License Application Process
Applications are not considered complete, and will not be circulated for any department approvals, until all required documentation and application fees have been received.
All licenses are approved by the City Board of Commissioners. Once any applicable department approvals have been obtained, the application will be submitted to the next available City Commission agenda for the Board to grant final approval. The Board of Commissioners meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.
Licenses are issued contingent on compliance with any applicable inspection requirements, or other specified requirements, such as providing proof of insurance or a surety bond, throughout the life of the license. After the City Commission approves the new license, it will be mailed to the local business address.
Annual Business License Renewals
Licenses expire on December 31st of each year. Annual business license renewal notices are sent to all license holders at the end of October with a deadline of November 30th to return the renewal along with the annual fee. This deadline allows our Building Department and Fire Department time to conduct inspections before the end of the year when the new licenses are issued.
Use our Event Permit application for private or public events if alcohol will be sold or served or if the event will have 100 or more participants.
Public Events: These events include music festivals & outdoor bands, pub crawls, 5K runs & motorcycle runs, parades, assemblies, fireworks displays, request for street closure, etc.
Unlike city business licenses which expire at the end of each year, Game Site Authorization licenses run on a fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th in order to coincide with the requirements of the State Attorney General's office.
Rules & Regulations
Information regarding specific legal requirements and regulations of all licensing can be found in the Williston Code of Ordinances.
If you have any questions regarding the permits or licenses managed by the Finance Department, please contact us at 701.577.8100.
Please also refer to these Frequently Asked Questions:
FAQ | Liquor Licenses
FAQ | Special Events Permits
Temporary Use Permits: For temporary business on private property, for sales of merchandise from a vehicle, trailer, tent, or vacant storefront. The finance department does not issue this type of permit. Please contact the Planning & Zoning Department for applications and assistance.
Starting or Expanding a Business in Williston: Contact Economic Development for assistance.
The Document Center provides easy access to public documents. Click on one of the categories below to see related documents or use the search function.
Documents sorted by HEADER in Ascending Order within category
Alcohol Permits2 documents
Business Licenses17 documents
- Arborist Application License to engage in tree planting, pruning, fertilization, spraying, removal, or other tree maintenance activities for payment or other compensation within the Williston city limits. Annual Fee $100.
- Auctioneer Application License to pursue the business of any auctioneer or to sell goods or property at auction. $50 Initial fee; $25 annual renewal fee.
- Bulk Storage Application Facilities with chemicals in quantities that equal or exceed the following thresholds must report: 1) For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS), either 500 pounds or the Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower; 2) For Flammable Liquids, stationary fuel storage of 60 gallons or greater that dispense flammable and/or combustible liquids; and 3) For all other Hazardous chemicals: 5,000 lbs. Annual fee $250 for each facility location.
- Door to Door Sales Application Door to door sales, telephone sales, and certain charitable & religious solicitations where payments or deposits are made. Contact the Finance Department for further information. No permit is required for political canvassing. Fee $35 per day, per person.
- Farmers & Flea Markets Fairs Carnival Circus Application License for any merchant or vendor to engage in such business for a farmers market, flea market, fair, carnival, circus, or any other similar activity within the City. $100 per year or $35 per day, 14 days maximum per year.
- Fortunetelling Application License to practice or engage in the business or profession of astrology, palmistry, clairvoyancy, mesmerism, spiritualism, mind reading, phrenology or fortunetelling in the City. Annual Fee $300.
- Frozen Dessert Vendor Application Use of an ice cream truck to conduct frozen dessert vending including pre-packaged or pre-wrapped ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen custard, frozen or soft serve dairy products, or similar frozen dessert products. Annual fee $500.
- House Mover Application License for moving houses and buildings of any kind or nature whatsoever for compensation or hire, who is not the owner or the tenant/ lessee by consent of the owner of the building. Fee $25.
- Liquid Waste Hauler Application Liquid domestic waste hauling only. Not for commerical or industrial waste. Annual Fee $75.
- Mobile Food Application License to operate a mobile food truck or mobile food unit within city limits and ETJ. Annual Fee $1000.
- Pawn Shop Application Any person who loans money on deposit or pledge of personal property or who deals in the purchase of tangible personal property, on condition of selling the property back again at a stipulated price or who loans money secured by tangible personal property, by taking possession of the property or any part thereof so mortgaged or, who in combination with the above practice, buys used property for the purpose of sale. Annual Fee $50.
- Pesticide Application Engaging in the business of the application of pesticides with ground equipment or aircraft. Annual Fee $65.
- Pet Shop Kennel Groomer Application Establishment for the raising, training, boarding, or selling of dogs, cats, birds, mice, rats, or other small animals for hire or profit, or where more than two dogs or cats are harbored or kept. Annual Fee $25.
- Tobacco License Application Engaging in the retail sale and/or dispensing of tobacco products, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products. $100 per location; $35 per vending machine.
- Vehicle for Hire Driver Application 03162018.pdf Any driver of a taxi, limousine or other vehicle for hire. No Fee.
- Vehicle for Hire License Application Any vehicle engaged in carrying passengers for profit and not involved in interstate travel with trips originating, ending or traversing City limits. Annual Fee $250 per vehicle.
- Waste Hauler Application Garbage, rubbish and refuse collection and disposal. Annual Fee $75.
Event Permits1 document
- Special Event Application Use this permit application for public events, or private events taking place in a public building or space, and alcohol will be sold or served, or if the event will have 100 or more participants. Examples of events include block parties, music festivals, 5K / motorcycle runs, parades, etc. and events that include fireworks displays, street closings and/or city parking lot use. Length of the event, not to exceed 14 days. Base fee of $25.00. Additional fees may apply.
Gaming Permits3 documents
- Game Site Authorization Authorization for year round gaming events based on a fiscal year of July 1st to June 30th. Must be registered as a charitable organization with ND State Attorney General. $100 per site location for annual license; $50 for one time event.
- Local Permit or Charity Local Permit Permit for Raffle, Bingo, etc. Must be a 'public spirited' organization. Fee $25 per event.
- Williston Game Site Authorization This is the local level Game Site Authorization.