WA State Licensing: Private investigator agency

Private investigator agency


All agency owners, partners, or qualifying agents must be:

  • At least 18 years old, if applying unarmed.
  • At least 21 years old, if applying armed.
  • A United States citizen or resident alien.

You must have:

How to apply

You must submit:

  • The following completed forms:
  • The non-refundable application fee (check or money order payable to "Department of Revenue").
  • 1 completed fingerprint card.
  • Proof of 3 years investigative experience performed before applying for the license. If no experience is provided, the Department of Licensing will schedule an examination within 3 weeks after receiving the paid application.
  • A certificate of liability insurance with minimum coverage of $25,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage or a $10,000 Private Investigative Agency Surety Bond.
  • If a corporation, a copy of articles of incorporation and a list of officers and departments and their addresses.

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 license.


Application fees Fee
Private Investigator Agency with unarmed principal $600
Private Investigator Agency with armed principal $700
Unarmed Private Investigator $200
Armed Private Investigator (in addition to Unarmed Private Investigator fee) $100
Transfer $25
Certified Trainer Examination $25
Other fees that may apply Fee
State tax registration No fee
Registering your business name as trade name $5
Business License Application fee $19 (non-refundable)
Renewal fees Fee
Private Investigator Agency $350
Unarmed Private Investigator $175
Armed Private Investigator $175
Certified Trainer $15


Contact information

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

Phone: 1-800-451-7985
Email: BLS@dor.wa.gov
Fax: 360-705-6699

Office hours

Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mailing information

Please remember to enclose all necessary documents and fees with your completed application. Incomplete submissions will result in a delay in your licensure.

It is important that you contact our office, in writing, with any changes in address.

Regulatory questions

Department of Licensing
Private Investigators
Phone: 360-664-6611
Fax: 360-570-7888