The City Clerk’s Office is responsible for issuing all business licenses for the City of South Portland. There are numerous types of Business Licenses and many require approvals from City Departments such as: Code Enforcement, Fire Department, Planning Department, Police Department, Public Works, Parks & Recreation Department and Water Resource Protection. Additionally, some of the licenses require approval from the City Council. You may also need to obtain State Licenses. All business licenses require an application fee. All fees, application and license, must be paid on an annual basis. All applications may be obtained from the City Clerk’s Office. You may request them in person, by phone or via email.
If you are a new business, or are thinking of opening a new business in South Portland:
- Review the Guide to Doing Business in South Portland
- You will first want to contact the Planning & Development and Code Enforcement to ensure that your business is properly zoned and to request any necessary permits (Building or Occupancy Permits).
- You will want to contact the State Licensing Department and find out what, if any, State license(s) will be required.
- You will want to call the City Clerk's office to find out what, if any, City license(s) will be required.
Business licensing hours are Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm, with extended hours on Thursday until 6:30pm. For addition information, please call 207-767-7628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Licenses - Without Alcohol
The most common type of license that we issue is a Food Establishments Without Alcoholic Beverages license. Anyone that sells food is required to have a City and State of Maine Food License. You will be required to complete the application and submit it to our office. All fees are listed on the application itself. We ask that you apply a few weeks prior to opening to give ample time for the appropriate departments to be notified and any required inspections to be completed.
Mobile Vending Units (Food Trucks, Food Carts, etc):
As of May 20, 2017, the City of South Portland allows the operation of mobile vending units (food trucks, food carts, etc) to operate on certain private and public property at certain designated locations, subject to rules and regulations, in addition to operating on other City-owned or controlled property with permission as part of a City-sanctioned special event. All mobile vending units must be licensed and must comply with the regulations put forward in Chapter 14-104 of the City's Code of Ordinances as well as the Rules and Regulations Governing Mobile Vending Units on City Property.
Food Licenses - With Alcohol
If you plan on serving or selling Malt, Vinous or Liquor at your Establishment, you will need to complete the Food Establishments with Alcoholic Beverages license application. This license type needs to go before the City Council. These applications, which include the State Liquor application, will need to be turned into our office two weeks prior to the City Council Meeting. That will give ample time for a Legal Notice to be placed in the newspaper and for the appropriate departments to be notified. This also requires a State of Maine Food License. Any business that sells liquor for on premise consumption or off premise consumption must obtain a license from Maine State Police Liquor Licensing and Compliance or call 207-624-7220. The owners of the businesses in this category will have State Bureau of Investigation checks, which are $25.00 a piece. If you are having any type of Live Entertainment in an establishment that sells alcohol, you will need to apply for a Special Amusement Permit which needs to go before the City Council along with the Liquor License.
Any type of Amplified Sound that will be broadcast outdoors in the City, needs to have a license. The abutters will need to be notified of this application and the Police Department will need to approve it.
Automobile Used Car Lot
If you sell any used vehicles within the City, you will first need to obtain a Used Car Lot License. This application will also require a detailed map of the premise that is to be licensed. The Fire and Police Departments will need to approve this license.
Coin Operated Amusement Device
This license is required of any business that has Coin Operated Amusement Device in their Establishment and must appear before the City Council for approval. This application will need to be turned into our office two weeks prior to the City Council Meeting. That will give ample time for a Legal Notice to be placed in the newspaper and for the appropriate departments to be notified. The Fire and Police Departments need to approve this license.
The City is very proud of the numerous community events that take place here in South Portland, including:
- Run/Walk/Cycle/Swim Events
- Events in Parks
- Neighborhood Block Parties
If you are interested in hosting an event on City property (Parks, Streets, Sidewalks, etc), please click here for more information. Some events require additional licenses and permits (i.e., if your event will be hosting food vendors, all food vendors must be licensed.)
The South Portland Farmer’s Market will be open every Sunday from 10:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. the first Sunday in May to the last Sunday in October. The winter market is held in the gymnasium of the former Hamlin School, currently the Planning and Development Office on the corner of Ocean and Sawyer Street. The winter market hours are also 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Sundays.
To apply for vendor space, return the following information;
- Completed license application form
- A certificate of insurance for at least $400,000 naming the City of South Portland as an additional insured party or certificate holder. The certificate shall provide no less than a ten (10) day cancellation policy. Insurance must be maintained at all times while engaged in sales at the Farmer’s Market.
- The fees are as follows; To the City of South Portland - $25.00 Location fee and a $20.00 processing fee (these can be combined on one check to the City of South Portland)
To the South Portland Farmers Market Association - $100.00 for market dues (check made payable to the South Portland Farmers Market Association)
- A copy of your Department of Agriculture License if you will be selling the following products; Eggs, Honey, Jams/Jellies, Pickles, Relishes, Maple Syrup, Apple Cider, Herbs, Pesto, Baked Goods, Meat or Lobster or any other product that requires a license through the Department of Agriculture.
Alewive’s Brook Farm
Attn: Caitlin Jordan
83 Old Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107
Questions? Contact Caitlin at email@example.com
Any business that sells or stores Flammable Liquids or Compressed Gas , operates a Marina or Aircraft Refueling will require a license with us. If you are operating a Service Station (Gas Station), you are required to be licensed with us. The Fire Department does need to approve all of these licenses prior to their issuance.
The City requires all Lodging Establishments to be licensed with our Department. This license will need to go before the City Council for approval. The application needs to be completed and turned into us two weeks prior to the meeting. The Fire Department and Code Enforcement will need to approve this license.
A Massage Establishment license is required of any business that offers massages. If the Massage Therapist is a member of the AMTA or ABMP then they are required to register with our office. If the Massage Therapist is not registered with either of the above, they are then required to have a Massage Therapist License. If the owner of the Establishment is not registered with the AMTA or ABMP, then they are entitled to apply for the Combined Massage Establishment/Therapist License. The owners of the businesses in this category will have State Bureau of Investigation checks, which are $25.00 a piece. Code Enforcement, the Fire Department and the Police Department will all need to approve these licenses.
Second Hand Dealers/Pawnbroker
Any business that engages in the resale, trade or purchase of second hand items needs to be licensed as a Second Hand Dealer. If your business engages in Pawnbroking, you will require a license with our office. The Police Department has to approve all of these licenses. The owners of the businesses in this category will have State Bureau of Investigation checks, which are $25.00 a piece.
The State of Maine requires any business that is not registered on the State level to be registered with the Municipality that the business is located in. This is done either as a Sole Proprietor or as a Partnership. This is also referred to as a “Doing Business As” License.The application needs to be notarized, which our office does as part of the registration. An ID is required at the time of registration.
For operating a Taxi Company in South Portland, three licenses are required. The Certificate of Public Convenience needs to go before City Council for approval. This will need to be turned into our office two weeks prior to the City Council Meeting. Each Taxicab needs to be licensed and also each Driver needs to be licensed. The Police Department needs to approve this license.
Any business that has Motion Picture Screens or Stage Theater needs to be licensed with a Theater License. This license is based on Seating Capacity and number of screens.
Door-to-Door and Christmas Tree Vendors
The City requires any person or business that sells goods door to door to be licensed with our office as a Vendor. If you plan on selling Christmas Trees, a license is required for that also. Code Enforcement and the Police Department will need to approve this prior to the issuance of the license. Any first time vendors will need to have State Bureau of Investigation checks, which are $25.00 a piece.
The City maintains a list of Wreckers to be called by the Police Department. In order to be part of this list, you must have a Wrecker License with the City. The Police Department will need to approve this license.
Please contact us for the applications for these additional licenses that are issued by our department.
Adult Use Establishment Automobile Graveyard
Automobile Recycling Business Beano/Bingo/Games of Chance
Billiard / Pool Parlor Bowling Alley
Carnival Car Wash
Flea Market Roller Skating Rink
Shooting Gallery Transfer Station
Examples of Businesses we do not license:
(Note: These businesses may require State or other licensing)
Gift shops (not selling alcohol or food)
Professional offices (i.e., medical offices, accounting offices, or law firms)
Hair / Nail Salons (not offering massage)
Real estate agencies / Realtors