Licenses & Permits


The City Clerk’s office is responsible for issuing various types of licenses. Garage sale permits, vendor licenses, and certain business licenses to include but not limited to landscaping and snow removal, auto dealerships, vending machines, movie theaters etc.  Those businesses required to be licensed to operate in the City of Southfield are required to have a current business license for each location.  If you are opening a new business, buying an existing business, or transferring a business to your ownership, you must apply for a New Business License (PDF).

An applicant must complete the application detailing business activity, location and ownership. Applicants must present a valid driver’s license, state identification card or other official photo ID, and a Federal Tax Employment Identification Number.  Document requirements vary by license type.  Some business licenses require inspection and approval from various city departments prior to obtaining a license.  Common inspections are:  building, fire prevention and background checks.

For businesses already licensed, the City of Southfield mails annual renewal notices to all business owners of record as a courtesy.  All Southfield businesses are responsible for the timely filing of annual business license renewal application and payment, which must be received or postmarked by January 1.  Businesses that fail to meet this deadline will incur penalties and interest.  If you close your business, you are required to file a Closing Business Statement.  If you sell your business, the new owner must apply for a new business license, and may be required to revise or file new permits.  Business licenses are not transferable to new business owners. 

If you require assistance or have not received a business license renewal form in the mail, please contact the City Clerk’s office at (248) 796-5150.

Please refer to the Southfield Municipal Code for information regarding the city’s business license requirements and regulations, types of business licenses, definitions of terms, and specific allowable deductions to gross receipts.

For the Business Fee License Schedule, please call the Clerk’s Office at (248) 796-5150 

Oakland County Clerk’s office is responsible for marriage licenses, assumed names and corporate partnership filings; and notary public applications.