Business registration

Registration process

The Unified Business Identifier (UBI) program simplifies Washington's registration and licensing requirements. Completing the business license application enables the business owner to register or apply for licenses with several state agencies, including the Department of Revenue, using a single form.

Business license applications are available online.

Display of registration

Taxpayers must display the registration certificate in a conspicuous location at the place of business.

References: RCW 82.32.030, WAC 458-20-101

Multiple locations

A registration certificate is required for each place of business at which the taxpayer engages in business activities.

A taxpayer wishing to report all tax liability on a single excise tax return may request a separate account ID for each location. All registration certificates will reflect the same account ID.

A taxpayer wanting to file a separate excise tax return covering a branch location may apply for a separate account ID. A registration certificate will be issued for each location and will represent a separate account.

To obtain a separate registration certificate, account ID, or additional business license for a new location, a new business license application is required.

References: WAC 458-20-101

Change in ownership

When a change in ownership or legal entity occurs, a new business license application must be completed and filed. The original certificate must be destroyed. Any further use of the prior owner's registration number after closing and final tax reporting is prohibited.

Address/location change

If a business moves to a new location, the taxpayer must file a new Business License Application. A new registration certificate will be issued.


Tax return reporting frequency

Unless otherwise provided by the Department of Revenue, a taxpayer must report and pay taxes due according to the following schedule:

  • Monthly: Over $4,800 annual estimated tax liability
  • Quarterly: $1,050 to 4,800 annual estimated tax liability
  • Annually: Less than $1,050 annual estimated tax liability

Business must file based on their filing frequency assigned by the Department of Revenue. Most businesses file monthly or quarterly.

The Department of Revenue regularly reviews the filing frequency and notifies taxpayers when changes are necessary. Taxpayers can also request a change of reporting frequency. The Department of Revenue will provide at least 30 days advance written notice before a filing frequency is changed.

References: WAC 458-20-228, WAC 458-20-22801