Any businesses (except licensed pharmacies) that sell any nonprescription drugs are required to have a Shopkeeper endorsement. These drugs must be in the original manufacturer’s packaging.

Sellers of cold, allergy, cough medicines

State law as well as federal law require retailers who sell over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine to restrict consumer access to these products by storing them behind the counter and reporting their sales to the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). No shopkeeper or its employee may sell, transfer, or furnish in a single transaction products containing a total of more than 3.6 grams of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine, their salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, in any 24-hour period, or more than a total of nine grams per purchaser in any 30-day period.

After you have registered your business by completing the business license application, please set up an account to report your sales of cold and allergy medicine by completing the NPLEx (Methcheck) registration.

In addition, federal law requires sellers to self-certify with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For more information refer to Section IX of the DEA Chemical Handler’s Manual or contact the DEA at (888) 219-1418.

A person making a retail sale of a finished drug product containing any quantity of dextromethorphan must require and obtain proof of age from the purchasers’ before completing the sale, unless from the purchaser's outward appearance the person making the sale would reasonably presume the purchaser to be 25 years of age or older. Chapter 69.75 RCW.

Please note, a registered shopkeeper may sell over-the-counter medications that have no sales restrictions from vending machines. However, medications that are subject to any restriction on their sale (e.g. age, quantity, or sales transaction tracking requirement), cannot be sold from a vending machine.

If you have questions, contact the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission's business office at 360-236-4986.

Licensing requirements and additional supporting documents

State endorsement




Additional fees

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

How to apply


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