Private investigator agency
A Private Investigator Agency endorsement is required for any business that:
- Provides investigation, escort, or bodyguard services
- Performs property loss prevention activities.
- All agency owners, partners, or qualifying agents must be:
- At least 18 years old, if applying for unarmed license.
- At least 21 years old, if applying for armed license.
- A United States citizen or resident alien.
- The agency principal must have:
- The business must have a physical location 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
Supporting documents for your application
- If you’re applying with experience, proof of 3 years of experience performed before applying for the license
- Proof of financial guarantee:
- Certificate of liability insurance with minimum coverage of $25,000 bodily injury and $25,000 property damage or
- $10,000 Private Investigative Agency Surety Bond
- If a corporation:
- Copy of articles of incorporation and
- A list of officers’ names and addresses
Apply by using one of the following options:
- 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.
Get fingerprinted for state and national background checks.
- Complete the following
Mail your completed forms with a check or money order payable to “Department of Revenue” for the fees to:
- Inside Washington: Go to www.identogo.com to schedule an appointment through MorphoTrust, our electronic fingerprinting vendor. You will pay IdentoGO for taking your fingerprints and for the background checks required for your license type.
- Outside Washington: Call the Security Guard program at 360.664.6611 for fingerprint card submission instructions.
- For more details, see Fingerprinting and background checks.
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
U.S. Veterans may be eligible for partial reimbursements of costs. For more information: Education and Training | Licensing and Certification
|Private Investigator Agency with unarmed principal
|Private Investigator Agency with armed principal
|Unarmed Private Investigator
|Armed Private Investigator (in addition to Unarmed Private Investigator fee)
|Certified Trainer Examination
|Other fees that may apply
|Registering your business name as trade name
| Business License Application
|Private Investigator Agency
|Unarmed Private Investigator
|Armed Private Investigator
Department of Licensing