Tuesday, February 6, 2018

City addendum form updated this week

We recently simplified and updated the City Addendum form to remove redundancies and add questions asking:

  • If the business qualifies for a fee exemption.
  • If the business qualifies for a small business endorsement.
  • Gross income at the business location.

Business license renewal notices will also ask for location gross income. The answer is required only for cities with income reporting requirements.

Application and renewal forms requested from the BLS Call Center (1-800-451.7985) or Business Licensing Wizard will include all required documents and fee instructions.

Thank you,

~BLS Partnership Services

Thursday, February 1, 2018

BLS February Update

Seasoned Service Leader Rejoins BLS

BLS is pleased to welcome back Katie Early, a seasoned licensing systems expert, as the Partnership Services Manager. Her appointment is effective February 1. Katie served as BLS Customer Service Manager for three years before accepting a leadership position at Department of Licensing in July.

She returns as Revenue rolls out the next phase of its tax and licensing system replacement and is poised to add more than 20 city partners in the next two years.

Katie is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt ready to take on process improvement projects and lead her team of seven. She is a die-hard Seahawks fan and former Starbucks manager who internalized the coffee giant’s institutional values such as connecting to others with respect, being accountable, and delivering the best possible customer service.

Mukilteo joins as the 75th BLS city partner

A city of gentle hills, Puget Sound vistas, and a historical lighthouse, Mukilteo is the 75th city to connect its business registration program to the state Business Licensing Service.

The scenic city of 20,000 is west of Everett and connected to Whidbey Island by Washington State Ferries. It starts BLS partnership on February 1.

BLS city partner plan posted online

More than 20 new cities will be using BLS for their licensing programs by the end of 2019. The new onboarding schedule is the result of Engrossed House Bill 2005, approved in spring 2017.

Find the final plan at citypartners.dor.wa.gov. Partnership is prioritized for cities in queue prior to January 2017, as required by the legislation. BLS will update stakeholders of its plan progress in December.

BLS will issue a new city onboarding plan for 2020-2021 at the end of next year.

File taxes online with My DOR this spring

My DOR will be the secure portal for all online services for the Department of Revenue. For the first time, businesses will be able to access their tax and business licensing accounts with the same login starting this spring.

The Department’s current online service portal, called My Account, will be retired. Taxpayers will begin filing electronically and accessing their tax accounts in My DOR after March 19, 2018.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Ad hoc reports list 'Location Email'

 The “Location Email” field is now publishing to most ad hoc reports in ATLAS Partner Portal.

Some businesses will have blank Location Email fields in the ad hoc reports if the information was not required when the application or business information change was submitted. If provided, "Contact Email" may display within the system's Account and Customer screens. Those email addresses are not exported to ad hoc reports.

Reminder: Both email addresses and phone numbers are considered non-public fields. They may not be shared outside your regulatory program or municipal office.

Updated Reports –
  •       City Fire Department (city only)
  •        Partner All Status
  •        Partner Delinquent Endorsements
  •        Partner Incomplete endorsements
  •        Partner Pending Approvals
  •         Partner Licensee (city only)
  •        Partner Welcome
  •        Program Licensee (state agency only)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

BLS adds Pasco to connect all Tri-Cities' commerce

The city of Pasco today joins BLS as the 74th city partner in the state’s combined licensing solution. Kennewick and Richland are longtime partners along with many other southeast Washington cities.

Pasco is home to 70,000 residents at the convergence of the Snake and Columbia rivers, an area trailblazed by Lewis and Clark in 1805. Today, a series of bridges connect the Tri-Cities and more than 10,000 thriving businesses, which can now access local licensing services with BLS’s online offerings.

Cables on the Ed Hendler Bridge form iconic triangles over the Columbia River.
The so-called Intercity Bridge that connects Pasco with Kennewick is a well-known Tri-Cities landmark.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Annual reports must be filed with SOS, not BLS

Starting January 1, 2018, BLS will no longer process annual reports. Legal entities must file all annual reports directly with the Office of the Secretary of State (SOS). With this change, here are a few things to know:

The Department will:

  • Process annual reports that are filed in My DOR
  • Process RFIs and RFPs on any paper annual reports that were created in ATLAS prior to today.
  • Continue to process payments received for annual reports due to an NSF or chargeback.

The Department will not:

  • Accept paper annual reports at the front counter, even if submitted on a BLS annual report form. Please refer customers to SOS.
  • Order paper annual reports to be mailed out of ATLAS. Although the option is still available, do not use it. Refer customers to SOS.
  • Mail or print legal entity registrations, except for My DOR filings and annual reports completed in ATLAS due to an RFI, RFP, or NSF. 

My DOR allows customers to file an annual report online. If they do file an annual report through My DOR, they will be charged the normal fees including the $11 BLS handling fee. The ability to file an annual report using My DOR will be removed after March 18. 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

January 2018 Update

Local Government 2018 Deposit Dates Available

Office of State Treasurer (OST) dates for 2018 local government fund distribution and deposits are now available. Funds collected by BLS are sent to OST for deposit into your city or town account. Revenues are usually deposited in 10 days. 
Deposit dates are also available as a downloadable PDF document.

Walla Walla Joins BLS

World-famous sweet onions, quaint wineries, and a charming town center are hallmarks of Walla Walla. On January 2, the “city so nice they named it twice” starts its BLS partnership to support its thriving local enterprises.
The historic southeast Washington city of 30,000 has more than 3,000 active businesses that now have the advantage of renewing state-issued registrations with their city license in a streamlined online process. A complete list of BLS partner cities is on the BLS website.

No Change of Ownership to Spouse for Sole Proprietors

If a sole proprietoriship business doesn't list a spouse, BLS is no longer changing ownership from one spouse to the other. This includes requests made in the event of the owner's death. The surviving spouse needs to apply for their own UBI and license endorsements.

Email and Phone Viewable on City Endorsement Info Report

The City Endorsement Information report generates a PDF that is a snapshot summary of the account. Enhancements made this winter now show location email and phone numbers for the business in the report. Create the report this way:
1. In the Partner Portal window, click the Reports link.
2. Select the City Endorsement Information link to open the report screen.
3. Enter the full 16 digit UBI without any hyphens and the endorsement type (General, Home Occupation, etc.)
4. Click Generate, then View Report.
5. The report can be saved to your LAN drive or routed accordingly 

Renewal Letters Can Print with Penalty Fees

ATLAS users who manually create and print license renewal letters can now choose to include the penalty fees if the license expiration date is less than 15 days away. When you add the renewal letter (gal0015), you can check or uncheck the box at the bottom of the screen to print the letter with a penalty fee. 

Reminder 1: No System Changes Through April 

ATLAS configuration work is ongoing in 2018. To support the tax system replacement, ATLAS will be in a “code freeze” from mid-January to mid-April. Regulatory changes or programming enhancements will not be made until after a stabilization period expected to end in June. 

Reminder 2: Fee and License Changes Require 75-day notice

A 2017 law requires a 75-day lead-time to make changes to local licenses after approval by city leadership. 
Written notice should be sent to the Business Licensing Service’s Partnership Services team after the city council or city management has approved changes. 
For changes in license structure, contact BLS as early as possible to ensure our system can readily accommodate the proposed changes. 

Reminder 3: Physical Address Changes are Made by BLS Staff

Partners can update mailing addresses and request physical address changes in ATLAS. Physical address change requests are processed by BLS staff. Customers who need a physical address change should use My DOR.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Revenue phone outage Friday service restored

Phone service is restored.

Department of Revenue is experiencing intermittent issues with phone lines.

Use Live Chat or dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov for licensing questions. We apologize for the inconvenience.