About us

Privacy Notice

Department of Revenue Privacy Notice

Revised July 18, 2016


Section A. Introduction

Thank you for visiting the Business Licensing Service (BLS) website and reviewing our Privacy Notice. This Notice explains what we do with data collected as a result of your visit to this website. It also describes several state and federal laws that apply to personally identifiable or other confidential information that you might provide in the course of navigating this website. This Notice covers the following topics:


  1. Introduction
  2. Data Collection and Use
  3. Personal and Confidential information
  4. Public Access to Information
  5. Nondisclosure of Confidential Information
  6. Correcting Personally Identifiable Information
  7. User Tracking and Customization of Pages
  8. Security
  9. Copyright
  10. Disclaimer
  11. Glossary

Contact Information

Section B. Data Collection and Use

Information collected if you only browse this website


When you browse this website, we may gather and store certain information about your visit. We automatically collect and store the following information about your visit:


  1. The Internet domain and network address you use to access our site;
  2. The type of web browser and operating system you are using;
  3. The date and time of your visit;
  4. The pages you visit or services you accessed on this website;
  5. The last website you visited before coming to ours; and
  6. Other web traffic statistics such as Google Analytics or Piwik Analytics.

The information we collect is saved and used by Department of Revenue to improve the content of our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services and website.


Information collected if you volunteer or submit information


If during your visit to our website you participate in a survey, send us an email, fill out a form, submit a message, supply information, or perform some other transaction online, the following additional information may be collected:


  1. Your email address and contents of the email;
  2. Information volunteered in response to a survey; and
  3. Information volunteered or submitted through an online form or into a system for any other purpose.

The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats you send us. We will not usually ask for or collect this kind of information from the general public through this website.


Email you send to us may be used to respond to issues and to further improve our services. We may forward your email to another agency, business partner, or a vendor for appropriate action. Information you volunteer or submit to conduct business on this website is used for the purpose requested and as authorized by law.


The records retention schedules published by the State Archives and schedules applying to Department of Revenue require us to keep this information for varying periods depending on the nature of the business conducted or content of the record, and then destroy it.

Section C. Personal and Confidential Information

Information Department of Revenue obtains about individuals, taxpayers, and organizations may be subject to various confidentiality laws. Confidential information may include some types of personally identifying information and confidential customer information about other entities as described below.


Personally identifiable information , as defined in this Privacy Policy, means information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as your name, address, and phone number. Confidential customer information includes confidential data and records held and collected for the licensing, excise tax, property tax, and unclaimed property functions of Department of Revenue.


Other than the information automatically collected when browsing the website, we will not collect Personally Identifiable Information or Confidential Customer Information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us an email, submitting information through this website to conduct business, or completing an online form or survey. You may choose not to contact us by email or to provide any Personally Identifiable Information or Confidential Customer Information using an online form, application for services, or survey. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not restrict or impair your ability to use our site, and read or download any information provided on the site. If you choose to provide Personally Identifiable Information or Confidential Customer Information by emailing us, participating in a survey, submitting information to conduct business, or completing an online form, we may store this information.


The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) governs information gathering online from or about children under the age of 13. Under COPPA, a website must get parental permission before knowingly collecting personally identifiable information about a child under the age of 13. The Department of Revenue website is a general audience site and we do not knowingly collect any personally identifiable information from children. Users are cautioned that the collection of personally identifiable information requested from or volunteered by children online will be treated the same as information given by an adult.


If you choose to not use online applications, forms, or services, you still have the ability to contact Department of Revenue in person or by mail, fax, or telephone. Please refer to the Contact Information Section of this notice.


If you have questions about how we use your personally identifiable or confidential customer information, you can contact Department of Revenue as shown in the Contact Information Section of this Notice.

Section D. Public Access to Information

In the State of Washington, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, state and federal laws include exemptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs, including the privacy of individuals and taxpayers. As a Washington state public agency, all Department of Revenue information prepared, owned, used, or retained to conduct business is a public record under the Public Records Act, RCW Chapter 42.56. Not all public records can be released, however, if protected by law. Information you send to us or we receive through this website becomes a public record. Public records are presumed to be open to the public and are subject to public inspection and copying unless protected and exempt under federal or state law.


In addition to exemptions under the Public Records Act, several laws apply to limit access to and disclosure of records submitted to or held by Department of Revenue. The primary confidentiality laws affecting Department of Revenue records include:


RCW 82.32.330: Disclosure of return or tax information

RCW 19.02.115: Licensing information-authorized disclosure

RCW 84.08.210: Confidentiality and privilege of property tax information

RCW 63.29.380: Unclaimed Property-confidential records

26 U.S.C. § 6103: Federal Tax Information

These and other laws provide confidentiality for certain records and provide exceptions for access by taxpayers or their authorized representative, sharing with specified government agencies, production under court order, or other access as provided in these laws. Please read the linked laws for more information.

Section E. Nondisclosure of Confidential Information

The Department of Revenue may require you to provide personal or confidential information in order to use specific online services. This information is required to verify a user's identity. You may choose not to give this information, but if you choose not to do so, we may be unable to provide you access to these online services and you may have to use other methods such as personal contact, fax, or mail, and other consequences may apply.


Department of Revenue strives to protect personally identifying and confidential customer information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. If a breach of confidential information occurs, Department of Revenue will take appropriate steps and follow laws requiring notice to affected individuals or entities.


Section F. Correcting Personally Identifiable Information

State law requires agencies that collect and enter personally identifiable information into publicly accessible systems to provide "procedures for correcting inaccurate information, including establishing mechanisms for individuals to review information about them and recommend changes in information they believe to be inaccurate." RCW 43.105.365. You can request and review any personally identifiable information we collect about you for these purposes by using the information in the Contact Information Section at the end of this Notice. You may recommend changes to Personally Identifiable Information you believe to be inaccurate by submitting a written and signed request that clearly explains any factual errors. Department of Revenue will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.


Please note that Department of Revenue does not generally collect and make public information about individuals due to confidentiality laws, as addressed in RCW 43.105.365. However, Department of Revenue does make available and publish limited information about individuals and businesses including public parts of licensing and unclaimed property records, as permitted or required by law.


Section G. User Tracking and Customization of Pages

To better serve our users, we use a variety of tools to customize your browsing experience with this website, including "cookies." "Cookies" are text files stored on your computer by your web browser. If you use your browser settings option to block all cookies to your web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome or Firefox), including essential cookies, this restriction could affect the availability and functionality of this website. We only have control over tools we provide and not over third party tools or other technologies deployed on this website that may be created by using embedded third party applications.


Section H. Security

Department of Revenue has taken steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by us. These steps may include authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day practices of the entire Department of Revenue operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management, confidentiality, and integrity of data. These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of information in our possession.


Section I. Copyright

This site may contain text, artwork, photos, or other content that is copyrighted by others and is being used with permission of the copyright holder. Therefore, we recommend that you contact our Webmaster for permission to use any content contained on this site.


Section J. Disclaimer

The State of Washington, the Department of Revenue, and any other agency, officer, or employee of the State of Washington do not:

  • Warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published on this website or within any integrated system;
  • Endorse any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system; or
  • Assume liability for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information.

Portions of information on this website may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity who relies on any information obtained from this website does so at their own risk, except as provided in RCW 82.32.430. That law provides that businesses collecting and remitting sales or use tax to Department of Revenue using geographic information system technology developed and provided by Department of Revenue are held harmless and are not liable for the difference in amount due, penalties, or interest for rate calculation errors resulting from the proper use of the technology.


Our website contains links to other websites. These may include links to websites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses. When you follow a link to another site, you are no longer on the Department of Revenue website and this Privacy Notice will not apply. Instead, you will be subject to the privacy policy of that new site. In some cases, we will use the following symbol to let you know that you are leaving our website and this Notice will no longer apply: .


Reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the State of Washington, Department of Revenue, or its officers, employees, or agents.


Department of Revenue reserves the right to revise and update this Privacy Notice at any time without notice by posting the revision on our site.

Section K. Glossary

A network address is assigned to your computer or mobile device whenever you are using the Internet. Network addresses can be IP addresses like this: or like this: fc00:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:/7, or Ethernet addresses like this: 00:00:00:FF:EE:11


Cookies are small data files stored on your hard drive or in your device memory when you visit a website. Cookies and similar technologies are widely used by websites to make them work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the website operator about how users are using their website. Most browsers allow you to block cookies by adjusting the "settings," "preferences," or "internet options." To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, please refer to your browser "help" section, visit the Federal Trade Commission's explanation on its website, or the Washington State privacy resources at Privacy.wa.gov.

Section L. Contact Information

You may contact the Department of Revenue as follows:



To offer comments about the Department of Revenue's website or to ask questions about information or services provided on this website:


Internet Content Manager
Department of Revenue
PO Box 47478
Olympia WA 98504-7478
Fax (360) 705-6625
Telephone (360) 705-6610


Privacy and Personal Information


For questions about this Privacy Notice, or to review or request correction of your personally identifying information:


Information Governance Office
Department of Revenue
PO Box 47478
Olympia WA 98504-7478
Fax (360) 705-6655
Telephone (360) 705-6647




To inquire about the availability of this information in an alternate format, please call (360) 705-6715.


Protecting your privacy in the digital age


To learn what steps you can take to protect your confidential information while using the Internet, please consult the Privacy Guide for Washington State Citizens.