Welcome to the Business Development Portal
The Business Development Portal provides you with all of the information you need to plan, start, manage, and grow your business in the City of Harrisburg. Try our Start Up Guide to quickly map out how to register your new business and be compliant. Explore a rich library of content and resources to help you manage and grow your business. Small businesses are essential to our city’s economy. The Business Development Portal is here to make sure you have everything you need to succeed.
- Business Resources
- City Resources
- Licensing & Permitting
- Planning & Zoning
- Tax Abatement
Licensing & Permitting
A BUSINESS PRIVILEGE AND MERCANTILE LICENSE is required of all businesses doing trade within the City of Harrisburg, whether you are headquartered here or elsewhere.
Anyone establishing a business located in the City of Harrisburg is required to obtain a BUSINESS ZONING/FIRE PREVENTION PERMIT. This will show that your business is legitimate at your location and that it meets the Fire Code.
If you are vending on a sidewalk or elsewhere outdoors, you also need to obtain a VENDOR’S LICENSE and an OWNER’S CONSENT FORM, and anyone providing food or drink of any type must have a HEALTH LICENSE. All applications are available online or you can apply in person at the Tax & Enforcement Office, Room 305-A of City Hall.
Planning & Zoning
The Bureau of Planning promotes orderly future growth and development in the City through long-range comprehensive planning and enforcement of zoning, historic district, and floodplain regulations.
Our staff works diligently to promote and facilitate physical development plans, to preserve and enhance districts of historical and architectural significance, and to develop and apply the City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) to all areas of development including the identification of all pertinent physical attributes of a property (floodplain, historic district, and zoning).
Harrisburg LERTA: 10-year Tax Abatement Program
In 2015, Harrisburg City Council approved a 10-year Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) program for qualifying improvements and construction. In each deteriorated area or neighborhood so designated, the assessed valuation of residential improvements, residential construction, and business improvements shall be exempted from City property taxes in accordance with the following schedule and related conditions:
- (1) For new commercial, industrial or business construction, 50% of the eligible increased assessment based on actual construction costs that otherwise would be taxable shall be exempt for 10 years from completion of construction.
- (2) For commercial, industrial or business improvements, 50% of the eligible increased assessment based on actual construction costs that otherwise would be taxable shall be exempt for 10 years from completion of construction.
- (3) Any applicant who qualifies and secures the 50% exemption may also receive an additional exemption for permanent job creation as follows:
- 10-24 jobs – 70%
- 25-47 jobs – 80%
- 48-80 jobs – 90%
- Over 80 jobs – 100%
- (1) For new residential construction, 100% of the eligible assessment based on actual construction costs that otherwise would be taxable shall be exempt for 10 years from completion of construction.
- (2) For residential improvements, 100% of the eligible increased assessment based on actual construction costs that otherwise would be taxable shall be exempt.