Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Taxpayer and BLS Services closed tomorrow December 11

Partners,

Taxpayer Services including Business Licensing Service are attending an all day training on Thursday, December 11th.

There will be another division covering our front counter so that it can remain open for that day.

Taxpayer Services and BLS staff will be available and back in the office Friday, December 12th.

Thank you,

~ BLS Partnership Services

Monday, November 17, 2014

BLS Welcomes Fife and Vancouver!


We are delighted to welcome the cities of Fife and Vancouver to join sixty others as partners of the Business Licensing Service.

Fife is located in Pierce County and a suburb of Tacoma, with approximately 1,100 licensed businesses.

Vancouver is located in Clark County on the north bank of the Columbia River. It is the fourth largest city in the state, with over 7,000 licensed businesses.

Congratulations! We look forward to working with you and your business community!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Systems Down Tonight


Partners,

Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down tonight. It is routine network maintenance.

Systems down:


Thursday, November 13th from 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
 
 
Sorry for any inconvenience.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Changes coming September 19th


 Partners,
 
 What is happening?
BLS is updating the Business Licensing applications this coming weekend. We will be moving to a new payment vendor, Official Payments (OPAY), and will start passing the debit/credit card fees on to customers that choose this payment method.

This transaction fee will not be charged or received by BLS, but by OPAY.

Anyone that chooses to use a debit/credit card when:
·         applying for a business license
·         renewing a business license, or
·         filing an annual report

will be charged an average 2.5% credit card convenience fee.

 To avoid this fee, customers can still take advantage of our free, online e-check option.

Our online filings will alert the business of OPAYs processing fee and calculate the convenience fees for them prior to routing them to OPAY.

 When will this occur?
Friday, September 19th from 7:00 pm through Saturday, September 20th 7:00 pm.

 What is impacted?
The following BLS web applications and services will be unavailable during this timeframe:
·         Business License application
·         Legal entity renewal
·         Business License renewal

What do you need to do?
Nothing is required other than be aware this is going on.

What if I have questions?
If you have questions, please call Partnership Services at 360-705-6777

 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Systems Down Tonight

Partners,

Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It's routine system maintenance as our IT team applies critical security patches.

Systems down:

8:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 16 through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 17

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Systems Down Tonight


Partners,

CTS will be performing maintenance affecting Fortress and Secure Access Washington (SAW) tonight.

Systems down:

8:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. Thursday, September 11th.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Department of Revenue closed for Labor Day

Partners,

Like many of your offices, the Department of Revenue will be closed Monday, September 1st in honor of Labor Day. This includes Business Licensing Staff.

Online applications will be available, but staff will not be available to process them until 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2nd.

Enjoy the weekend!

~ BLS Partnership Services

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Systems down tonight

Partners,

Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It's routine system maintenance as our IT team applies critical security patches.

Systems down:

8:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 19th through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 20th.

Sorry for any inconvenience

Assisting Businesses in a Disaster


Recent tragedies like the explosion in North Bend and the Oso mud slide affected many businesses. These events also prompted the Department of Revenue to create a standard procedure for providing relief for businesses impacted by disasters. We would like to work with you to help affected businesses in their time of need.  
When a Disaster Declaration is issued by the Governor, DOR will identify the potentially affected businesses and waive penalty fees and/or the $19.00 application fee if necessary. We may also reach out to you with a request to grant renewal filing extensions on behalf of those businesses that hold your license or registration. 
Hopefully, you will not get a request from us anytime soon. If you have questions or concerns please contact Partnership Services at 360-705-6777 or BLSDORPartner@dor.wa.gov.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Changes to the BLS Website!

We've made some new changes to the bls.dor.wa.gov homepagePlease take a moment to check it out! These changes were implemented as a process improvement from a recent Lean Event. During the event, we discovered that customers sometimes confuse Apply and Renew when it comes to their state and city licenses. We redesigned the homepage with the intent to make it clearer for customers to find their needs easier and to alleviate confusion and re-work.


We’d like to hear feedback from you and our customers to find out if this change is helpful to them. Please let us know if what you think.

Monday, July 28, 2014

CTS Network & Firewall Migration Thursday, July 31


Partners,

Consolidated Technology Services (CTS) will be performing a Network & Firewall Migration on Thursday, July 31 from 8 pm – 11:30 pm.

During this time, the following cannot be accessed:

·         Fortress Customer Test and Production environments
·         Secure Access Washington (SAW) Customer Test or Production environments

 For any questions or issues, please contact:

 CTS Service Desk
(360)753-2454
Toll-Free (888) 241-7597


Friday, July 11, 2014

Recent Public Disclosure Request


Partners,

We are aware of a public records request that has been sent to Washington cities from Noble Ventures Inc.

Some of the information being requested is not public information and cannot be made available to the public.

Here is a list of what’s OK to release publicly:
  • Unified Business Identifier (UBI)
  • Legal Entity
  • Firm Name
  • Mailing Address
  • Physical Address
  • Endorsement Expiration Date
  • Endorsement Start Date
  • Endorsement 1st Issue Date
We also provide our partners with a public disclosure file that lists all the businesses registered in your city, but only shows public information. It is generated monthly, and can be found in your city SFT folder.

Thank you,

~ BLS Partnership Services

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Credit Card Fees


Currently when customers use debit/credit cards to pay for their application or renewal fees, BLS is charged a fee of 2.25% on average. As a partner, you have been billed for your portion of these fees on your monthly billing statement.
 
This fall, BLS will be moving to a new payment system and will start passing the debit/credit card fees on to customers that choose this payment method.  The transaction fee will not be charged or received by BLS, but by the third party vendor. Customers can avoid the fee entirely by paying with E-check.
 
A federal lawsuit settled in 2012 allows merchants to pass debit/credit card fees on to customers. Now that we offer the "free" E-check option, we felt it was time to make this change. This change will result in savings for both the state and city partners. Our savings will be used to help fund the BLS system replacement.
 
You will soon receive an amended contract from Maria Moore, our Contracts Manager, reflecting this change. Please sign and return the contract as soon as possible.
 
Thank you,
 
~ BLS Partnership Services

Friday, June 27, 2014

Welcome, North Bend - Our Newest BLS Partner


We are pleased to welcome North Bend as our 60th Washington State city partner for the business licensing service. North Bend is located in the foothills of the Cascade Range just east of Seattle in the upper valley of the Snoqualmie River, with about 1,000 licensed businesses. It is the eighth King County city to join BLS.

Congratulations and we look forward to spending time with you and your business community!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Host on Demand (HOD) Upgrade


The Host on Demand (HOD) upgrade occurred this past weekend. This update will fix the issues HOD was having with the latest version of JAVA.

 
You will need to:

1.       Clear the cache from your computer

2.       Use updated Secure Access Washington (SAW) link: https://secureaccess.wa.gov/

3.       Log in to SAW

4.       Install the HOD upgrade

5.       Install the latest version of JAVA

6.       Re-enable the automatic JAVA updates

 

NOTE: If JAVA is upgraded first, HOD will have issues installing.

 
If you upgraded JAVA first, you will need to:

1.       Revert your JAVA to an older compatible version

2.       Install the HOD upgrade first

3.       Then you may upgrade your JAVA.
 

For further help or information, please contact:

                                                                                             
ServiceDesk@cts.wa.govServiceDesk@cts.wa.gov                            

1-888-241-7597

 
Thank you,

BLS Partnership Services

Update on the new Secretary of State requirement


 
We recently posted about the new Secretary of State requirement and the issues it was causing with your ARDs. On June 12 we implemented a change that should remedy these concerns. Please notify us right away if you see anything out of the ordinary.

 
We are still enforcing the Secretary of State registration requirement so we may have an RFI on the account even though you have received an ARD. You can approve your license if you choose but a business license will not be issued until the entity is registered.   
 
Thank you,
 
BLS Partnership Services

Friday, June 6, 2014

Systems down Saturday, June 7th

Partners,

Heads up! Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down. It is routine IT maintenance.

Systems will be down:

9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 7th.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Eastern Washington City Partner Workshop - June 11

Partners--

Those of you attending the Department of Revenue Local Government Meeting on June 11 in Pasco are invited to be part of the BLS city partner workshop. It's a chance to hear updates about coming changes and get tips to help you get the most out of the BLS partnership.

RSVP HERE by Friday, May 30


Business Licensing Service
Eastern Washington City Partner Workshop
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Wed., June 11.
TRAC Center
Pasco, WA

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B407fElst5o7a3JVcmdId3hIX0E/edit?usp=sharing

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Systems Down Tonight

Partners,

Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It's routine system maintenance as our IT team applies critical security patches.

Systems down:

8:00 p.m. Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 21st.

Sorry for any inconvenience
.

Friday, May 16, 2014

New Requirement for BLS


Effective April, 2014, the business license will be held if a business applies as a domestic (Washington) entity that registers with The Office of the Secretary of State (SOS), profit corporations, LLC’s, nonprofit corporations etc. and they have not completed the SOS registration. In these cases the applicant will receive a request for information (RFI).

This change may cause concerns with your application summary (ARD). Some issues may include:

· Money being transferred to city accounts prior to getting the ARD

· ARDs reflecting $0.00
 
The money is still transferred to your account and reflects on your Account Financial Control Summary (AFCS). For reconciliation, compare the ARD to the AFCS that the money was received on.

We are aware of the issues this may cause, and are working on a solution.




Thursday, May 15, 2014

BLS Renewal Change


Changing in June, Profit Corporation and LLC annual report notices and most business license renewal forms will be replaced with a letter instructing them to renew online. If a paper form is needed, there will be instructions in the letter on how to obtain one through an automated phone system. This is to increase online filings.


The new renewal letter will look like this:


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brandi Greene tapped to lead BLS Partnership Services

Brandi Greene,
team supervisor
Hello, my name is Brandi Greene. I am a 10-year veteran of the Business Licensing Service and will now be working for you as Partnership Services Supervisor.

Many of you may know me from my time in BLS operations, including leading the BLS Specialty Unit, which processes licenses for taxis, liquor sales, nurseries and dozens of other regulatory requirements.

I have many years of experience with the BLS system and as a team supervisor. I started work at Department of Licensing in 2003 when it was still called “Master License Service.” I moved to Revenue in 2011 when MLS became BLS. Since then, I have been at the center of many BLS projects, including the recent marijuana license implementation.

I joined Partnership Services last fall. Now, I’ll be an integral part of the recruitment efforts and customer service work with the team you know and (we hope) love – Karen, Linda, Angie. Eric is part of the team, but is working on a special unit to support the agency's Systems Replacement project, which will be phased in over the next five years.

The best way to reach all of us is still dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov and (360) 705-6777. We are here to help you however we can.

Thank you, as always, for your partnership.

~Brandi

Monday, May 12, 2014

Procurement Process Continues for Revenue’s Tax and License Systems Replacement


Revenue’s Tax and License Systems Replacement will continue in the procurement phase for the remainder of 2014.
 
Proposals for a comprehensive replacement solution were due on May 5. Revenue received just one bid.

We have decided to cancel the current procurement process for the project in order to seek more responses to the Request for Proposal (RFP).

We will now work with the vendor community to solicit feedback on our procurement and debrief before moving to submit a new RFP, which is anticipated this fall. The next proposal evaluations are planned for the end of 2014.

We will update you throughout the year as we progress with our procurement efforts.

If you have questions, please direct them to BLS Partnership Services.

 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Senate Bill 5999 Passed


Legislature passed Senate Bill 5999 which allows for conversions of domestic entities. Domestic entities will be able to change their state of incorporation and/or their entity type. Example a WA Corporation can convert to a Delaware LLC, a WA LLC could convert to a WA Corporation etc. Normally, this type of change would require the entity to get a new UBI number; in these cases they will keep their same UBI number as well as their original date of incorporation.
We realize that a change in entity type will affect some of our partners licensing requirements. BLS has requested that Office of the Secretary of State report the UBIs that have converted to BLS on a regular basis. BLS will sort the UBIs by the licenses that they hold and report by email to our partners that need to know.
 If you wish to receive a report of UBIs that have converted that affect your license(s) please email BLS at dorblspartner@dor.wa.gov  by June 12, 2014. If we do not receive notice from you we will assume you do not want to receive the report.

Please include the following in your email request:

Your agency and division or your City name and the name and email address of the person(s) you wish to receive the notification.
Example:
The Department of Licensing, Dealers Services would like to receive a report of SOS entities that have converted. Please email this report to John Doe at JohnDoe@wa.gov.  
OR
The City of Olympia would like to receive a report of the SOS entities that have converted. Please email this report to John Doe at JohnDoe@wa.gov. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Routine maintenance; BLS systems down overnight

Partners,

Heads up! Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It's routine system maintenance as our IT team applies critical security patches.

Systems will be down:

8:00 p.m. tonight to 6:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Welcome, Kenmore - Our Newest BLS Partner



Welcome aboard!

Kenmore is a city of 21,000 at the northern tip of Lake Washington is home to thriving businesses, beautiful neighborhoods, and a highly recognized school district.

Today, Kenmore joins more than 50 Washington State city partners in the Business Licensing Service to better serve its local enterprises.

The official news release is here.

Greetings, Kenmore. We look forward to spending time with you and your business community!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Systems down tonight


Partners,

Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It's routine system maintenance as our IT team applies critical security patches.

Systems down:

8:00 p.m. Tuesday through 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 19.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Systems down tonight


Partners,

Heads up! Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It is routine standard IT maintenance.

Systems will be down:

8:00 p.m. Thursday through 6:00 a.m. Friday, March 7.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BLS Replacement System Advances in 2014

Partners,

Great news. The Department of Revenue is taking its next major step toward launching a complete tax and license system replacement.
The Request for Proposal was posted on February 7. Responses are due in May, which will be followed by system demonstrations in the summer. After careful review and negotiation, Revenue will award the contract to a technology company by the end of the year.

Replacing the current system will stabilize operations, reduce maintenance and risks, and add efficiencies. Agency and city partners will benefit directly as licensing and regulatory enhancements can be more easily customized.
We will keep you updated throughout the year as major steps are completed.

~BLS Partnership Services

Monday, February 24, 2014

UPDATED: Missing Account Financials - new files posting Tuesday

UPDATE:

Complete Account Financial Control Summary documents are in your designated SFT folder today. You may notice they are dated from Feb. 14 to Feb. 25. Those who get XML or custom reporting for funds transfers have updated files in their SFT folder.
-------------------------------------------
Partners--

We have identified a small systems error last week. It prevented many of you from getting timely notification of pending deposits.It is fixed now. Your reporting will be updated by tomorrow morning.

Account Financial Control Summary (AFCS) documents that post in your SFT folders were not issued for the days between February 14 and February 18.

http://goo.gl/mpvWBY
Sample AFCS Document


Many of you were notified of pending deposits coming from the Office of State Treasurer, but were unable to reconcile the deposit to an AFCS document. This process has been corrected.

The missing files will be issued your SFT folders overnight Monday.

Thank you for your patience.

~BLS Partnership Services

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Systems down tonight

Partners,

Heads up! Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be down overnight. It's routine system maintenance as our IT team applies critical security patches.

Systems will be down:

10 p.m. Tuesday throough  6 a.m. Wednesday, February 19.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Department of Revenue closed for Presidents Day

Partners --

Like many of your offices, the Department of Revenue will be closed on Monday, February 17, in honor of Presidents Day. This includes all Business Licensing Service staff.

Online applications will be available, but staff will not be available until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 18.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.

~BLS Partnership Services



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Systems down Thursday night


Partners,

Heads up! Our BLS applications and DOR tax information will be off-line tonight for standard system maintenance.

Systems will be down:

8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Department of Revenue closed on MLK Day

Greetings Partners,

Department of Revenue is closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 20, 2014.

Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!


~ BLS Partnership Services

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Do not update to Java 7 u51

Partners,

The latest version of Java (Java 7 update 51) is not compatible with the installed release of Host On Demand (HOD).
 
HOD is the service available at secureaccess.wa.gov that allows partners to access the BLS system to manage their business licenses and registrations.
 
Do not accept Java 7 Update 51.  Remain at Java 7 Update 45, if possible. 
 

 

 

To check your version of Java, it's three simple steps.
 
  1. Go to Start menu & click Control Panel
  2. Click Programs and Features
  3. Select Java. At the bottom it will show the version.


Lastly, if you have administrative rights to your office PC, turn off the auto update feature for Java to prevent the installation of Java 7 u51. You can be notified of the update without installing it if you follow the instructions here.
 
If your system has already updated, you likely need an IT administrator to install the previous Java version (See instructions at bottom).

We apologize for the inconvenience. Email us with any questions.
 
~BLS Partnership Services
 
 
 
 
Java uninstall administrator instructions (Windows PCs):
 
  1. Open Start Menu
  2. Go to your Control Panel
  3. Open Programs
  4. Open Programs and Features
  5. Right click Java to show the drop box that says "Uninstall"
  6. Click "Uninstall"
  7. Go to to the Oracle Java Archive Download site   
  8. Select Java SE Runtime Environment 7u45 and you should see the following display:  "Click on the radio button for Accept License Agreement."
  9. Register (if you are asked to do so.)
  10. Select the Java for your version of Windows.
  11. Go back to the Control Panel after installing Java 7 u45 and activate the Java Control Panel.
  12. Uncheck the "Check for Updates Automatically."
  13. Click the "Apply" button in the lower left. If necessary, restart the PC.





Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Secure Access Washington (SAW) down Wednesday morning


Partners,

The state's technology agency is performing website enhancements on the Secure Access Washington gateway Wednesday.

There should not be any impact to your service.

System upgrade:
6:45 - 7:30 a.m.
Wednesday, January 8.

~BLS Partnership Services