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Quick Reference Guide to Establishing a Business in Palmer, Alaska

We appreciate your interest in considering Palmer as the home for your new business. The residents and business community of Palmer look forward to new businesses and services locating here and encourage you to consider the benefits of locating in the growing City of Palmer. City staff hopes this Guide will help you get started by providing a quick reference of where to obtain the necessary permits.

The permits you will need depend on the type of business you want to operate.  Carefully read the description of each permit and determine which ones are most applicable to your business. The information in this Guide does not take the place of appropriate legal advice.  It is not warranted to be all-inclusive, and any errors or omissions will not relieve you of your responsibility to comply with City, State or Federal laws, rules or regulations.

Resource Agencies and Organizations:

The Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities for networking and support through established business leaders in this community. For more information, call 907-745-2880 or visit their office.  The Chamber of Commerce meets at noon every Wednesday at the Palmer Moose Lodge.      

Assistance is also available from the Small Business Development Center by calling 907-373-7232 or by going to their office located at 201 N. Lucille Street, Suite 2A in Wasilla. Services include free and confidential one-on-one business counseling and information on the Buy Alaska network. You can view a list of  their upcoming business seminars at

Alaska InvestNet is a statewide non-profit corporation helping entrepreneurs access investors by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Alaska InvestNet brings entrepreneurs, investors and service providers together at educational events that provide technical assistance and facilitate business relationships. For more information go to

The State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development has a Business Assistance Program.  For information, call Mike at 269-8105.

Permits & Licenses

Before applying for any of the business permits in this Guide, you should make sure that your business qualifies as an allowed land use within the City zoning district that includes your proposed business location.  You can check on the zoning yourself by:

a)   going to the zoning Map located on the Community Development page of the City web site, or
b) by visiting the Community Development Office at 645 E. Cope Industrial Way in Palmer, or
c) by calling the Community Development Department at (907) 745-3709.

Alcoholic Beverage License

Businesses that sell or serve alcohol must first acquire a license from the State of Alaska. For information on these types of licenses and annual fees, contact:

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Department of Public Safety
5848 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, Alaska 99507
(907) 269-0350

Building Permits

The City of Palmer requires that you obtain a building permit from the Department of Community Development before constructing a new building or structure, adding to or remodeling an existing building or changing the use of a building.  

Sign Permits - City of Palmer requires sign permits on all new signage and for replacement of signs for new tenants.

Fence Permits - Fence permits are required for all new fences to be installed in the City of Palmer.  

For further information, please feel free to contact:

Palmer Department of Community Development
Building Inspector
645 E. Cope Industrial Way
Palmer, AK  99645-6748

Business License

Palmer – All businesses operating within the city limits are required to have a City Business License. This license does not grant City approval to operate a business; it is merely evidence that you have registered your business with the City of Palmer and paid the Business License fee. To apply for a City Business License, you will need to have your State and Federal Employer’s Identification Number or your Social Security number. The fee for a City Business License is $25 for the calendar year or any part of a calendar year.

City of Palmer
Department of Finance
231 W. Evergreen Avenue
Palmer, Alaska  99645

Matanuska-Susitna Borough - All businesses operating anywhere within the Borough are required to have a Borough Business License. To apply for a Borough Business License, you will need to have your State Business License number to complete the Borough application. The fee for a Borough Business License is $50 every two years.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough
Finance Department
350 E. Dahlia Avenue
Palmer, Alaska 99654

State of Alaska – All businesses in Alaska must have a state business license. The current fee for a State Business license is $100 per year. If your business activity includes tobacco sales, a tobacco endorsement is also required. Contact:

Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Division of Corporations, Businesses and Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806

Driveway Permits

A City Driveway Permit is required if you plan to constructor modify a driveway unto a City maintained street. For more information on the criteria for obtaining a Palmer Driveway Permit Contact:

Palmer Department of Public Works
1316A S. Bonanza Street
Palmer, Alaska 99645

If your property is on a State owned or maintained street such as the Glenn Highway, Arctic  Avenue or Evergreen Avenue, you will need to apply for a State Driveway Permit from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
P.O. Box 196900
Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6900

Employer Registration

If you are going to hire employees, you must register with the state Employment Security Division. They provide assistance and information to employers on Unemployment Insurance Tax. There is no fee to register as an employer.

Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Employment Security Division
877 Commercial Drive
Wasilla, Alaska 99654-6937

Environmental Permit

Some businesses will need permits from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC).  Examples of the types of businesses that may need permits are bed & breakfast, barber shops, and businesses that use pesticides. For help in determining if you need an ADEC permit contact:

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation  (ADEC)
1700 E. Bogard Road, Bldg. D, Suite 202
Wasilla, Alaska  99654

Federal Income Tax

For information regarding employee withholding, self-employment tax , sole proprietorship, partnership and corporate taxes, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Request a copy of IRS Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records, and IRS Publication 15, Circular E – Employer’s Tax Guide , by calling 1-800-829-3676.

Internal Revenue Service  (IRS)
949 E. 36th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99508

Food Service Permits

A Food Service Permit is required for businesses such as restaurants, caterers, or mobile food carts and for markets and food processors that sell food to the public. For more information on the types of permits and inspections required or for information on annual fees contact:

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC)
Division of Environmental Health
1700 E. Bogard Road, Bldg. D, Suite 202
Wasilla, Alaska  99654

Incorporation/Limited Partnerships

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development handles documentation required to establish a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnering, etc. Contact:

Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development
Division of Corporation, Business and Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, Alaska 99811

Trademark and Service Mark Registration

A state trademark for a name, design, or logo that identifies your product may be obtained through the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. A service mark can be registered to identify a service. The trademark or service mark registration is valid for five years with a renewable clause.

Utility Information

City Water & Sewer Service
Palmer Department of Public Works
Water/Sewer Division
231 W Evergreen Avenue
Palmer, Alaska 99645

On-Site Sewer & Water Regulations
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC)
1700 E. Bogard Road, Bldg. D, Suite 202
Wasilla, Alaska  99654

Worker’s Compensation

The Alaska Worker’s Compensation Act requires each employer having one or more employees to obtain worker’s compensation insurance. Employers are required to pay medical costs and a portion of lost wages for employees who are injured or become ill because of work conditions. For more information contact:

Alaska Department of Labor
Division of Worker’s Compensation
P.O. Box 115512
Juneau, Alaska 99811

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