Massage and Spa Facilities License

In 2017 City Council unanimously adopted an initiative to direct staff to develop an ordinance that would address illicit business and human trafficking within Billings city limits. In 2018 a working group developed draft language after reviewing dozens of ordinances from around the United States. In 2019 and 2020 the City Council adopted priorities included a directive to develop a business license to prevent illicit businesses disguised as massage businesses.

On April 26th, 2021, the Billings City Council adopted ordinance 21-5757 to regulate massage and spa facilities through business licensing.  



Ordinance 21-5757 Regulating Massage and Spa Facilities.  This is the full language of the approved ordinance, containing the regulations pertaining to this license.  

Massage and Spa Facility License Application.  This is the current application for the Massage and Spa Facility license.  This can bee filled out using a pdf reader, but must be submitted in person at City Hall located at 210 N 27th Street.  

Solo Practitioner Exemption Form. Use this form when submitting your general business license application, if you are an exempt facility recognized in the ordinance.  See FAQ below for list of exempt facilities.  

Massage and Spa Variance Form.  Use this form to request a variance to the ordinance requirements with respect to locked doors and clear entryway glass.  


Public Meetings:


A public informational meeting was held on Wednesday .  City staff presented information about the draft ordinance and answered questions from the public.  To watch the recorded meeting click here.


City Council held the first reading of the draft ordinance on Monday April 12th, 2021.  A recording of the meeting can be found here.


City Council held the second reading of the draft ordinance on Monday April 26th, 2021.  A recording of the meeting can be found here.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who must apply for the Massage and Spa Facility License?

A: Every massage or spa facility in the City of Billings where massage, massage therapy or spa services are practiced or administered in exchange for compensation must apply for the license. However, certain business may be exempt. (Sec. 7-1904)

Q: How much does the application cost?

A: The Massage and Spa Facility License application cost $25.00 initially. The license must be renewed annually, and that cost is $55.00. The renewal fee is the same as the current business license fee. (Resolution 21-10946, Sec. 7-1903)

Q: How do I know if I am exempt from applying for the license?

A: A place of business where only one licensed massage therapist practices as a solo practitioner and does not use a business name or assumed name, and does not maintain a table shower, is exempt from applying for and obtaining the license. Additional places exempt from obtaining the license include:

  1. A place of business that limits their work to one or more of the practices listed in MCA 37-33-404.
  2. Training rooms of public and private schools accredited by the state board of education
  3. Training rooms of recognized professional and amateur athletic teams
  4. Medical facilities licensed by the state.
  5. Barber shops, beauty salons, and other facilities at which barbers, cosmetologists, and aestheticians licensed by the state that provide massage services to the public only in the ordinary course of those other licensed professions
  6. Bona fide athletic clubs not engaged in the practice of providing massage services to their members or the public for substantial compensation
  7. A place of business where a person offers to perform massage therapy for less than 72 hours in any six-month period.  (Sec. 7-1902(o.))

Q: I am exempt from applying, do I need to fill out any forms?

A: Yes, you need to complete and maintain the general Business License which has always been required. Additionally, all exempt business owners will need to sign the solo practitioner exemption form, attesting to their understanding of the requirements of the ordinance.  (Sec. 7-1902(o.))

Q: If I am exempt, do I need to comply with the requirements in the ordinance?

A: Yes, all massage and spa facilities within the City of Billings are required to comply with the rules and regulations in the ordinance.  (Sec. 17-1904(b.))

Q: How do I obtain a massage or spa facility license?

A: To receive a license, each owner of a massage or spa facility, owning at least 5% of the business must complete the application. A completed application must be submitted in person at City Hall between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday to Friday. A photo ID must be presented when submitting the application. A complete application packet will include each of the following:

  1. A completed application
  2. Payment of the $25.00 application fee
  3. A fingerprint background check obtained from the Montana Department of Justice. Information can be found here.
  4. A copy of the applicant’s license issued by the State of Montana Board of Massage Therapy

This site will be maintained with the most current information that is available.

Last updated May 4th, 2021