Business Registration

All businesses located and/or operating in the City of Red Lodge must obtain a valid City Business Registration Certificate and pay a registration fee.

Resort Tax

Red Lodge’s resort tax is a 4% tax on the retail sale of lodging, restaurant and prepared food, alcoholic beverages, ski resort goods and services, rentals, retail goods, sporting goods, nonfood items and some food items, and recreational services.

Sign Permit

No display sign shall be erected, attached to, suspended from, or supported by or on a building or structure until a permit has been issued.

* No permit shall be required for a projecting sign not exceeding two and one-half (2 ½) square feet of display surface. For signs on windows or for signs on exterior walls which do not project, however, the exemption from a permit shall not be construed as relieving the owner or person in control of the sign from erecting and maintaining the sign in a safe condition. (1980 Code § 14.04.010)

Building Permit

A building permit is required for all construction in the City of Red Lodge. All permits must be in compliance with the Red Lodge Development Code, IBC for commercial buildings and IRC for residential buildings and all applicable Federal and State requirements.


Business Registration

The City of Red Lodge requires all businesses located and/or operating inside the City limits to pay a business registration fee and undergo the applicable inspection requirements to promote the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. Failure to obtain a business registration certificate prior to operating a business in the corporate limits of the City constitutes a violation of Ordinance No. 907. This certificate of registration has been enacted for the purposes of providing an inventory of commercial activities conducted within the City; determining businesses subject to collection and remittance of the resort tax; providing a method of determining compliance with safety regulations imposed on commercial activities within the City; and providing a mechanism whereby owners of commercial activities can be identified and be notified by City officials.


City Business Licenses are due on July 1st and are valid July 1st – June 30th.


All City Businesses – $50

*Additional fees:

  • Beer and Wine $100 (in addition to the above $50)
  • All Liquor $200 (in addition to the above $50)

Vendor Registration – $125

Click Here to find the Business Registration Application for the City of Red Lodge

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please refer to Ordinance # 907 – City of Red Lodge , Montana , or call City Hall at 406-446-1606 Ext.1

Resort Tax

Businesses and vendors operating within the City Limits selling taxable items under Ordinance No. 952, are also subject to the collection of resort tax. Every entity, subject to the resort tax, that applies for a City business registration must provide a bond in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) payable to the City to ensure its compliance with the City’s resort tax. The bond shall be issued by a surety company licensed to conduct business within the State of Montana. Alternatively, any entity may post five hundred dollars ($500.00) cash or a five hundred dollar ($500.00) irrevocable letter of credit, payable to the City and issued by an FDIC insured financial institution for the same purpose. The bond, cash or letter of credit must remain effective for one (1) full year after the date of the entity’s initial business registration. The City shall not issue a business registration without the entity’s compliance with this section.

The taxes collected by businesses in any month are to be remitted quarterly and due to the City on or before the TWENTIETH (20th) day of the following months: January, April, July, and October, unless such day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, then on the next business day.

Quarter 1 (Jan, Feb, March) – Due April 20th

Quarter 2 (April, May, June) – Due July 20th

Quarter 3 (July, Aug., Sept.) – Due October 20th

Quarter 4 (Oct., Nov., Dec.) – Due January 20th

Tax Rate:

4% of Gross Taxable Sales

Click Here for the Resort Tax Transmittal Form for the City of Red Lodge

Resort tax must be transmitted to the City of Red Lodge according to process outlined in City Ordinance #901.

Short Term Rental Compliance

A short term rental is defined as the rental of a residential unit for less than 30 consecutive days. Short term rentals are currently allowed in any of the zoning districts of the City. In order to operate a short term rental, the owner is required to register with the City and obtain the appropriate permits from the City, County, and State.


1.Apply for required county permits
Apply for your Public Accommodations License with the Carbon County Sanitarian.
View the standards to obtain your license on the Public Accommodations Checklist
Contact information for Carbon County Sanitarian:

2.Apply for required state permits
Apply for Lodging Tax ID with Montana Department of Revenue. 

3. Fire Inspection
Schedule a Short Term Rental inspection with the Red Lodge Fire Department.
Contact information for fire inspection:
Tim Ryan

4. Register with the City of Red Lodge
Obtain a business license for your Short Term Rental with the City of Red Lodge.

5. Transmit Resort Tax
Ensure you transmit resort tax to the City of Red Lodge following process outlined above.

*The fees associated with the business registration and resort tax are only that of the City of Red Lodge. The Carbon County Sanitarian, Montana Department of Revenue, and Red Lodge Fire Department may charge separate fees.

Ensure you have paid all required fees and submit documentation indicating all requirements have been met.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Please refer to Section 4.4.22 of the city zoning code, amended 2019.

Helpful Links:
Carbon County Sanitarian
Public Accommodations Checklist
Public Accommodation Licensure Regulation
Public Accommodation Rules

Montana Department of Revenue 
Red Lodge Fire Department 
Red Lodge Business Registration Application