Steps to Starting Your Business


Thank you for considering Morgantown for the location of your business!  We have a healthy business atmosphere in many areas of our City, but they can only be made more vibrant with the addition of you and your talents.  Are you considering a restaurant with unique cuisine?  Perhaps bringing creative retail to downtown?  There’s also room for offices in both new and historic locations, and our City continues to grow thanks to dedicated Entrepreneurs like you who add to the vitality, character, and future of our City.

Use the navigation buttons on the left to learn more about how to start your business in Morgantown.

Step 1 : Identify Zoning Requirements/Floodpains

Contact Morgantown’s City Planning Division to make sure that the location of the proposed business is zoned for your business. Be sure to have the property’s parcel and tax map number. If you do not have these numbers call the Monongalia County Assessor’s Office.

     Morgantown City Planning              Mon County Assessor’s Office
3rd Floor City Hall, Room #12            2nd Floor Courthouse Annex
Open 8am – 5pm                                Open 9am – 7pm
(304) 284-7431                                  (304) 291-7279
Website                                                Website

Step 2 : Apply for State Business License

Visit to learn more about this process, download forms, or pay State fees online.


WV State Tax Department
PO Box 11425
Charleston WV  25339-1425
Open 8am – 5pm
(304) 558-3333

Step 3 : Apply for City Business License

Once you have confirmed that the location is zoned for your business, and you have obtained a State Business Registration Certificate, contact the City of Morgantown’s Finance Department. Because the City has multiple business licenses, we do not offer licensing online. However, if you phone or stop by, the Finance Department Staff Will be happy to help you.


Morgantown City Finance Dept
1st Floor City Hall
Open 8am – 5pm
(304) 284-7408

Other Possible Applications

  • Home Occupation Application – Conditional-use approvial may be required for anyone who wants to open a business in their home within city limits. Contact the Planning Division for further information.
  • Charitable Solicitation Application – Required for any Charities who would like to solicit to raise money within city limits.
  • Commercial Solicitor’s and Canvassers’ License – Required for any business who will be soliciting or canvassing within city limits.
  • Registration of Hawkers and Peddlers – Must be filled out if you are not a business, but intend to hawk or peddle merchandise within city limits.
  • Application for Bill Poster – Handbill Distributor – Required for any commercial or non-commercial handbills to be distributed within city limits.
  • Application for Business License: Massage Therapy – Required for any Massage Therapist who intends to situate their business within city limits.
  • Sparkler and Novelty Registration – Required for any business that intends to sell sparklers or novelties within city limits.
  • Coin Operated Device Application – Required for any automatic machine business that intends to distribute and manage coin-operated devices within city limits
    • soda machines, sanitary napkin machines, or other merchandise or service devices
    • lottery machines, jukeboxes, or other amusement or music devices
    • washers dryers, or other laundries and wash devices
  • Application for Outdoor Dining – Required for any restaurant that intends to serve its customers on a deck within city limits.

Morgantown City Planning        |     Morgantown City Finance Dept  .
3rd Floor City Hall, Room #12        |               1st Floor City Hall                     .
Open 8am – 5pm                |                Open 8am – 5pm      .
(304) 284 – 7431               |                 (304) 284-7408      .
Website                        |                         Website      .

Building Permits

Application for Contractor License – Available in Finance Department. Required for a Contractor to be able to work within city limits. Contractor requirements can be given to a contractor, along with the application, before a contractor can be approved to do work within city limits.

Building Permit – Available from Code Enforcement. Required for any new construction projects, remodeling projects, grading or sinage. Code Enforcement employs four building inspectors to do multiple building inspections before, during, and after the construction in completed.

Sign Permit – Please contact the Planning Division prior to finalizing your business’s sign plans to learn what opportunities and limitations may be applicable to your business location.

Morgantown City Code Enforcement   |   Morgantown City Planning   |   Morgantown City Finance Dept           .
1st floor City Hall                       |3rd Floor City Hall, Room #12|                1st Floor City Hall      .
Open 7am – 5pm                        |             Open 8am – 5pm              |                  Open 8am – 5pm       .
(304) 284 – 7401                       |             (304) 284 – 7431             |                   (304) 284-7408      .
Website                                 |                       Website                      |                           Website      .

Step 4: Apply for Certificate of Occupancy

This is required for all new and existing businesses located within city limits. Businesses that are changing names, changing ownership, or moving to a new location must also obtain this. This is also required before you can legally occupy your building and conduct business operations.  To obtain an application, the following items are required:

1)  Completed application,
2)  An 8 ½ “ x 11” scaled & dimensional floor plan (total square footage and proposed use)
3)  And payment made out to the City: cash, check or credit.
At the time of submission, you will be given a card with information for the Fire Marshall and the Code  Enforcement Officer that will be handling your inspection.
If the occupancy does not involve tenant improvements, contact the Code Enforcement Division within 10 days of submitting your application to schedule an on-site inspection. Once inspected and approved by all departments , an official certificate of occupancy will be mailed.
If occupancy does require tenant improvements contact the assigned inspector to obtain information about plans submission requirements.
All businesses applying for a Certificate of Occupancy must contact Code Enforcement and the Fire Marshal with enough time to schedule an inspection no less than one week before opening day. Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are considered to be assembly occupancies under the Fire Code. The parameters that govern these types of establishments are much more in-depth than your typical small business. Please contact the City Fire Marshal’s Office for more information on the Fire Code for these establishments.

Morgantown City Code Enforcement
1st floor City Hall
Open 7am – 5pm
(304) 284 – 7401


If you complete each of these steps, you should have all you need to successfully open your business in Morgantown!  Please be sure to verify with each of the departments involved that you have all documentation before you officially start business.