Thursday, February 20, 2020

Mountains to Sound - Pierce County Commerce Connects with BLS

South Sound Business Revolves Around Combined Licensing

Steilacoom& Roy are latest partners in county of 900,000 residents

Pierce County stretches from the Key Peninsula on west Puget Sound past majestic Mount Rainier to the Yakima County line. Across the county’s mix of urban and rural communities, a common bond keeps getting stronger – combined licensing with the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service (BLS).
The ferry that leaves from Steilacoom makes regular trips
to Anderson Island south of the Tacoma Narrows.

Pierce County with its 900,000 residents will soon have 20 municipalities linked to the BLS system, which connects local and state licensing requirements. Joining this month are the beachfront community of Steilacoom –Washington’s first town in 1854 – and the prairie city of Roy on east side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Connecting the local licensing is especially helpful for regional businesses who submit applications and renewals in a streamlined online processes.

“Our plumbing work takes us all around South Sound, sometimes on a moment’s notice,” Kathy Thaut, owner of At Your Service Plumbing in University Place.

“It’s much easier to manage our licenses for cities like Lakewood, DuPont, and Steilacoom using the same portal where we report our state taxes. If we save time there, we have more time to help our customers.” Thaut said.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Proposed legislation would increase BLS application fees

Partners –

As your partner, we want to share our Agency request legislation (Substitute House Bill 2840 and Senate Bill 6632) that would increase Business Licensing Service (BLS) funding to ensure the Department of Revenue has the necessary funding to continue providing the valuable one-stop licensing services to our shared business customers at existing service levels. SHB 2840 appears to be the bill moving and would:

  • Increase the existing one-time $19 BLS handling fee to open a new or reopen a closed business to $90;
  • Eliminate the BLS handling fee for existing businesses that are expanding their business into other cities by either adding a new physical location or obtaining a nonresident endorsement;
  • Maintain the current $19 handling fee for updates to existing business licenses (such as hiring employees, adding/changing a trade name, etc.); and
  • Decrease the $11 handling fee for the yearly renewal to $10.

The bill also adds a provision to require the Department to reduce its fees via rulemaking when the BLS account balance exceeds $1 million after 2023. Due to some planned expenditure reductions in 2023, we fully expect this to occur.

This bill is very important to the vitality of the BLS program and the support we provide our partners and shared customers. The BLS program is intended to be solely funded through the BLS handling fees charged to businesses for filing a business license application or filing a yearly renewal; currently, there is no fee for city or state partners. BLS fees have not changed since 2013, and since 2018 has been subsidized by the general fund.

As BLS grows and increases the number of state and local partners, its value to the business community also appreciates. That value is derived from the convenience of getting what the business community needs to license in one place – in this case, BLS.  That is why we are running this bill to ensure that the fees charged for BLS’s maintenance and support are adequate, yet do not exceed BLS’s needs.

To date, both bills have been heard in their house of origin.  If you would like to follow the progress of the bills, you can do so with the links provided above.

~BLS Partnership Services

Monday, February 10, 2020

Business Licensing Service (BLS) website now merged with

All BLS content is now at
Web page redirects from the old site are in place.
The site is live and ready for you to explore!

You can now find all your tax and business license information in one place. We’ve added an ‘Open a business’ and ‘Manage a business’ tab in the main navigation menu of Here you will find requirements to start a business and top tasks to help you run and grow a business, such as renewing a city or state endorsement and updating your business information. 

Merging the two sites allows our customers access to the search feature to find business license information easily. Additionally, all BLS information will be mobile-friendly. Redirects are in place for those that may have bookmarks to the BLS site. 

If your city or agency program links to BLS information on your website, please update the links to the page at the new address.


Agency Programs

If you have any questions or need assistance finding information, contact us at 360-705-6741.

Phishing Alert: Help your customers protect their information

Don't let your customers get hooked by phishing emails.
Partners --

Some business license customers are getting phishing attacks emailed to them. Help your customers protect themselves from fraud.
Scam emails may tell the business that endorsements should be renewed or certified via a link in the email.

These emails are NOT from the Department of Revenue or any of its partners. 

Renewal notices from Revenue's Business Licensing Service will be sent from

Valid emails will only alert a business about a new message in their My DOR inbox.

What can your customers do if they get a suspicious email about business licensing?

  • Don't click any links, reply, or provide any information.
  • Verify expiration date on the business license document or check at
  • View or renew a license only at and log in to the secure account.
  • Questions? Concerns? Call us at 360-705-6741.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

La Center in Clark County joins BLS

Joining its regional neighbors, La Center is the newest Clark County city to link up to the state Business Licensing Service.

Situated on the Lewis River in Southwest Washington, La Center is in a growing region of the state that connects the commerce of Battle Ground, Ridgefield, Vancouver, and many other communities.

The last community with a town hall in Clark County -- Yacolt -- will join BLS this spring.

Welcome, La Center.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

New address: BLS website moving over to

Starting this weekend, Washington state businesses will find their business license and tax information together on the same website.

Merging the state Business Licensing Service (BLS) information at will allow users access to the robust search functions to find business license information more easily.

Links to city and state endorsement information, as well as business license application instructions, will redirect to new pages at

The merge will be completed Saturday, February 8.

Questions? Contact us at 360-705-6741.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Commerce confluence: BLS adds Brewster

Lake Pateros was created by the 1967 construction of the
Wells Dam on the Columbia River, downstream from Brewster.
The place where the Okanogan River meets the Columbia River is man-made Lake Pateros.

On its northern shore is the 110-year-old city of Brewster -- founded long before hydroelectricity was an important part of local commerce.

Today, the dams in the area generate megawatts of power that keeps the lights on in communities around the Pacific Northwest.

Now Brewster with its population of 2,800 and dozens of independent businesses is the newest BLS city partner.

Welcome, Brewster.