Running a business or wishing to start one in the state of Washington, you have to go through various steps to fulfill the state’s requirements. The Washington state business license search and registration is important because it is a way to get documented in the official government papers. A business license is a kind of certificate or a permission letter that allows you to operate in the state of Washington.

There are different types of business licenses depending upon what kind of business you own. The task of Washington state business license search for your startup can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the industry. In order to get a business license at both the local and state level, you will have to complete a bunch of paperwork which may seem like a never-ending task.

It is mandatory to have all the licenses and permits to comply with the law as a responsible citizen. Add it to your to-do list to get a state of Washington business license without any worry because we are here to assist you out. In this article, we have tried to break down all the complicated steps so that you can easily get on with the Washington business license search. So, keep reading!

When do you need a state business license?

You will always need to look for a Washington state business license search if you are starting a business in a state or city that requires endorsements. You might not be associating your legal name with the company; you will definitely need to get registered in that case.

Starting a business usually also requires hiring employees, so if you are looking forward to recruiting employees or workers for your company within the next 90 days, you must do a state business license search. The next important point that explains why the state implies and encourages business owners to get a business license is tax collection.

If you are doing a Washington state business license search, you might be aware that if your gross business income is up to or more than $12,000 per year, you are eligible to pay the tax to the revenue department.

If, for any reason, you fail to have a proper business license and the additional permits, then the city government is allowed to enforce penalties and fines on you. This is very bad for your business because you could be stopped from opening it in other locations. Other than this, your potential clients and customers might not want to invest their hard-earned money in your products. Your credibility in the market will be low, and you might not be able to compete with your counterparts.

Now you know why after going through a Washington state business lookup, you should also invest your time in Washington state business license search.

What are the requirements for the state of Washington business license?

What are the requirements for the state of Washington business license

You might have done a thorough Washington business search to know what kind of businesses require a license to operate in the city or state. If you are clear about it, you can move forward towards the Washington state business license search. Let’s look at the documents required for a business license.

  • Name of the Business
  • Your personal credentials
  • Type of business entity
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Certificate of insurance (COI)
  • Your company or business contact details
  • Seller’s permit number only if you are involved in selling goods.
  • Social security number, Federal Tax ID, or EIN
  • You might have to submit some details about your business expected expenses and revenue.

Note that the city or county government might also ask you to submit documents mentioned other than the above, depending upon your business’s nature. It is always a good idea to gather all these documents in one place to not face any difficulty when you apply for a business license.

How to get a business license in Washington state?

When you are done with the conditions for approval of a business, search Washington state requirements. As you complete this step, you can move ahead to apply for the business license. It has become easy nowadays to do a Washington state business license search, thanks to the internet!

Simply search for the city or county website to see all the requirements and applying modes. You can further do a business license lookup by clicking here. You can also avail of the services of the state of Washington Business licensing service to apply for your License.

You can apply for the business license either online or by sending mail. Go to the business licensing wizard portal, where you can download the forms. For online applications, the system takes around ten days to process. After this, you can make an account on the My DOR system. The purpose of this online account is that you can make a record and update any of your business activities or file taxes as well.

People opting to apply through the mail will have to wait for about six weeks until their application is processed. You just have to fill the downloaded application form and mail it to the address mentioned on the form. Usually, people doing a Washington state business license search are looking for a faster method, so I would advise them to opt for the online application method.

How long does it take to get a business license in Washington state?

If you have all the required documents mentioned above in the article and you do a Washington state business license search. It will take you around 15 to 30 minutes to fill out the whole application, whether it is online or mail.

The city or county government will take approximately ten days to process and go through your application. You will receive your business license after approval. The businesses having city or state endorsements usually take a longer time to get approved for business licenses. On average, you might have to wait for an additional two to three weeks to get a business license.

When you do a business license search, Washington state websites provide you with two methods to fill out your application form. One of which is online, and the other is through the mail. In both, you will have to fill out the same amount of information. The only difference between these two methods is that you will have to wait for your application to be processed for six weeks if you opt to send it through the mail. The online process is a faster way to get a business license. Choose whatever is easy for you.

How much does it cost to get a business license in Washington state?

Whenever someone is doing a Washington corporation search or Washington license plate lookup, he/she would want to know how much money is needed to set up a business and get a business license. The investments for every business are different because it depends on its nature.

For now, we can definitely help you out with what is the cost of a business license? While doing a Washington state business license search, you should also visit the Washington state department of revenue. The revenue page contains all the updated information about the application form procedures and the fees. Note that almost for all of the business licenses, you will end up paying a non-refundable fee. The payment can vary for all the different business scenarios.

If you are opening a new business or reopening it after some time, you will have to pay around $90. You are planning to hire employees and workers for your business or want to register your trade name; then, you will have to pay an additional $19. The annual Washington state business license renewal processing fee is approximately around $10.

The fees vary depending upon the city you are planning to operate your business in; this is why it is always important to do a Washington state business license search to review all the updated information.

Washington state business license renewal

Washington state business license renewal

When you do a Washington state contractor lookup or the Washington state business license search after receiving the business license, you will be asked to wait for your annual renewal notice. You will receive it through mail or your online account.

The next step is to visit the business licensing services page, where you will have to enter your UBI number and password. People usually forget their password, so if you are one of them, then don’t worry because you can recover your password by entering either the email address or the UBI number.

Fill out the information required in the application form. The most probable details needed to be entered in the application form are as follows:

  • Company’s trade name
  • Nature of your Business
  • Company’s contact details
  • The current principal address of your business
  • Contact information of the company’s governing people such as managers, officers, directors, etc.

After entering all the required information, review it so that there is no misinformation conveyed. Now you can move on to the step of paying the Washington business license renewal processing fee.

If you are the type of person who finds it difficult and confusing to do a Washington contractor license search online, it might be easy for you to apply for renewal by mail. You will have to call the business licensing service by using the number 1-800-451-7985. You can ask the representative to send you an application form, which will take around ten days to reach you. The other method which is less time-consuming is to get it through an automated system.

Fill out all the details required in the business license renewal form. You have to mail it back to the address mentioned on the form.

Difference between a business license and an LLC

Some people get confused between a business license and an LLC; they don’t know whether they need both or only one to run their business successfully. When you spend time on Washington business entity search, you will come to understand that an LLC is not necessarily needed to run a legal business entity as a sole proprietor.

If you are running a Washington state business license search, you will soon realize that it is very important to obtain the License to not end up in penalties by the city or county government. The License is a way to approve and register your business in the government record, whereas an LLC converts your business from a sole proprietor to a company.

Both the business license and LLC have different purposes; if you have any one of these, you might face some difficulties in the future. A company with an LLC and no business license is at risk all the time because it can be fined for violating the local and state regulations.

If your business is licensed, but you do not wish to get into the hassle of obtaining an LLC or any other legal business entity, you can still run your company as a sole proprietor. There are, of course, some associated risks and disadvantages of not having an LLC.

What is a master business license?

What is a master business license

All the businesses do not require a master business license for operation in Washington state. Certain aspects make your business eligible for a master business license, such as if your business needs to hire employees.

The master business license should also be on your to-do list while you do the Washington state business license search if the gross earning of your company is around or more than $12,000. If the business is collecting sales tax, and if it is involved in specialty foods

then it definitely needs a master business license.

You can get your master business license from the Washington business licensing service.


It is vital to do a Washington state business license search if you wish to run a successful company. The purpose of the License is to save you from all the legal penalties. Having a license will give your business a boost as it is a way to increase the company’s credibility and trustworthiness among the customers and business community.

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