Business licenses are required for anyone wishing to do business in Pendleton. In 2008, 1,099 licenses were issued, 232 of which were issued to businesses located outside city limits. Basic fees are currently $100 for businesses inside city limits and $160 for those outside. Of the funds received from the basic licenses, 75% goes to the Pendleton Economic Development Committee to fund the full time Economic Development Director position, and 25% goes to the Pendleton Convention Center.
An extra fee of $20 per employee is charged to businesses with over 5 employees. This is up to a maximum of $1,000 per business. This generates approximately $40,000 annually with one half of this going to the Convention Center and the other one half to the City.
About $140,000/year is received in regular business license fees, with the employee fee adding about $40,000 in total annually, for a total of $180,000 per year.
The business license is not a regulatory device and no background checks are done on applicants, except that contractors must add their contractor's license number to the application. The business license requirement does provide residents a measure of protection however. It gives the City information that can be followed up by the police department if illegal activity takes place. If a person comes to a resident's door trying to sell something, the resident should ask to see the business license before purchasing. Most people trying to work a scam will not take the time or trouble of registering with the city and asking to see their license may save the resident from paying for goods or services that the ‘salesperson’ never intended to render.