Where Adventure Meets Opportunity
The Oregon Coast’s largest city is geared for growth. Against the lush backdrop of Oregon’s largest coastal estuary, the Bay’s deep-draft port is an inviting gateway to the Pacific. Coos Bay is the regional commercial and retail center, boasting the coast’s most advanced medical facilities, an outstanding community college, rich cultural and recreation resources, and a welcoming environment for business development. Whether you’re already in business or you want to start one, the City of Coos Bay is here to help. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will guide you through the permits and inspections and help you find resources to build your success. Give us a call at 541-269-8918 or stop by the Community Development Department at City Hall. Let’s build the future together!
Most Requested Forms
- Business License Application Application for starting your own business or renewing your business license.
- Facade Improvement Grant Program Pre-Application for facade improvement grant program
- Business License Home Occupation Application Application to open a business based in a residence within the city limits
× What is required to operate a business out of my home?
If you are running a business from your home and your home is located within the city limits, you will need a Home Occupation permit and a Business License. If your home is not within the city limits, you just need a standard Business License. Download and complete both sides of the Home Occupation Permit Application (which is also a Business License application), then submit it to the Community Development Department. If you do not own the home, you will need written permission from the property owner to conduct your business from the premises. The application will be reviewed by our staff to make sure that the proposed business fits the requirements for a Home Occupation and does not infringe upon the rights of other residents or alter the residential character of the area.
× What is the phone number to the Better Business Bureau?
The phone number is 503-212-3022. Their website for Oregon is http://www.bbb.org/alaskaoregonwesternwashington/.
× Where can I go for assistance with opening a new business?
Contact the City of Coos Bay Community Development Department at 541-269-8918 for information on business license requirements, zoning, urban renewal, and façade improvement grant program. Local agencies include the Business Development Center (541-756-6866), Business Oregon (541-267-4651), Coos Curry Douglas Business Development Corp (CCD) (541-756-4101), and South Coast Development Council (SCDC) (541-266-9753).
× What is my property zoned?
The Zoning Map shows the zoning for the entire city; just zoom in to find your property. You can also call the Planning Division of the Community Development Department at 541-269-8918. You'll need to know the property address or, if it is an undeveloped property, some other means of identifying it such as cross streets or tax parcel information. We can help you find the answers you need. Allowed uses on a property are based on the zoning designation. Zoning definitions and descriptions are included in the Coos Bay Municipal Code, Title 17.
× Can I reserve a gazebo or picnic table at Mingus Park?
The amphitheater and adjacent gazebo, near the swimming pool, can be reserved with a Special Event Application; there is no fee for this. The gazebo by the children's play area and picnic tables at Mingus Park are not able to be reserved, but are available on a first-come first-served basis. Please be courteous so that everyone can enjoy the facilities.
Doing construction? You probably need permits
Building permits ensure that construction meets minimum building standards to ensure safe workmanship. You need a permit if you’re making structural, plumbing, mechanical, or electrical changes to an existing building or if you're building something new. Permits are also required for any work in the right of way (ROW), demolition, sewer connections and repairs, curb cuts, site development, and signs.
You need a business license to operate a business in Coos Bay
Business licenses are required for any business doing work within the city limits of Coos Bay or with another business or person who is within the city limits of Coos Bay. Requirements for business licenses are detailed in the Municipal Code Title 5. Business licenses are issued for each calendar year and must be renewed annually. Renewal notices are typically mailed out at the end of November; payment is due by January 1st.
Call the Public Works and Community Development Department at 541-269-8918 for more information.
Download the Business License Application.
Home Occupation Permit
To operate a business from a home within the city limits, you will need a Home Occupation permit in addition to a Business License. The City’s Municipal Code, Chapter 17.260, describes the requirements for a Home Occupation. If your home is not within the city limits, you just need a standard Business License.
Download and complete both sides of the Home Occupation Permit Application (which is also a Business License application), then submit it to the Public Works and Community Development Department. If you do not own the home, you will need written permission from the property owner to conduct your business from the premises. The application will be reviewed by our staff to make sure that the proposed business fits the requirements for a Home Occupation and does not infringe upon the rights of other residents or alter the residential character of the area. The Home Occupation Permit is a one-time process and the business license is renewed annually thereafter.
Many small businesses successfuly operate from residences. Common Home Occupations include cleaning services, consulting, yard care, tutoring, art, photography, and mobile businesses. Most Home Occupations are either one person working from a home office with minimal customers visiting, or a mobile business where most of the work is done outside the home and the residence is used for office tasks.
Download the Home Occupation Permit Application.
Owners of rental property within the city limits are required to have a business license for both commercial and residential rentals. The annual fee is based on the number of units.
Transient OR Mobile Business
A business license is required to operate a mobile or transient business, such as a food cart/truck or street vendor. The type of business license and the application requirements depend on where the business is located. The unit must be self-contained and may not discharge into the sanitary or storm sewer.
A Transient Business operates from various city-owned properties and public right of ways and has no fixed permanent location from which the business is conducted. The business is permanently affixed to wheels or is otherwise mobile and must be removed each day. The annual business license fee is $50.
The designated city-owned properties where transient businesses are allowed are:
- Boardwalk (200 S. Bayshore),
- Pedway (immediately south of 253 S. Broadway),
- Visitor Information Center (50 E. Central) and
- Hollering Place Wayside (southwest corner of Newmark Ave and S. Empire).
Transient businesses are not allowed to operate on other city parking lots or public properties, or on property under the control of other public agencies such as the Oregon Department of Transportation (US Highway 101), the Coos Bay School District, or other agencies. Transient businesses are not allowed to operate from the right of ways on highway 101, i.e. the parallel parking spaces and sidewalks on Bayshore and Broadway. If in a parking space, the vehicle and any equipment must occupy no more than one legal standard-size parking space, may not occupy the oversized spaces designated for RVs at the Visitor Information Center, and must abide by time limits for parking spaces. Adjacent parking spaces may not be blocked. Parking spaces may not be reserved, such as by the use of cones, ropes, chairs, or other items; all parking spaces are first-come first-served. Transient businesses must comply with conditions and specifications outlined in Resolution #13-002.
A Mobile Business operates from private property in a fixed location using a mobile structure that is temporary in nature, such as a tent, or is permanently affixed to wheels. A Mobile Business is not allowed to operate on public right of ways or city-owned properties. The annual business license fee is based on the number of employees and is $25 for up to five employees.
Active Business Licenses
There are over two thousand businesses in Coos Bay, ranging from national chains with over 100 employees to single owner/operators working from home. The list of active business licenses is posted annually.
Download the most recent list of active business licenses.
Special Event Permits
Events on city property may need a Special Event Permit
A free Special Event Permit is needed if you're holding an event on city property, such as the Boardwalk or Mingus Park, or if you're using city services. (Possible city services include power, police services, trash cans, barricades, portable restroom placement, and clean up.) You generally do not need to a permit for small gatherings, such as groups of 25 or fewer people. If you're not sure if you need a permit, just call the Community Development Department at 541-269-8918 and ask.
You can pick up and fill out a Special Event Permit Application from the Public Works & Community Development counter at City Hall or request one by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Along with the application, please submit a map showing the area your event will be using, including the route if it's a walk, run, or, parade. You can print your own map, or use one of our event maps of common locations: Central Avenue, John Topits Park, Mingus Park, Scout Cabin. A Traffic Control Plan is needed if you'll be using or closing city streets.
If your event requires city services you will need to include an insurance certificate and endorsement naming the City of Coos Bay as an additional insured.
Depending upon the type of event, a meeting with City staff may be needed to work out details. We'll let you know if there will be a fee for any city services such as extra garbage cans or electricity and will work with you to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Events in city parks with 50 or more people are required to have a portable restroom on site.
In Mingus Park, the gazebo by the children's play area is first-come first-served and cannot be reserved. Please be courteous so that everyone can enjoy the facilities. The amphitheater and adjacent gazebo, by the swimming pool, can be reserved.
Open fires are not allowed on city property; propane barbeques are allowed but must be in an isolated area with at least five clear feet of working space.
Improvements encourage economic development and revitalization
Urban renewal is a partnership between the city and property owners to improve an area and encourage economic development. The intent of urban renewal is to improve specific areas that are poorly developed or underdeveloped, eliminate blighting conditions, and improve conditions to encourage economic development. Urban renewal focuses on reinvesting in neighborhood improvement. Wherever possible, old buildings are preserved and rejuvenated, and neighborhood character is celebrated rather than demolished. Urban renewal starts a "ripple effect" that invigorates businesses, strengthens the local econopmy, and ultimately increases property values.
Façade Improvement Program
Financial grants help with exterior improvements
Façade Improvement Grants help revitalize commerical buildings with improvements such as paint, awnings and other exterior enhancements. Eligible properties can receive 50% of the cost of eligible improvements, up to $25,000 in matching grants.
Funds may be used only for exterior façade renovation of commercial buildings Coos Bay’s urban renewal districts. That means any exterior visible wall, so long as the front facing a public right of way is included as part of the improvements.
Coos Bay is part of the Oregon Main Street Program
The Oregon Main Street Program is a state program for commercial historic district revitalization that is designed to build high quality, livable, and sustainable communities that will grow Oregon’s economy while maintaining a sense of place. The Coos Bay Downtown Association and the City of Coos Bay partnered in the application process for the Transforming Downtown Level of the Main Street Program in November 2011. Coos Bay was accepted into the program in January 2012. With support from a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) grant and financial support from the City of Coos Bay, the Coos Bay Downtown Association hired a Main Street Manager to foster the development of downtown Coos Bay.