WA State Licensing: Industrial insurance

Industrial insurance

What’s covered

Industrial insurance is for work related injuries and illnesses, and pays for approved medical, hospital, and related services essential to an injured worker’s treatment and recovery. It also provides partial wage replacement for injured workers who are temporarily unable to work.

Coverage is mandatory

Employers are required by Washington State law to carry industrial insurance (also known as workers’ compensation) for employees. In return, the employer ordinarily cannot be sued for damages if a work-related injury or illness occurs.

Excluded types of employments

Some types of employments are exempt from the industrial insurance requirements. Excluded employments include:

  • Sole proprietors, partners, or LLC members with management responsibility.
  • Corporate officers who are directors and shareholders. If you select elective coverage for your executive officers, all executive officers must be covered.
  • Domestic servants in a private home if less than 2 employed, and those performing gardening, maintenance, or repair around the home.
  • Persons who provide services in return for aid or sustenance received from a religious or charitable organization.
  • Minors under 18 employed on the family farm.
  • Racing jockeys.
  • Entertainers and musicians.
  • Volunteer law enforcement officers.
  • Volunteers for private non-profit charitable organizations or local government.
  • Student volunteers (K-12).
  • Community service workers.
  • Cosmetologist, barbers, estheticians, or manicurists who lease stations.
  • Newspaper carriers.
  • Insurance agents, brokers and solicitors.
  • Other employment as defined by RCW 51.12.020.

Self insurance

Self-insurance is an alternative to industrial insurance in which the employer is responsible for paying all appropriate benefits to the injured worker. The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) oversees the program to ensure employers provide benefits properly. You may qualify for self-insurance if your business:

  • Is profitable and can post a bond guaranteeing the financial resources to pay all insurance costs.
  • and
  • Has an effective accident prevention program.

How to get industrial insurance

Mandatory coverage

To get mandatory industrial insurance coverage through L&I:

Optional coverage for exempt employments

If you like, you may choose to provide industrial insurance for exempt types of employments. To sign up for this optional coverage:

  • File online with My DOR

    My DOR works best with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.


    1. 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.
    2. Once logged in, add My DOR to your list of services, then open My DOR.
    3. Follow the steps below based on your business status.

      If you do not have an existing business

      1. Click File New Business License Application. Be sure to select “Apply for Optional Industrial Insurance Coverage for Owner” option.

    If you have an existing business

      1. If you haven't already, add access to your business. You'll need a UBI number and a letter ID.
      2. Click on the business you want to apply for a license/endorsement under, then click on the location.
      3. Click File New Business License Application.

    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.

  • or
  • Complete the Business Licensing Application form. Be sure to check the box for industrial insurance and fill out the “Employment” section of the form. Submit the application at any business licensing office or mail the completed application with a check or money order payable to “Department of Revenue” for the appropriate fee to:
    • Business Licensing Service
      State of Washington
      PO Box 9034
      Olympia, WA 98507-9034


Specialty license Fees
Industrial insurance registration No fee
Other fees that may apply Fees
State tax registration No fee
Registering your business name as a trade name $5
Business License Application fee $19 (non-refundable)

Questions about industrial insurance

Department of Labor and Industries
Phone: 360-902-4817

Contact information

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

Phone: 360-705-6705
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.