How Much Is A Business License In Washington?

Washington requires that all companies, corporations and small businesses register with the state for a sales tax permit and business license. Registration can be done online or at a physical Washington office, and usually takes only a couple of minutes to complete.

How much is a business license in Washington? The cost of a business license in Washington is approximately $50. The business license cost in Washington can be different depending on the type of business being registered.

Business licenses in Washington are one of the most important legal documents any company can apply for – and is also one of the first. Without a business license to cover the legal framework, a business is not considered legal or tax compliant in Washington state – or for that matter, the whole of the United States. 

Registering a Business License in Washington

Business licenses are easy to register in Washington through a physical office, or the online portal for the state. Application forms for most licenses and permits are available in the same place.

All companies, corporations and businesses who want to operate a main location or branch in Washington will require a business license to do it legally.

Business licenses cover basic tax and sales requirements in the state: without one, businesses can face fines or closure by the state of Washington for not complying with the law.

Business licenses can cost anything from $50 and up to register in the state of Washington. Specific licenses such as LLC registrations are charged at a higher rate.

Washington business licenses are approved in just a few days when registered online, but can also take up to 14 days to arrive if the application was made at a physical office. 

Other permits might be required for specific businesses to remain operational in Washington. One example is the liquor permit – though not all businesses will need one of these. 

Once a permit or license has been approved by the right department, a temporary copy becomes available to the business so they can display their registration number. A physical copy ships to the business in the meantime.

Most Washington business licenses have to be renewed within a period of one year, though there are different time periods attached to some local permits. Applicants are encouraged to check. 

Without a business license, a company is at risk of fines or closure by Washington state authorities. 

A business license is one of the single most important documents a business can get in Washington: no business is allowed to operate without one, even ones that sell online or deal mostly in services.

Types of Business Licenses

An LLC LicenseLimited Liability Corporations are a separate type of business license that will need to be registered on its own, often at a higher cost.
A General Operating LicenseGeneral operating licenses are another name for business certificates. They are required by all businesses who want to operate in Washington.
A Food LicenseFood licenses are a special type of license that not all Washington businesses require. A business license is still required first, and separately.
A NonprofitCharities and nonprofit organizations can register for a separate license in Washington.

Washington Facts

• Small businesses make up at least 85% of total business in the state of Washington.

• All businesses in Washington require a business license to remain tax compliant in the state.

• Without a business license, a company could face closure or fines for failing to comply with state regulations and federal laws.

• Business licenses can be applied for online, but can also be applied for at a physical office.

How long does a business license in Washington take?

Registering a business license in Washington can take anything from 14 days to longer, with online applications rated as a faster process.

When does a business license in Washington expire?

Most business licenses in Washington are valid for a period of at least one year after they have been approved. Unlike some states, renewals are not automatic for most permits and licenses in Washington.

How do I register for a nonprofit license in Washington?

Charities and not-for-profit companies in Washington can register through a similar process as a business license, but with a different form.

What if my business license is delayed?

Business licenses can be delayed if the application was made during a busy time of year, or made at a physical Washington office instead of online. 

Washington Business License Registration

Business licenses are an important legal document that all companies who want to register in Washington will require. Other permits could be required to do business in the state, but only if the business is specific – like liquor, food or entertainment.

The cost of a basic business license in Washington can range from $50 and up, with special licenses like LLC registration costing slightly more. 

Unlike some other states, business licenses in the state of Washington do not renew automatically: Renewal is the responsibility of the person who applied for the original company license. 

Most licenses and permits in this state are valid for one year after approval, but it is important to remember that differences can apply from one license to another.

Applications and renewals for business licenses in Washington can be made at a physical office, but can also be done online. Online applications are recommended, and they will process to approval much faster.

Late renewals can incur fees in the state of Washington: not renewing a license at all can get a business fined or forced to close.

All Washington businesses require a basic business license, even ones that trade online from an office or ones that only want to operate a branch in the state.

Here are the business license costs in other states: