Whitewater River Outfitter

Any businesses carrying or advertising to carry, for-hire passengers on whitewater sections of Washington Rivers is required to have a Whitewater River Outfitter endorsement.

Licensing requirements and additional supporting documents

To get a license you must:

  • Provide proof of liability insurance of your whitewater river outfitter business, which must include:
    • A policy number.
    • Coverage for all river guides and employees used by your business..
    • Policy effective and expiration dates that show current coverage.
    • The name of the insurance company.
    • Minimum coverage of $300,000 per claim per occurrence.
    • The certificate holder as State of Washington, Business Licensing Service, PO Box 9034, Olympia, WA 98507.
  • Ensure that each vessel on a whitewater river trip is operated by a guide who meets the requirements set in RCW 79A.60.430(2), which requires guides to:
    • Be at least 18 years of age.
    • Have successfully completed a lifesaving-training course that meets the standards set by the State Parks and Recreation Commission.
    • Have completed a guide-training program on whitewater rivers conducted by a qualified guide instructor.
    • Have completed at least one trip on the entire section of a whitewater river before carrying passengers for hire in a vessel on that section of river.

A qualified guide instructor must conduct the training program for whitewater river guides. The qualifications for an instructor are listed in RCW 79A.60.430 (3). This person must have traveled at least 1,500 river miles, 750 of which must have been while acting as a guide. RCW 79A.60.430(4) requires a person conducting guide training on whitewater rivers to issue proof of completion to any guide completing the training program if it is requested by the guide trainee.

You may also need to comply with federal Uninspected Passenger Vessel Licensing. For more information, contact the Coast Guard at 206-220-7210.

Commercial outfitters must have a federal permit for trips in federally regulated areas. You must have a state Whitewater River Outfitter License to receive a federal permit. For more information, contact the US Forest Service at 360-956-2400.

State endorsement


Whitewater River Outfitter

$25 per location

Also see File a complaint against a Whitewater River Outfitter.

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