Licensing Division

Licenses are required to protect the consumer from fraudulent, incompetent, unsafe, unhealthy and immoral products and/or practices. Conversely, licenses recommend the licensee as an entity that provides valid, competent, safe, healthy and moral products and/or practices. Thus, a license is intended to benefit both the consumer and the licensee, thereby enhancing the integrity of the business transaction. The City of Flint encourages the development of new business within the corporate City limits of Flint and the City’s Business Licensing Division is eager to provide you with all available assistance.

License Regulations

Why businesses are licensed?

The Home Rules Cities Act is part of the State Law that regulates cities. Section 117.41 of this law states that a City may regulate trade, occupations and amusements for the health, morals and welfare of the citizens. The Flint City Charter, Section 8-101 regulatory power states that “The City may as provided by law exercise it’s Police power over any trade, occupation, amusement, business or other activity within the City to regulate, provide, or prohibit, except as authorized by permit, license or franchise.”

Who is required to get a business license?

Any person engaging initially in the sale of goods, wares or merchandise and who, for the purpose of conducting such business, occupies a whole or part of a room, building, structure or vacant property for the exhibition and sale of such goods, must be licensed as Initial Merchant. The Initial Merchant license allows a business owner to conduct retail sales at the business site.

How is a license application made?

An applicant for a business license must come to the License Division of the Flint City Clerk’s Office, in person, and make the initial application. Subsequent renewals can be made by mail for certain categories; others require that the applicant reapply in person.

What does a business license cost?

License fees are set by an enacted ordinance and vary according to the category and type of license and according to whether it is a new application or a renewal. (See Fee Schedule) All licenses excluding the Initial Merchant License are annual licenses and shall be renewed each year.

How often must application be made?

All licenses except Initial Merchant License are annual licenses and must be renewed each year. An Initial Merchant License is issued upon first application (providing all the requirements are met) and does not require renewal.
Building Trade Licenses ( with the exception of Building Contractors and Sidewalk Contractors) are issue in accordance with the calendar year and must be renewed annually (January 1 to December 31), Building Contractors’ and Sidewalk Contractors licensed are issued, as are all other remaining licenses, from May 1st of the issuing year to April 30th of the following year and must be renewed annually.

How are businesses monitored to insure compliance?

The Licensing Division has a staff of License Investigators who investigate reported complaints about any aspect of the operation of any business located in Flint. Any question or complaint about a business or service operating in the City of Flint will be immediately investigated.

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