Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BLS Systems Replacement Update #1


Our aim is to provide you with regular, relevant updates about the Business Licensing Service’s systems replacement. Completion of Rollout 1 is set for this summer. It comes with great news for you. There will be:
  • no more dark screens with blocky text,
  • no hard to remember 4-letter commands, and
  • no more of this guy!
BLS screen is locked.
You shall not pass.

ATLAS gets a workout

The name of the new system is ATLAS, short for Automated Tax and License Administration System. The transition to ATLAS affects all BLS partner agencies and cities, as well as all BLS operations staff.

Our team is working with its system developers and analysts to transfer the existing features into ATLAS, and adding elements to help you do your work more efficiently. The system configuration for city and agency partners is ongoing through spring. ATLAS will add power and flexibility to your daily operations, so expect enhancements to:
  • Business research
  • Approval processes
  • Reporting

Changes for the better

The enhancements will come with some changes. One of the biggest shifts will be how you access the BLS system. Look for more information about the new Secure Access Washington portal in future updates on the BLS Partner Post.

Data will be reviewed and cleansed prior to being added to ATLAS. Next year, business license data will be easier to search and provide more complete customer information for partners than ever before.

Regular updates on

Our team is committed to providing you timely updates about the coming changes and preparing you for the transition to ATLAS this summer. We will post regular updates at BLS Partner Post and respond quickly to your questions sent to

We look forward to taking the next step with you. Thank you for your continued support.

~BLS Partnership Services

Monday, December 14, 2015

BLS staff unavailable Thursday the 17th

BLS staff are unavailable Thursday, December 17. The division is in all-day training.

Other agency staff will cover our front counter for customers.

We will return messages and be available on Friday, December 18.

~BLS Partnership Services

Friday, December 4, 2015

BLS services off line Saturday morning

The BLS system will be down for routine maintenance Saturday morning.

Business license registration and renewals will be unavailable from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 5.

Also, down for maintenance is the service, the service, and the Business Registrations Database.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2016 local government fund distribution dates

The Office of State Treasurer list of 2016 local government fund distribution dates is available now.

Funds collected by BLS are sent to Treasurer for deposit into your city or town account. In most cases, the deposits go to the same account as retail sales tax revenue.

Revenues collected are usually deposited in about a week. This spreadsheet provide more detail. 

Contact us if you have questions. Thank you for your partnership.

BLS system replacement work impacts planning

BLS system replacement work impacts planning
Next summer, ATLAS will be your new BLS system. ATLAS stands for Automated Tax and Licensing Administration System. Much of your daily licensing and regulatory work will rely on ATLAS.

BLS code freeze till 2017
ATLAS configuration work is ongoing and BLS remains in a code freeze. The system is scheduled to be online by summer. BLS will maintain a six-month stabilization period in the new environment. No changes or programming enhancements will be made until January 2017 or later.

2016 legislation impacts
We ask that our partners do not make any 2016 legislation requests that may impact BLS operations. Our management, staff and vendor partners have made transitioning to ATLAS the top agency priority. Any shift in resources would have negative impacts on the overall systems replacement plan.

Please direct any questions or change requests for future consideration to the BLS Partnership Services Team. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

SFT access issues - tips and tricks

The upgrade to the system at is preventing some computers from easily accessing their reports and files. These tips may help your system get past the login screen. 

  1. Clear your cookies in Internet Explorer.
  2. Delete your browsing history in Internet Explorer.
  3. If those don't work, you may need to make a change in your Internet Explorer 8 browser (not applicable for later versions). Try this:

Tools èInternet Options è Advanced (tab) è Security è Check  boxes for:
 þ Use SSL 3.0  
þ Use TLS 1.2 
(see below)

If these tips don't work, please consider using a Firefox or Chrome browser for today. Please email the BLS Partner box if you have questions or need more assistance. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Save your records: service upgrade will delete old files


The Secure File Transfer (SFT) service where your reports and files are published will be upgraded over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The system will delete all files created before Sunday, Nov. 22 over the coming weekend. You must save files to your PC or system before Thanksgiving if you wish to keep them.

BLS staff will not retain old files or reports. Files created today or after will be retained only for the standard 13 days.

The state's technology agency is upgrading to new software that will be supported beyond this year. Due to the upgrade, SFT will be unavailable from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29.

Important: contact BLS Partnership Services immediately if you have problems accessing your documents after the upgrade.

~ BLS Partnership Services

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lacey joins BLS partnership

On Sunday, the city of Lacey turns 49 years old. And it is most definitely getting better with age!

For the first time, South Sound businesses operating in the neighboring cities of Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater can combine their annual city licenses with state regulatory licenses.

We’re pleased to simplify the business license application and renewal processes for more than 4000 local businesses. 

Welcome, Lacey!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Standardizing BLS terminology to help customers

We have been working diligently on the Business Licensing Service (BLS) system replacement. Decisions are being made and tracked each week. We want to share one of those key decisions with you.

We have clarified our terminology for business licenses, registrations, and endorsements. We will be gradually updating the BLS website content and BLS forms to reflect these changes prior to the system replacement launch in summer 2016.

The following is the terminology we will be using:

Business License: the actual Business License document. Also referenced as "license" for short, this is the official licensing document businesses receive to post at their business location.

Endorsement: a line item printed on the business license that is issued by a regulatory agency or local jurisdiction. For example, "Beer & Wine" or "Olympia - General Business." Many businesses have more than one endorsement.

Add-on: a secondary endorsement printed on the business license that is dependent on another endorsement. For example, "Alcohol in candy" and "Medical marijuana” are secondary to other requirements of the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Our hope is that our partners will also update their web content and forms with this new terminology and start using it when communicating with customers.  Consistency in the terminology we use will help our customers.

If you have questions, please contact Partnership Services at

Thank you for your assistance!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Woodinville joins BLS partnership

The heart of Western Washington wine tourism is the newest community to join the state Business Licensing Service partnership.

The City of Woodinville --  the 67th BLS city partner -- is adding the integrated registration and renewal system to streamline its services for local businesses.

The north King County city of 11,000 residents is home to more than 1,000 businesses which can now apply for and renew hundreds of state licenses in a single step with easy online payment options.

A toast to Woodinville: Welcome. And cheers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New BLS system work is underway

The Department of Revenue is undertaking a major systems replacement project, the Tax and Licensing Systems Replacement (TLSR). This includes the Business Licensing Service (BLS) system.

We appreciate the feedback our partners have given us throughout the years and have invited experienced BLS operators to work with the project team to ensure our improvements are hitting the mark  for our customers.

Benefits of a new system

Some of the benefits of the new system include:
  • More online services and self-service for businesses
  • Better integration with state and local partners
  • Improved integration of taxpayer registration and business licensing


BLS will not be bringing on any new city or state agency partners until Rollout One of the TLSR is completed and stable, or through 2016. Existing partners will be updated with information about user training and rollout timing as it becomes available.


The Department of Revenue has numerous tax and licensing systems. Many of these systems are outdated and need to be retired.

In April, Revenue Director Vikki Smith signed a contract with Fast Enterprises (FAST) to provide a browser-based, highly-configurable tax and licensing solution. FAST has worked with dozens of government entities to implement its solution, GenTax.

FAST began work on the TLSR project July 1, with the BLS system being the first of three phased rollouts. The new BLS system is scheduled to go live in summer 2016.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wildfires in Washington

The fires in Eastern Washington are affecting many businesses. We would like to work with you to help affected businesses in their time of need.  

A Disaster Declaration has been issued by the Governor. DOR will be waiving penalty fees to businesses that were unable to renew on time due to the fires. 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. 

If you have questions or concerns please contact Partnership Services at 360-705-6777 or


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

State budget signed; BLS maintains normal operations


On Monday, June 29, 2015 the Legislature passed a 2015-17 operating budget and it was signed by the Governor on Tuesday, just in time to avoid a government shutdown today.

BLS will continue with normal operations.

Thank you for your patience.

~BLS Partnership Services

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Possible temporary state government shutdown July 1

State government may temporarily shut down on July 1, 2015, unless a new state operating budget is enacted by then. Under a shutdown scenario, the Business Licensing System (BLS) will be shutdown and the BLS system will NOT be available to accept license applications and renewals.

Other impacts:

  • Licensing fees and revenues will not be funded to partners
  • Business licenses and renewals will not be mailed
  • BLS staff will not be available

The BLS website will be available to provide licensing information and partners should be able to access their designated BLS subsystems.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

BLS Call Center Closed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays


The BLS call center will be closed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through July 10 to allow time for processing licensing application and renewals due to a temporary increase in workload. 

Thank you for your patience.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Local Government Meetings - June 3 and June 10

The Department of Revenue is holding its annual Local Government Partnership Meetings in Tumwater (June 3) and Moses Lake (June 10).

Attendance is free. A webinar is also offered for June 3 meeting. Presentation topics will include:

  • New legislation
  • Taxability of IT products and services
  • Update on Federal legislation
  • Local sales tax research 
  • New sales tax portal 

Space is limited. Register ASAP from this page.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fast Enterprises named Replacement Systems provider

The state Department of Revenue (Revenue) has named Fast Enterprises as the Tax and Licensing Systems Replacement (TLSR) solution provider. Revenue director Vikki Smith signed the contract on April 30.

Work starts this June. Business Licensing will be the first service to roll out. It’s slated for summer 2016.

Fast Enterprises provides technology solutions for 21 states, and has implemented tax and licensing modules for a variety of cities, states, and national governments. Their browser-based solution will be configured for Revenue’s business needs. The company has reliably implemented on time and on budget.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BLS Welcomes Kennewick!

Please welcome the City of Kennewick on Friday May 8, 2015, the largest city in Southeast Washington to Business Licensing Service! 

Kennewick is the 66th BLS city partner with approximately 4,000 licensed businesses. The city joins neighbors Richland and West Richland, as well as nearby Prosser and College Place in the partnership. We look forward to working with this city and its business community.

BLS is also implementing Server 2012. This is a large infrastructure change that affects how our data is transferred from system to system. While our systems are being updated our online application and renewals will not be available.  Customers will receive a system maintenance message.

Be aware that the Server 2012 updates are very significant changes. If you identify any issues please report them to Partnership Services, or (360) 705-6777 immediately.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Do not access BLS system with Google Chrome browser


Use only recent versions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to access the BLS system via

Google's Chrome browser will no longer work for this access.

This change immediately impacts all BLS city partners and some BLS agency partners.

The state's technology service provider issued a bulletin today explaining that version 42.x of Google's Chrome browser is not compatible with the Host on Demand (HOD) client that is the gateway to the BLS system.

Check the version of Chrome by clicking the settings button at the upper right corner of the browser and then select "About Chrome."

Chrome Settings Button

About Chrome Screen for version 42.x

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Phone call volume highest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


BLS is experiencing a high volume of calls resulting in busy signals and hold times. We are working to reduce these issues.

Call volumes are highest at midday. The best times to reach the BLS Call Center are before 10 a.m. and after 2 p.m. weekdays. 

If you hear from local businesses, please advise them to call in the early morning or mid-afternoon for faster service. 

Thank you.

~BLS Partnership Services

Monday, March 16, 2015

Web service maintenance at 8 p.m. Tuesday

Partners -

Revenue will be applying standard security patching overnight starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.

Users may experience interruptions to online services on,, and other services. 

All maintenance should be concluded by 6 a.m. Wednesday.

~BLS Partnership Services 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Applications and Renewals Offline Saturday


NOTICE: Due to scheduled maintenance, BLS online services including the business license application, business license renewal, and Corporate or LLC renewals will be unavailable from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14.

~BLS Partnership Services

Monday, March 9, 2015

Business License Paper Application Backlog

BLS is currently experiencing a backlog in business licensing applications, due to staffing turnover in our production areas. 

Paper applications usually processed within five (5) days may now take up to 12 days, while online applications are being processed within five (5) business days.

We have been working overtime and have hired additional staff to reduce the backlog.

Because unnecessary delays are more likely to occur with paper forms that may have missing information or payment, please continue to encourage customers to apply online at

We know how important it is for BLS to process these applications in a timely manner in order for businesses and our partners to get what they need. We apologize for this inconvenience, but please know that we are taking immediate steps to improve this situation.

~ BLS Partnership Services

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

UPDATE: BLS Network issues; imaging not working

Network issues have been resolved. Please call or email if you have questions.
Some business licensing network services are unavailable Wednesday morning, including images stored on BLS networks.

Our IT group is working to restore access. We will update progress later Wednesday.

~BLS Partnership Services

Friday, February 13, 2015

Department of Revenue closed for Presidents Day


The Department of Revenue will be closed on Monday, February 16 in honor of Presidents Day. This includes all Business Licensing Staff.

Online applications will be available, but staff will not be available until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 17th.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.

~ BLS Partnership Services

BLS Welcomes Bridgeport, Carbonado & Rockford!

Please welcome the towns of Carbonado and Rockford and the city of Bridgeport. The municipalities join sixty-two others as partners of the Business Licensing Service!

Carbonado is located near the Carbon River in northern Pierce County, approximately 50 miles southeast of Seattle with approximately 50 licensed businesses.

Rockford is a town in Spokane County, Washington with approximately 120 licensed businesses.

Bridgeport is a city in Douglas County, Washington located near the Chief Joseph Dam, with approximately 220 licensed businesses.

Welcome aboard!

Friday, January 23, 2015

DOR Experiencing Busy Telephones

January is once again upon us and the Telephone Information Center (both BLS and Tax) has become an extremely busy place.  For the next two weeks, callers should expect longer wait times and busy signals when trying to reach our call center.  We are less busy early in the morning (between 8-9am) and later in the afternoon (4-5pm) so we recommend that taxpayers call during those times of the day so their wait time is shorter. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

BLS Online Services Down Tuesday Night

BLS online services will undergo scheduled maintenance Tuesday night.
System down time will be from: 
8 pm, Tuesday, January 20 to
6 am Wednesday, January 21.
Services affected may include:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Department of Revenue closed on MLK Day

Greetings Partners,

Department of Revenue is closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 19, 2015.

Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!

~ BLS Partnership Services

Monday, January 12, 2015

UPDATED: BLS online services currently unavailable

All BLS online services are now working normally.
Thank you for your patience today.
Some Business Licensing Service online services including the Business License Application, business license renewal, and Corporate or LLC renewals are currently unavailable. 

Other services, including License Lookup and Business Licensing Guide are unaffected.

We will update you when the issue is corrected.

~BLS Partnership Services