Thursday, May 16, 2019

Edmonds makes waves as newest BLS member

Washington State Ferries take thousands of travelers daily
from Edmonds to Kingston on the Olympic Peninsula.
(source: Wikimedia Commons)
The city of Edmonds on the shores of Puget Sound is making waves as the newest BLS city partner.

Edmonds is a historically and culturally rich suburb with nice neighborhoods that are home to its 45,000 residents. It also hosts Washington State Ferries with a busy dock connecting travelers to the Olympic Peninsula.

The Snohomish County community is on the leading edge of a sweeping tide of carrying many nearby cities into BLS partnership. Edmonds' neighbors Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Woodway link to the state's premier licensing one-stop in the fall.

The cities of Anacortes, Bainbridge Island, Friday Harbor, Mukilteo, Port Orchard, Port Townsend, and Ruston all have business communities that are buoyed by both the state's ferry service and BLS partnership.

Point Edwards Park and its adjacent harbor
highlight the Edmonds waterfront.
(source: Wikimedia Commons; photo credit: Joe Mabel)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Castle Rock is new Southwest Washington BLS partner

Castle Rock in the shadow of Mount St. Helens is the newest city to partner with the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service.
Castle Rock is home to about 200 businesses in the Cowlitz River valley. The city is now connected Kelso, Longview, Ridgefield, and Vancouver among many Southwest Washington communities that link local licensing with state registration in a streamlined process. The final incorporated city entirely in Cowlitz County – Kalama – will join the service next year.
With BLS, Cowlitz County businesses can update required business licenses at the same time they add a liquor license, a minor work permit or any of the hundreds of required state and local licenses.

Monday, April 29, 2019

BLS News Updates - Spring 2019

New features added to reports

  • Product/Services Field added to Partner Licensee and Program Licensee reports – this field is from the Business License Application (section 4e). The data are in a column at the far right near the latitude/longitude columns. This information is non-public and should not be shared outside of your regulatory program area. More detail is here.

  • City Endorsement Information (CEI) report is simpler to useCities that run the CEI report that generates a two-page PDF file can skip two steps. When pasting in the 16-digit account number, there’s no need to remove the hyphens before clicking generate. Also, the report will run without selecting the type of endorsement. 

License expiration dates are easier to see

The state Business License document has updates making it easier to find the relevant license expiration date(s). 
Issue dates are added at the top right. Also, dates are next to the license endorsement(s) with any expiration date that is different from others on the license. 

Local Government Partnership meetings scheduled 

The Department of Revenue is hosting its annual Local Government Partnership Meetings for local government finance staff this spring. The meetings provide updates on tax policy and legislation impacting cities. CPE credits are available. See hours, locations, and details at

New steps to make account address changes 

BLS has updated its instructions and process to make physical address changes. Please see the BLS Partner Post update here.

Public Records 'University' coming soon

Registration is open for the Local Government Public Records Act “University” offered by the state Attorney General’s Office.
The conference assists local governments with public records requirements. Register on the Public Records Act “University” site. Questions? Email or call (360) 586-0729.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Friday Harbor drops anchor for state's premier licensing solution

It's a merry time for dozens of maritime businesses that want an easy solution for state and local licenses.

Today, the town of Friday Harbor -- seat of San Juan County -- is the first island-bound community to connect to the state's signature combined licensing solution.

With more than 800 businesses and thousands of annual visitors stopping in the picturesque waterfront hamlet, the city is poised for a 2019 tourist season with a better-than-ever process for handling business license applications and renewals.

BLS works with cities in two-thirds of Washington counties. It's a fast, friendly, familiar service that is free to participating communities.

The serene island setting is not isolated. The town is connected by ferry and state highway to Skagit County neighbors Anacortes, Burlington, and Mount Vernon. Now, businesses working in each of the communities can expedite the processes for seeking and maintaining local and state registrations.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

New online Business License Application coming this June

BLS is preparing to enhance the online Business License Application. With development underway, BLS is issuing a “soft-freeze” that puts system changes on-hold. 

Partner Change Requests will be prioritized after the mid-June implementation of the new online application process. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Napavine links Lewis County commerce in licensing service

All three incorporated cities in Lewis County connected to Interstate 5 are now also connected to the state Business Licensing Service.

Today, Napavine joins neighbors Centralia and Chehalis in the state's signature combined licensing service. The city was incorporated 105 years ago and is now home to more than 2000 people and nearly 200 businesses. More than a dozen southwest Washington cities are now BLS partners.

Thousands of travelers regularly pass through the city off the interstate's Exit 71 on their way to White Pass, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and the beautiful lakes and rivers fed by snowmelt of the Central Cascades Range.

Welcome, Napavine.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

New licensing partnership blooms in Skagit Valley - Burlington!
On the fertile north bank of the Skagit River, a new partner in the state Business Licensing Service is budding with potential.

The new link for the city of Burlington will streamline license requirements for hundreds of local businesses, many of which prepare for tulip tourism traffic each spring. Skagit County neighbors Anacortes, Mount Vernon, and Sedro Woolley also connect to BLS, the state's signature combined licensing service.

For all of April, the famous tulip brings visitors from around the world
through Burlington to see the bounty of colors in the pastoral fields.
This month, Burlington is hosting thousands of flora fawners during the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Now, businesses serving the visitors can save time with the online service solution that ties local licensing requirements to their existing state tax accounts. 

Welcome to BLS, city of Burlington!

Tulips and related floral sales are
a big part of the Burling tourism economy.