State licensing service earns national award for city partnership program

Improvements mean more benefits for businesses, cities

OLYMPIA, Wash. – May 12, 2021 – The Washington State Department of Revenue has earned a national award for its efforts to connect more cities, towns, and businesses to the state’s Business Licensing Service (BLS).

The national Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) awarded Revenue’s BLS Partnership Services team the 2021 Best Practices in Tax Administration award for its work creating an easier way for cities and towns to merge their local business licensing with the state’s licensing service.

The Business Licensing Service is a “one-stop-shop” for business licensing in Washington state. It is a single access point where business owners in cities that have partnered with BLS can register for and renew their business licenses and receive up to 400 state and city license endorsements. It remains one of the few one-stop licensing services in the United States.

For business owners, this means no more going to multiple locations to register and renew their business license endorsements. For city partners, the benefits can include reduced overhead costs and increased revenues.

During the past few years, Revenue has ramped up its efforts to help more cities become partners. The agency’s work to streamline the city “onboarding” process has helped nearly 170 cities across the state connect to the BLS system.

“We’re proud of the improved service we are providing our city partners and thousands of businesses,” Revenue Director Vikki Smith said. “Finding better ways to make licensing easy and convenient is a statewide benefit.”

For a list of partner cities and endorsements, see the city license endorsements page.

The Federation of Tax Administrators is a nonprofit organization comprised of the tax and revenue departments of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and New York City.

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The Department of Revenue is Washington state’s primary tax agency, nationally recognized for innovation and quality customer service. Revenue administers nearly 60 categories of taxes that help fund education, social services, health care, corrections, public safety, natural resource conservation and other important services Washington residents count on.