Most businesses need three separate categories of licenses: 1) state, 2) local, and 3) specialty.
All Washington businesses must obtain the first type of license–a state license, sometimes called a Master Business License. A state business license is depicted below.
Additionally, municipalities usually require local business licenses. For example, every entity performing business within Everett must have a Everett Business License, Lynnwood businesses need Lynnwood licenses, and so on. Often you can apply for these local licenses online at the same time as applying for a state business license. Some cities, such as Everett and Mill Creek, require applications directly to the city rather than through the state’s online system. Forms for direct applications to the cities are often available on each respective municipality’s website, though you might need to print out the forms and submit them in person.
Lastly, most businesses are required to maintain specialty licenses, and sometimes multiple specialty licenses. For example, a restaurant in Snohomish County would likely need a food establishment license, food worker cards, a liquor license, alcohol beverage servers’ permits, and minor work permits. You can find an extensive but non-exhaustive list of specialty licenses on the Washington Department of Licensing website at http://www.dol.wa.gov/listoflicenses.html. Certain businesses must obtain bonds as part of their licensing process, such as in the construction industry. For more information about construction-related licensing and bonding requirements, visit the Washington Department of Labor and Industries Website at http://www.lni.wa.gov/tradeslicensing/.
Genesis assists clients in most aspects of licensing, including litigation against government agencies. Cost-saving technologies allow Genesis to represent clients for dramatically less per hour without sacrificing work quality. Free Mandarin Chinese interpretation available upon request.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you help me determine what licenses I need? Yes, we typically help our clients determine which licenses they need, assuming the client wants assistance in that capacity.
Can you help me apply for the licenses I need? Yes, though it is sometime more cost effective for clients to apply for certain licenses themselves. For example, obtaining a liquor license can be time consuming. A client might prefer to have us simply provide advice on how he or she can perform the task rather than paying us to do it. Either way is fine from our firm’s perspective.
My license was revoked. Can you help me appeal? Usually yes, though appealing can be a relatively expensive process, especially when appealing several times in an effort to obtain a court decision rather than an administrative appeal.
Can you help me with my license renewals? Yes, we can help with the license renewal process, which is usually annual. Some clients prefer to perform renewals themselves, because the process is relatively simply. Other clients ask us to perform all necessary renewals, because they want it done right and would prefer to focus their attention elsewhere.