WA State Licensing: FAQ - New businesses

Frequently asked questions: New businesses

Do the owners qualify for or need unemployment or industrial insurance?

To get this information you should contact Department of Labor and Industries and the Employment Security Department.

When will I get my tax reporting forms?

You should receive your tax forms from Department of Revenue, Department of Labor and Industries, and the Employment Security Department at the end of the first quarter in which you start reporting. You will need to file personal property taxes with your county assessor. Contact your local assessor for instructions.

How often will I need to complete tax reports?

New accounts generally need to report every quarter; however, you may change your reporting frequency to monthly or annually. You will be notified of any changes and sent the appropriate tax returns for filing. Personal property listings must be filed with your county assessor's office by April 30 of each year.

What if I change my start date after my application was filed?

You may change or correct your first activity date by simply writing to Business Licensing Service at:

  • State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034

How long will it take to process my application?

Online applications are typically processed within ten business days. It may take up to 21 days if you file by mail.

When can I use my UBI number?

As soon as it is assigned, you may begin using your UBI number for business purposes. Some business licenses require that you have the license posted before you can officially open your business to the public.

When are my licenses active?

You may begin business operations immediately after your UBI number is assigned, as long as you don’t need any additional licenses that require agency approval (for instance liquor, lottery, or vehicle dealers). For licenses that need approval, there’s a waiting period while the appropriate agencies complete the process.

What will happen after I file the Business License Application and receive my UBI?

We’ll mail you a Business License, and the Department of Revenue will send you information about handling sales tax and business and occupation taxes. If you indicate on the Business License Application that you plan to hire employees, the Department of Labor and Industries and the Employment Security Department will send you information about employee quarterly report forms.

To learn more about tax reporting in Washington, watch this video workshop from Department of Revenue in English or Spanish.

Do I have to renew my Business License?

If your business is a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited liability partnership, or requires a specialty license available through the Business Licensing Service, you will need to renew your license annually. The expiration date is determined when you apply, and will be printed on the top right hand side of your Business License under the Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number.

Business Licensing Service sends a courtesy renewal notice to owners approximately 45 days before their license expires. If you don’t receive a renewal notice, please contact the Business Licensing Service at 1-800-451-7985.

For those licenses not handled through the Business Licensing Service, contact the regulatory agency listed on your license or permit.