Collection Agency

Any business involved in collecting a debt on behalf of a debt owner, or collecting a debt you have purchased from another person ('debt buyer,' see definition), and either you, the debtor, or the debt owner are located in Washington, you must have a Collection Agency endorsement and be licensed in Washington.

Note: The law clarifies that collection agency licensees are prohibited from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. See Department of Licensing for more information.

  • You cannot begin business activity until you receive a business license listing the required endorsement.
  • Washington is a closed-border state. You must have a license before contacting debtors or soliciting clients in Washington.
In-state Collection Agency endorsement
Variable fee

Required if your main office is in Washington state or your main office is outside of Washington state and you have, or plan to have, clients located in Washington state.

Licensing requirements and additional supporting documents

State endorsement

Fee

Main location in Washington

$850

Main office re-registration (license expired over 30 days)

$1325

Each additional location (branch) in Washington or out-of-state

$550

Branch office re-registration (license expired over 30 days)

$850

Out-of-state Collection Agency endorsement
Variable fee

Required if your main office and all branch offices are located outside of Washington state, you do not have any clients located in Washington state, and you’re contacting debtors in Washington state who owe money to your out-of-state clients.

Licensing requirements and additional supporting documents

State endorsement

Fee

Main location outside Washington

$425

Each additional location (branch)

$275

Additional fees

State tax registration $0
Registering your business name as a trade name $5
Business License Application fee Variable fee

How to apply

Online

Add a state endorsement to your business

Apply for a new business license

Online assistance
Setting up your business licensing and tax account
How to add a state endorsement

By mail

Complete the licensing requirements above and mail to:

Business Licensing Service
P.O. Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034