hall: 233 East Washington Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 448-8005