License & Permits
715 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, IA 50703
Phone: (319) 291-4323
Fax: (319) 291-4571
Applications for Alcoholic Beverages Licenses are available by contacting the state at www.iowaabd.com
In order to engage in the business of Auctioneering within the City of Waterloo you must first purchase a license at a cost of $25.00 per year or $10.00 per month or portion thereof. Auctioneers licenses are due May 1st of each year.
Burning Yard Waste
The City Council has the authority to grant exceptions and allow burning of yard waste when burning of native vegetation is a recognized management technique. An application for exception must be filed with the City Clerk and will be reviewed by the Leisure Services, Fire and Sanitation Departments and then forwarded to the City Council for final approval.
An application must be completed containing the following information; Name, Address, Telephone Number, Location and Size of Area to be Burned, Dates and Times of Burning, Description of Vegetation, Description of Management Technique, and Containment Procedures. A fee of $50.00 must be filed with the application. Once the application is approved by the City Council and prior to burning the applicant must contact the fire department to determine if proper weather conditions exist and if there is a need for stand-by vehicles. An additional fee shall be charged by the Fire Department for stand-by services and extinguishments of intentionally set fires.
Click here to print off an application.
Carnival and Amusements
Any show other than a circus or menagerie shall, before doing business in the City of Waterloo, obtain a license for a fee of $25.00 per day for one or more exhibitions.
Chapter 453A of the Iowa Code requires that any person offering cigarettes for sale to the consumer must hold a valid retailer’s permit. All retail cigarette permits are good for one year and expire on June 30th after the date of issue. The price of a cigarette permit depends on the location of the business and the month issued. The Waterloo City Clerk’s office issues permits for those establishments located within the city limits. Pricing for permits is as follows:
July – September $100.00
October – December $75.00
January – March $50.00
April – June $25.00
In order to receive a refund the original permit must be returned to the Waterloo City Clerk’s office and a refund may be issued. The amount of the refund depends on the date the permit is surrendered. The amounts are as follows:
July – September $75.00
October – December $50.00
January – March $25.00
April – June $ 0.00
More information can be obtained by calling the Waterloo City Clerk’s office at 319-291-4323 or you may contact Dawn Padget at the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance, Cigarette Tax-Examination Section, PO Box 1456, Des Moines, Iowa, 50603-0456. Telephone 515-281-8023.
Circus and Menageries
Before a circus or menagerie can do business in the city they shall obtain a license with the City Clerk’s office with the fee as follows: $50.00 if the admission charge is twenty-five cents or less and $150.00 if the admission charge is more than twenty-five cents. In addition to the fee, the applicant must also file a bond in the penal sum of $500.00 with one or more sureties, which sureties shall be residents of the city or if signed by a surety company, then a company authorized to do business in the State of Iowa and Black Hawk County. The bond shall be conditioned that the licensee under this section will pay to the city any and all damages caused to the streets, highways, avenues, alleys, bridges, pavements, curbs and sidewalks. The bond can not be released except by action of the Council. Each side show accompanying or following any circus or menagerie shall obtain a license for a fee of $10.00 per day for one or more exhibitions.
Click here to print off an application.
Dances and Dance Halls
A license must be obtained for a dance hall to hold any public dance or ball. The license is issued by the City Clerk and all licenses granted will expire May 1st each year. Licenses must be posted in a conspicuous place in the dance hall. The license may be revoked for disorderly or immoral conduct or violation of any ordinances or laws. If a license is revoked at least six months shall elapse before another license shall be granted on the same premises. Fees are determined by dance floor space and only that portion of the floor actually used for dancing shall be considered. The fees are as follows:
|0 – 2,500 square feet||$ 25.00|
|2,500 – 5,000 square feet||$ 50.00|
|5,000 – 6,500 square feet||$ 75.00|
|6,500 or more square feet||$100.00|
A person giving an occasional public dance shall obtain a special permit for each dance and pay a fee in the amount of $5.00. Any person holding a public dance on average of once a month shall be regarded as conducting public dances and shall be liable for the annual fee as stated above.
In addition to the license fees required each person conducting a public dance hall that exceeds 1,500 square feet shall employ and pay at the current wage scale a police officer to be selected by the Chief of Police. It is the duty of the police officer to exercise complete supervision and to maintain peace and good order in the public dance hall. All public dance halls must be closed on or before 1:00 a.m.
Click here to print off an application.
Dog and Cat Licenses
Any owner of a dog or cat within the city limits is required to license their pet the first of each year, or at any time a pet has come into the possession or ownership of the applicant or which pet has reached the age of six months. The owner will need to provide the breed, sex, age, color, markings and name of each pet, the address of the owner and provide the most recent rabies vaccination, the type of vaccine administered and the date the dog or cat shall be revaccinated. A written certificate from a licensed veterinarian shall be required to prove that a dog or cat is incapable of breeding and has been vaccinated for rabies. The fees for licensing dogs and cats are as follows:
|January 1 – March 31||$ 5.00||$10.00|
|April 1 – December 31||$10.00||$20.00|
Upon payment of the license fee the owner will be provided a license which will be in the form of a metal tag. The tag must be attached to the collar of the dog or cat and be kept on the animal at all times. The license expires on January 1st the year following the issuance of the license. Duplicate licenses are issued at a cost of $2.00. No license is required if the owner of said dogs or cats has a valid State pet shop license, State Boarding Kennel Operator’s License, State Commercial Kennel License, State Hobby Kennel License, State Commercial Breeder’s License, or State Dealer’s License.
Click here to print a Pet License and Dog Park Permit.
Click here to read why you should license your pet.
An application may be obtained at the office of the City Clerk and be approved by the City Council, to grant annual permits to groups, organizations or individuals allowing the applicants to conduct trap shoots, skeet shoots or rifle ranges in certain areas designated by the permit and under conditions that will in no way endanger persons or property. The City Council may revoke its permit at any time at its discretion, where discharge of firearms under a permit, in its opinion, constitutes a nuisance or in any way endangers persons or property. There is no charge for this permit.
The City Council may, upon an application in writing, grant a permit for the display of fireworks by fair associations, amusement parks, and other organizations or groups of individuals approved by the Council, when the fireworks display will be handled by a competent operator. A new fireworks location will be billed at $150.00. Fees for repeat locations previously approved will be billed by display cost and are as follows:
|$1.00 - $1,000.00||$ 25.00|
|$1,001.00 - $5,000.00||$ 50.00|
|$5,000.00 or more||$100.00|
Each additional showing/display will have a fee of $50.00. Multiple showing/displays are similar showings/displays taking place at the same locations over a specified period of time such as a theatrical event running for more than one showing, or running more than one showing or more than one day.
Click here to print off an application.
Going out of Business/Distress Sale
When a business decides to have a going out of business sale, the sale must be anticipatory to the termination of the business. Any and all sales advertised in such manner as to reasonably convey to the public that upon the disposal of stock or goods on hand, the business will cease and be discontinued at its existing location.
In order to receive a permit for a "going out of business sale" an application must be completed at the City Clerk’s office and a inventory list attached. A bond in the penal sum of $1,000.00 signed by the applicant and also signed by the surety company authorized to do business in the State of Iowa conditional to reimburse and indemnify any purchaser for any loss incurred or damage sustained by the purchaser by reason or misrepresentation or fraud in the sale of goods. The permit for the going out of business sale is valid for a period not to exceed sixty days and the fee is based on the value of the stock of goods on hand and is as follows:
|Less than $5,000.00||$ 30.00|
|$5,000.00 - $15,000.00||$ 60.00|
|$15,000.00 or more||$100.00|
If the applicant is a transient merchant the following fees shall be charged:
|Less than $5,000.00||$150.00|
|$5,000.00 - $15,000.00||$300.00|
|$15,000.00 or more||$500.00|
If any application or renewal application is disapproved, one-half of the license fee shall be retained by the city as and for the cost of investigating the statements made in the application or renewal application. The license fee for a thirty day renewal period is one-half of the respective fees for an original license. All inventory figures set out in this section shall be computed at the applicants cost price.
Click here to print off an application.
No person shall post or distribute any advertising matter of any kind within the city limits without first completing an application and obtaining a license at the City Clerk’s office. The fee for said license is $10.00 per day for each person employed or $50.00 per year for a yearly distributors license. The yearly license entitles the licensee to employ as many assistants as may be required. The yearly licensee is required to furnish all assistants with a suitable badge or emblem showing that they are employed under his/her license. A non profit corporation or organization is also required to obtain a license to post or distribute advertising materials but all fees will be waived.
No person shall attach any bill or flyer in any way for the purpose of advertising any entertainment or sale upon any telegraph, telephone, or electric pole or lamp post, fence, structure or building along any streets or alley within the city. No advertising bills, posters, printed or illustrated matter, samples or advertisings matter of any kind shall be placed in or on any motor vehicle or other vehicle parked upon the public streets or parked without the consent of the owner. Advertising materials will be made in such a manner as not to create a nuisance, and no licensed billposter or distributor or any other person, shall scatter or deliver any advertising bills upon the streets or alleys of the city, nor hand the bills to persons passing along the street, nor throw the bills into yards of private buildings, or along halls or public buildings or elsewhere within the city.
Mobile Food Unit
A Mobile Food Business License is required when:
- When the Mobile Food Vendor holds or is required to hold a food establishment license.
- The Mobile Food Vendor sells food or beverages from a mobile food unit (see definition section in guide).
- The Mobile Food Vendor is not engaged in catering.
- When selling food or beverages on city parks, golf courses, parking lots, etc.
- When selling food or beverages from a mobile food unit, not as a part of a contracted private event on private property or special event open to the public, occurring for five consecutive days or less.
- When selling food or beverages on private property.
- Read the Ordinance No 5614 here.
All Applicants must do the following:
- Read the material guide which you can find here.
- Complete the application, which you can find here.
- Provide a photograph of the mobile food unit.
- Provide a diagram or sketch of the mobile food unit in relation to other movable equipment, including trash receptacles.
- Provide a plan for disposing of liquid and solid waste.
- Provide a copy of signage displayed on site.
- Provide a valid Iowa Sales Tax Permit and food establishment license.
- Submit the appropriate insurance requirements.
- Contact the Fire Department if you plan to fry food inside the mobile food unit prior to submitting an application at 319-291-4460.
- Pay the application fee and fees for any other required licenses, permits, or inspections.
No person shall use or employ upon or over the streets, alleys, public park, outdoor public meeting place within the city, or near the exterior of any private dwellings, business buildings, vacant lot or other structures within the city, any amplifiers, loudspeakers or any other similar device, which shall in any degree magnify the human voice or any other sound, without first obtaining a permit. An application can be obtained at the City Clerks office and a permit will be issued upon approval of the Mayor's office at no cost. The permit if issued will be for a specified period of time but can not be longer than one year and is subject to revocation at any time.
Click here to print off an application.
A Pawnbroker is a person who makes loans or advancements on pawn, pledge or deposit of personal property, or who receives actual possession of personal property as security for loans, with or without a mortgage, or a bill of sale thereon. In order to do business as a Pawnbroker in the City of Waterloo one must complete an application with the City Clerk and file a bond in the amount of $10,000.00 by a solvent surety company authorized to execute such bonds in the State of Iowa. A Pawnbrokers license has an annual fee of $50.00 and is issued January 1st of each year.
A pawnbroker is required to register in ink each item or article at the time of pawning or purchasing the following information; the amount paid, advanced or loaned, a detailed description of the article, including identifying marks, serial or model number if any, name, signature, address, license number, social security number, race and nationality of person from whom the article is pawned, date, time and place of transaction, time and date when the article is to be redeemed or brought back. Failure to keeps such register, or produce the records when requested, or who shall destroy or negligently permit such records to be destroyed or lost shall be guilty of a simple misdemeanor.
The pawnbroker is also required to give to each person selling or pawning any property a ticket for each item which the following information is printed; name of pawn shop, date/time of purchase, whether bought or pawned, pawn number, article, brand, model or serial number, description, customer name, address, city and state, date of birth, social security number, drivers license number and state, sex, race, hair, eyes, phone number, and customer signature. All tickets must be numbered sequentially and be purchased from the city at cost; and tickets not used must be retained for inspection and all tickets must be retained for 365 days from issuance. The pawnbroker shall deliver said tickets to the Police Department each Monday by 4:00 p.m. or if Monday is a holiday by 4:00 p.m. on the next business day.
Pawnbrokers shall at all times permit a duly authorized officer of the City to inspect the entire premises covered by the license, including all records that may have any relationship to the operation of the pawn business.
Click here to print an application.
Click here to print a bond file.
Peddlers and Solicitors
A peddler shall mean any person carrying goods or merchandise that sells or offers for sale or immediate delivery such goods or merchandise or takes orders for goods, subscriptions or merchandise to be delivered at a future date. Any person who offers for sale products of their own raising, articles of their own manufacture, or food products shipped in car load lots for sale or delivery from said cars, or the sale of milk does not have to obtain a peddlers license.
In order to do business in the Waterloo area a peddler must file an application with the City Clerk and provide the following information: applicant’s name, permanent, local and business address, physical description and be accompanied by a certificate that the applicant is in good health and free from contagious diseases, signed by a local physician, the applicants employer and address if any, the nature of the applicant’s business and last three places of such business. A fee of twenty dollars ($20.00) shall be paid at the time of filling such application to cover the cost of investigating the facts stated therein.
The City Clerk then reviews the application and if she finds the application to be in compliance with city code will issue a one-year license for a fee of $20.00 for one month or any part there of. The applicant can only conduct business between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The applicant must keep the license in their possession at all times and upon request exhibit the license to prospective customers. Licenses are not transferable in any situation and are applicable only to the person filing the application. The City Council after notice and hearing may revoke any license issued where the licensee has made fraudulent or incorrect statements or has conducted his/her business in an unlawful manner.
Rental Unit Registrations for the license period of January 1 to December 31, 2020 are due by November 1, 2020. All landlords are required to register properties each year within 30 days of purchase, and every year thereafter. The fee for registration is $25.00 per rental unit and will double to $50.00 per rental unit on January 1, 2021for failure to timely register.
Registration with the City of Waterloo is required for properties that meet the following criteria as outlined in Waterloo City Code: A dwelling, duplex, multiple dwelling, condominium, dwelling unit, rooming unit, trailers, mobile homes or sleeping unit which is not eligible for the Iowa homestead credit for property tax purposes, or single dwelling portions of a duplex or multiple dwelling that are not occupied by the owner of the property, and which requires a payment in money or services to be made to the owner for the possession or use thereof.
The purpose of the Rental Registration Program is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, limb, health, property, and public welfare by regulating and controlling the use, occupancy, location, and maintenance of all residential buildings and structures for rental within this jurisdiction, and to establish a program of regular rental inspections.
Please direct questions to the City Clerk’s Office at 319-291-4323.
Click here for a printable Rental Unit Registration Permit Form.
A solicitor is defined as any person or organization soliciting contributions personally or through an authorized employee, agent or representative by the direct solicitation of money or by the sale of tags, buttons or tokens of nominal value, intending that all or a substantial portion of funds will be used to acquire necessities for one or more individuals, or for medical, educational, religious or other purposes toward the benefit of the community or a needful segment thereof.
Persons not needing a solicitor license are as follows:
- Any person holding a valid state solicitation license.
- Any organization soliciting contributions from among it membership or employees.
- Any organization soliciting while located upon property owned by the organization.
- Solicitations of contributions by mail.
- Solicitation of contributions by a person located outside the corporate limits of this city who is there initiating solicitation of residents of this city, so long as such solicitation does not take the form of telephone or other direct personal solicitation by such person or his/her representative of individuals of this city.
- Solicitation of contributions of funds for a political party or candidate.
Any person applying for a license to conduct a solicitation of funds shall make written application to the City Clerk. The application will contain the following information: name of applicant; name of organization; organizations local and national address; person in charge of local solicitations; purpose of solicitations or organization; names of principal officers of the organizations; methods of soliciting funds; methods of distributions of funds; percentage of gross collections to be distributed locally and percentage of gross collections to be returned to national headquarters.
The completed application is then forwarded to the City Council for approval. Upon approval of said application by the City Council a license is issued in the name of the organization, and shall be valid until revoked by the Council, invalidated, or turned in by the licensee, which ever shall occur first. The license shall permit the licensee to solicit for contributions in the city as long as the name and makeup of the organization, the goals and purposes thereof, the manner and method of solicitation, and the proposed distribution of the gross collection remain the same as stated in the application; if any of those particulars change the license shall become and remain invalid until the applicant has submitted the pertinent corrective information to the City Clerk for approval by the City Council, which approval again will validate the current license.
There is a $10.00 fee that is paid at the time of filing the application and again at any time thereafter when corrective information is provided. In the event the application is disapproved by the city council, the fee is retained by the city. The City Council may require that a corporate bond in the amount of $5,000.00 be issued conditioned on the faithful handling and distribution of the funds raised and upon the funds being solicited in the manner specified in the application and not contrary to this division or other ordinances or sate law. After a period of operation of at least six months, the licensee may request that the city council relieve it of the bond requirement; and in its discretion, the City Council may so act or may continue the period of bond until a later date.
Persons or organizations who propose to solicit contributions of funds as described above in the city for a religious cause or a religious purpose or for the perpetuation of religious views do not need to obtain a license but must, prior to soliciting, register with the City Clerk by completing an application for that purpose.
Click here to print an application.
A transient merchant is defined as any person, firm or corporation who engages in a temporary or itinerant merchandising business and in the course of such business hires, leases, or occupies any building or structure whatsoever. Temporary association or conduct of such transient business in connection with, as a part of, or in the name of any local merchant, dealer, trader, or auctioneer shall not exempt applicant from being considered a transient merchant. Merchandising shall include taking orders for future delivery whether delivered at the location of the making of the sale or delivered at a future date by any other means or at another place.
Any person who offers for sale products of their own raising, articles of their own manufacture, or food products shipped in car load lots for sale or delivery from said cars, or the sale of milk does not have to obtain a transient license. It is also not necessary to obtain a license for persons customarily calling upon business for the purposes of selling products for resale or institutional use or person setting up display in any building or structure for the purpose of exhibiting merchandise to those who customarily engage in selling the same at retail.
Investigative Fee: A fee of twenty dollars ($20) shall be paid at the time of filing such application to cover the cost of investigating the facts stated therein. (Ord. 4772, 5-2-2005)
Click here to print an application.
If a person intends to be a transient merchant in the Waterloo area a license must be obtained from the City Clerk. Fees are established as follows:
|More Than One Day Up To One Week||$75.00|
|For One Week||$300.00|
|For More Than One Week||$300.00 plus $50.00 per day|
Each theatrical, minstrel or opera troupe or company shall, before doing business in the city, obtain a license in the amount of $25.00 per day for one or more performances, unless the exhibitions are given in a opera house or theater building that is currently licensed. Any person or owner of a opera house, theater building, hall or other permanent closure shall not permit any theatrical performance, opera, minstrel show, concert, exhibition or entertainment of any kind from which a profit is to be derived or at which an admission fee is charged without first obtaining a license. Lectures on scientific, historical, educational or literary subjects shall not require a license. Fees are as follows:
Single performance $ 3.00
Each performance if two or more are given in succession $ 2.00
Annual fee $50.00
For each traveling museum of natural or artificial curiosities, each art collection or exhibit of pictures paintings and sculptures for which an admission fee is charged for the benefit and profit of the owner a license is required and fees as follows:
One day $ 2.00
One week $10.00
One month $25.00
Click here to print out an application.
Vehicles for Hire Business
A permit is required to operate a Vehicles for Hire Business in the City of Waterloo. Applications are available at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall. Accompanying the application must also be an insurance policy or certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Iowa, providing at least $300,000 of liability insurance. The insurance policy must state that it cannot be canceled or terminated without a ten day notice of cancellation or termination to be given by registered mail to the City Clerk. Termination of any insurance policy issued will automatically revoke and terminate the permit and the City Clerk will issue immediate written notification of the revocation. The holder of a permit shall hold the city harmless from any liability resulting from the operation of the holder’s vehicle for hire business.
No permit shall be issued or continued in operation unless the City Clerk receives an annual license fee of $100.00 plus $25.00 for each vehicle operated under the permit. The license fee is issued for one year starting May 1st and continuing through April 30th of the following year. Upon receiving the completed application, permit fee and the certificate of insurance the City Clerk forwards the information to the City Council for approval.
The Vehicle for Hire License can be revoked for violations of the provisions of this article, or if operations discontinues for more than ten days unless it is a result of a labor dispute, any falsification of the application, or any other violations of any ordinance of the City or the laws of the United States, or the State of Iowa. Prior to suspension or revocation the holder shall be given three days written notice by the City Clerk of the proposed action to be taken and shall be given the opportunity to appear before the City Council and be heard. Any action of the City Council shall be final and appeal would be made to the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County.
In order to remove, cut or trim trees both on private and public property in the City of Waterloo a license must first be obtained. No license shall be issued until the applicant has first taken a written test to determine the applicants understanding of the basic principles of proper tree removal, cutting and trimming. Appointments for the test can be arranged by calling the Leisure Service Department at 291-4370. A license shall be granted upon correctly answering seventy percent of the questions correctly. A license can then be obtained at the City Clerk’s office with the following requirements: an annual license fee of $50.00 due and payable April 1st of each year, certificate of insurance and coverage for workman’s compensation.
A certification of insurance written by a company authorized to do business in the State of Iowa in the limits of not less than $300,000.00 combined single limit to any person and $100,000.00 property damage. Said certificate to be written on a standard form and carrying an endorsement naming the City and its employees as additional insured as its interest may appear and conditioned upon the faithful performance of all duties required of such contractor by any ordinances, rules and regulations of the City. It shall be a further condition of said certificate of insurance that the obligator will hold the City harmless from any and all damages sustained by reason of neglect or incompetence on the part of such contractor, agents or employees in the performance of work done. The certificate of insurance must be issued by April 1st of each year and shall be refiled on or before said day for each subsequent year and shall be in continuous full force and effect.
Any person, before engaging in the business or occupation of removing, cutting or trimming trees in the City, shall furnish satisfactory evidence to the Clerk that the workman employed by him are covered by a suitable workmen compensation policy according to the laws of the State of Iowa.
Vehicles for Hire Drivers
In order to operate a vehicle for hire in the City of Waterloo an application containing the following information must be completed:
- The names and addresses of three residents of the City who have known the applicant for two years and who shall vouch for the applicant’s sobriety, honesty and general good nature.
- The experience of the applicant in the driving of a automobile.
- The applicant shall possess at the time a valid Iowa Commercial Drivers License (CDL) or Class D operator’s license. At the time the application is filed, the applicant must pay a $10.00 fee to the City Clerk.
The police department shall conduct an investigation of each applicant and a copy of the traffic and police record if any will be attached to said application. The application is forwarded to the City Clerk for approval.
Once approved a one year license is issued, which is valid from May 1st to April 30th of the following year, and must be displayed in the vehicle for hire at all times along with the driver’s identification card. Any driver found to have loaned their license or identification card to another individual will be guilty of a misdemeanor and their licenses shall be revoked. In order to renew a vehicle for hire license the applicant must pay a $5.00 renewal fee, present a current Commercial Drivers Licenses and receive approval from the Chief of Police. If the license is lost a replacement license can be issued by the City Clerk for a charge of $1.00.
The City Clerk upon order of the Chief of Police may suspend any driver’s license for a period of not more than ten days. The City Council may revoke a licenses but the City Clerk must provide three days written notice stating the proposed action to be taken and give the driver the opportunity to appear before the Council and be heard.
All vehicles operating for the purpose of Vehicles for Hire must be kept in a clean and sanitary condition. The Health Department will make an annual inspection of all vehicles. Following a substantiated complaint, the affected vehicle will be immediately removed from service and allowed to operate only after satisfactory compliance with the requirements of the Heath Department. Each vehicle for hire will also bear on the outside door on each side the name of the owner in two inch letters and in addition bear an identifying design. No vehicle shall be licensed whose color scheme or identifying design conflicts with a vehicle or vehicles already operating. The owners name and vehicle number must also be clearly displayed to all passengers on the inside of the vehicle.
Rates must be posted on the inside of each vehicle for hire on a card no less than three inches by five inches. A driver does have the right to ask for payment of the estimated legal fare in advanced and may refuse services unless so prepaid. No driver shall permit other persons to occupy the vehicle without first receiving the consent of the passenger that was there first. The driver of the vehicle must prepare and maintain a daily trip card of all trips made by the driver, showing the time and place of origin, destination, number of passengers, and the amount of fare for each trip.
Click here to print out an application.