Steps to Starting Your Business
Welcome!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.
If you complete each of the steps listed below, 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.
If you have an existing business that was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact or you are interested in opening a new businesses but have not opened due to the pandemic. The City of Morgantown has developed a Small Business Assistance Grant program in partnership with the Small Business Administration. For more information about the SBAG view the application here.
Identify Zoning Requirements / Floodplains
Contact the City of Morgantown's Planning Division at 304-284-7431 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 at 304-291-7222, or visit the WV Property Viewer listed in the link below.
For reference, you can access the helpful links below.
Apply for State Business License
After you have clarified that your proposed business location is properly zoned, you will need to obtain a State Business Licence.
Visit the West Virginia One Stop Business Portal to learn more about:
Apply for a City Business License
Once you have obtained a State Business License Registration Certificate, print out and complete the appropriate form below to apply for a City Business License. Once completed, you can take your completed application along with a $20 application fee to the City of Morgantown's Finance Department, located on the first floor of City Hall. If you have any questions before submitting your application, you can call the Finance Department at 304-284-7417.
Once you have taken your application to the Finance Department, it will be processed.
If your proposed business is physically within city limits, you will be directed to the Code Enforcement office with a copy of your City Business License Application to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.
Applications for Municipal License
Step 4: Apply for Certificate of Occupancy
This is required for all new and existing businesses physically 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:
- A completed Municipal Business License application;
- An 8 ½ " x 11 inches scaled and dimensional floor plan (total square footage and proposed use);
- A $65 Certificate of Occupancy application fee made out to the City, we accept cash, check or credit; and
- A signature on the application from both the Planning Division and Engineering Department.
No Tenant Improvements
If the occupancy does not involve tenant improvements, contact the Code Enforcement Office within 10 days of submitting your Certificate of Occupancy 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 Code Enforcement Office to obtain information about permitting and any possible 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.
Forms & Applications
- After Hour Emergency Information (PDF)
- Bill Poster-Handbill Distributor License Application (PDF)
- Business Occupation Quarterly Tax Return (PDF)
- Business Occupation Tax Return (PDF)
- Business Update Form (PDF)
- Certification of Occupancy Application (PDF)
- Charitable Solicitation Application (PDF)
- Commercial Solicitors and Cavassers License (PDF)
- Home Occupation Application Packet (PDF)
- Massage Therapist License Application (PDF)
- Outdoor Dining Application (PDF)
- Service Only Application (PDF)
- Sparkler and Novelty Registration (PDF)
- New and Expanding Business Tax Credit Application - Downtown District (PDF)
- Municipal Business License Application (PDF)
- Hawker Peddler License Application (PDF)