A Collection Agencies endorsement is required if your business involves collecting a debt on behalf of a debt owner, or collecting a debt you have purchased from another person ('debt buyer,' see definition), and either you, the debtor, or the debt owner is located in Washington, you must be licensed in Washington.
- Apply for a Collection Agency endorsement if:
- Your main office is in Washington State, or
- Your main office is outside of Washington State and you have, or plan to have, clients located in Washington State.
- Apply for an Out-of-State Collection Agency endorsement if:
- Your main office and all branch offices are located outside of Washington State,
- You don’t have any clients located in Washington State, and
- You’re contacting debtors in Washington State who owe money to your out-of-state clients.
Note: The law clarifies that collection agency licensees are prohibited from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. See Department of Licensing for more information.
- To get a Collection Agency endorsement, you must:
- Get a trust account.
- Maintain an office in Washington State, managed by a Washington resident.
- You cannot begin business activity until you receive a Business License listing the required endorsement.
- Washington is a closed-border state. You must have a license before contacting debtors or soliciting clients in Washington.
Post your license
A license must be posted at each location where the licensee operates. You may not begin this business activity until you receive a Business License listing the required endorsement(s).
How to apply
Apply by using one of the following options:
Mail your completed forms with a check or money order payable to “Department of Revenue” for the fees to:
- Online with My DOR. My DOR works best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
- Login using your Secure Access Washington (SAW) user ID. If you don’t have a user ID or aren’t sure, see if you have an account first before signing up.
- Once logged in, add My DOR to your list of services, then open My DOR.
- Follow the steps below based on your business status.
If you do not have an existing business
- Click File Business License Application. Be sure to select the endorsements for which you wish to apply.
If you have an existing business
- If you haven’t already, add access to your business. You’ll need a UBI number and letter ID.
- Click on the business you want to apply for a license/endorsement under, then click on the location.
- Click Add License Endorsements/Employees.
You can pay using an E–check or a major credit card (gift cards can’t be used).
Find more help for using My DOR, including video tutorials.
- By mail
- Complete the following:
- Liabilities and assets of the agency in 1 of the 3 months prior to application. For example, if you apply in May, we will accept a financial statement for either February, March, or April.
- $7,500 or more in cash or its equivalent. $5,000 of the cash must be deposited in a bank account used to operate the business.
- Equity, or net worth, of $7,500 or more.
- A Collection Agency or Out-of-State Collection Agency Surety Bond completed by your insurance company. The insurance company must attach their power of attorney form to this form.
- A list of persons with more than 20% interest in the business.
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
|Main office re-registration (license expired over 30 days)
|Branch office re-registration* (license expired over 30 days)
|Other fees that may apply
| Business License Application
Department of Licensing
Collection Agencies Licensing Program