All businesses located in the City, whether developing a new property or opening a business in an existing location, need to have the proper permits and licenses. The guide below is designed to provide tips on how to establish your business in the City of Covington. This information does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for legal or professional advice. persons contemplating starting a business are strongly encouraged to consult professional legal, financial and tax advisers. 

How Do I License My Business with the City?

All businesses must obtain the following:

Any business that is physically located within the City of Covington or any business that is conducting business within the City (e.g. real estate agents, consultants, contractors and other professional services) needs to submit an application for an Occupational License. 

If your business is physically located within the City, a Zoning Permit must first be secured in order to receive an Occupational License. A Zoning Permit is essential because it confirms that your specific business type and use is appropriate for the location. No Occupational License will be issued without proof of a Zoning Permit.

Temporary Occupational Licenses

If you are doing business within Covington on a temporary basis only, a Temporary Occupational License may be suitable. This permit is valid for three days and costs $10 to process.

County Licenses

All businesses located within Covington must also file with Kenton County separately. Please visit for more information or call the Kenton County Occupational License Office at 859-392-1440.

Tax Filings

Any business earning gross wages is subject to the City Payroll Tax. Businesses must file a payroll remittance form either monthly or quarterly, depending on gross wages. Please contact the Finance Department to determine your business’s obligation at 859-292-2183.

Annually, businesses are subject to filing an annual net profit tax return. Businesses that are licensed with the City will receive the City’s Tax Form OL-3 and will be required to file by the 15th day of the fourth month following the close of their accounting year.

The Employee Annual Reconciliation of License Fee Withheld Form is required to be filed annually by February 28 by all businesses.

Engage with Your Local Business Community

Covington has a host of professional organizations that will help any new business become familiar with the business environment in the region. Some local organizations include: