Opening a Business

Wanting to start a business in Williamstown but not sure what to do first or who to contact?
Use the linked table of contents below to help you get started on your new business adventure!
If you should have further questions please call 859-824-6351 or visit our offices at 400 North Main Street.


Table of Contents
Business Start-Up Check List
License Fees and Application
Zoning Permit Process
Williamstown Zoning Map
Permitted Business for Zones
Zoning Permit Application
Business Signs
Sign Permit Application
Sale of Alcohol Application Process Guideline
Alcoholic Beverage Commission Application
Form 1-S Supplemental License Application (Sunday Sales)
Alcoholic Remittance Form
Renewal Schedule & License Expiration Dates For Alcohol Beverage License



Business Start-Up Checklist

Click here for a checklist provided by Kentucky's One Stop Business Portal and other useful information needed by the State of Kentucky.

The City of Williamstown requires a Business License Application to be submitted prior to opening any business within the Williamstown City Limits.  Each business, person, firm, partnership, corporation, association or any form of organization owning, operating, conducting, or engaging in any of the following businesses, occupations, trades, or profession shall pay the amount of license fee and complete a Business License Application to be reviewed and approved by the City of Williamstown.

Click here for a list of license fees and Business Application

Zoning Permit Application Process

The City of Williamstown is a zoning community and uses a Zoning Ordinance.  The Zoning Ordinance is the local law that spells out the immediate, allowable uses for each piece of property within city limits.  Therefore, before any business is opened, a Zoning Permit is required from the Zoning Administrator that documents that the business being conducted at the desired location is permitted within the Zoning Regulations of the City of Williamstown.

  1. Applicant submits a completed Williamstown Zoning Permit Application to the Zoning Administrator.
  2. Application will be reviewed to determine compliance with the Williamstown Zoning Ordinance
  3. Williamstown Zoning Administrator makes decision on Williamstown Zoning Permit Application.

The majority of businesses located within the city are located within various types of commercial zones. 

Click here to view the City of Williamstown Official Zoning Map.

Click here for the permitted types of businesses for each of the following commercial zones.

Click here for a Zoning Application

For further zoning information call 859-824.6351.

Business Signs

The City has 14 different classifications of signs that have specifications on size and types of signs within the Sign Ordinance.  How the property is zoned determines the types and sizes of signs permitted for the location. 
A sign permit is required to be submitted and approved to the Zoning Administrator prior to ordering a sign.

Click Here for a Sign Permit Application

Sale of Alcohol

The City of Williamstown is a wet community that offers and assortment of different malt beverage (beer) licenses and distilled spirits and wine licenses.  A City of Williamstown Alcoholic Beverage Control Application is required to be completed and approved by the City's ABC Administrator while having all requested information submitted and non-refundable $50 application fee.  Upon approval of the City's Alcoholic Beverage Control Application, a State Application is required to be completed and submitted for approval to the State Alcohol Beverage Control Office.  For further information about the sale of alcohol, please refer to Ordinance 2016-02.

Below is the sale of Alcohol Application Process Guideline that the Mayor's Office provides to any interested businesses seeking information to serving alcoholic beverages at their establishment.  Questions on the requirements and processes of obtaining a liquor license may directed to the office of the Mayor at 859-824-6351.

Sale of Alcohol Application Process Guideline

  1. The applicant must complete the City of Williamstown Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Application.  This application may be obtained from the Mayor's Office or on the City's website.

  2. The applicant must submit the completed application, along with the following information, to the City of Williamstown Mayor's Office, which is located at 400 North Main Street, Williamstown:

    1. Cash, Check, or Cashier's Check in the amount of $50 for the non-refundable application fee, along with the fee for the yearly alcohol application/license fee; and
    2. Any information required within the City of Williamstown's Alcohol Beverage Control Application (listed in the checklist of items on Page 1 application.
    3. Upon approval of the application by the City of Williamstown, the applicant will be instructed to then submit the City of Williamstown approved application to the State of Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, along with the specified application fees.  Once the application has been approved by the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control an approved copy of the application must be submitted to the City of Williamstown Mayor's Office.
    4. The applicant business, as well as all employees serving alcohol within that establishment, will be required to complete a mandatory responsible beverage server training course prior to serving alcohol.  Training information and dates may be obtained from the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control.
    5. The applicant business, as well as all employees that have undergone the Server Training, shall confirm to all Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission's regulations.

Click Here for Alcoholic Beverage Commission Application

Click Here for Form 1-S Supplemental License Application (Sunday Sales)

Click Here for Alcoholic Remittance Form

Click Here for Renewal Schedule & License Expiration Dates For Alcohol Beverage License