WA State Licensing: Trade name registration

Trade name registration

You must register a trade name, or “doing business as” name, for:

  • a sole proprietor or partnership using a name other than the full legal name of the owner or owners.
  • a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company operating under a name other than the name registered with the Office of the Secretary of State.

Note: Registering your trade name does not protect the name from use by others. The right to use a trade name belongs to the one who first uses it in connection with their business.

How to find out if a trade name is available

Search in the following locations to make sure the name you have chosen isn’t already taken:

  1. Search business licenses. If your search result is “No matches were found for your search,” try spelling the name differently or leave out abbreviations or punctuation such as Inc, LLC, etc.
    • You can also search this database by mail. The cost is $4 to search up to 3 names. To request a search by mail, send a letter with your return address, a list of the names you want to research, and a check or money order to pay the fee to:
      Business Licensing Service
      State of Washington
      PO Box 9034
      Olympia, WA 98507-9034
  2. Department of Revenue — All trade names may not be included.
  3. Secretary of State Corporations Registration Data Search — Corporation and limited liability company names.
  4. U.S. Patent and Trademark Commission — Search for federally registered names.

How to register a trade name

Online

By mail

  1. Complete a Business License Application.
  2. Mail your completed application with a check or money order payable to “Department of Revenue” for the fees to:
    Business Licensing Service
    State of Washington
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034

In person

  1. Complete the Business License Application.
  2. Bring your completed application and fees to any business licensing office.

Fees

License fees Fee
Registering your business name as a trade name $5 per name
State tax registration No fee
Business License Application fee $19 (non-refundable)

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.