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. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

BLS hitches new local partner Ellensburg


BLS lassoes another local business licensing partner in Central Washington. The city of Ellensburg, with its nationally famous rodeo, is the newest city to combine its local licensing with the state's streamlined solution. 

Ellensburg, with about 1400 registered businesses, is the 72nd BLS city partner. It is the county seat of Kittitas County with a population of 20,000. It is home to Central Washington University and welcomes thousands to the Ellensburg Rodeo every Labor Day Weekend.

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 2017 Update

City Partners: Fee and license changes need 75-day advance notice

Lawmakers approved EHB 2005 last spring which implements a longer lead-time to make changes to local licenses.

City leadership must approve all fee changes and regulation changes for a city licensing program. Written notice should be sent to the Business Licensing Service’s Partnership Services team after the city council or city leadership has approved changes. For changes in license structure, contact BLS prior to sending to council for a vote to ensure BLS can accommodate the new structure. 

No System Changes from January through April 2018

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 the after a stabilization period expected to end in June. 

Secrecy Clause Form Updated

All ATLAS Partner Portal users have a signed, approved, notarized confidentiality affidavit on file. BLS will notify any partner staff that need to update their affidavit.

A new affidavit has been created that covers most tax and licensing data secrecy requirements in one document. The most recent version of the form will be sent to any staff requesting ATLAS Partner Portal access. Please delete any link or records linking the older form called “Tax and License Confidentiality Affidavit.”

Use the Latest Forms at bls.dor.wa.gov/forms

Remember: Only use the most recent version of a business licensing form or information sheet. BLS frequently updates its site and forms as it adds partners and implements changes. Forms, such as the Business License Application and City License Addendum, may change several times yearly. Print or share only the most recent version to help your customers.

Reminder: Business Information Changes Must Come from the Customer

Changes to license accounts must come from the customer directly to Business Licensing Service (BLS) through a Business Information Change Form or by securely accessing their account via My DOR.

If customers need assistance, BLS provides three options:


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sunnyside is up: BLS welcomes new partner

Businesses in Sunnyside can now get a local license with fewer steps. Fill-in, pay and submit – applications and license renewals are over-easy with the state Business Licensing Service (BLS) partnership.

More than 1,300 businesses can now manage their Sunnyside city license with a secure login to a My DOR account.

The city of 16,000 in Yakima County is the 20th community east of the Cascades to join the state's "one stop" for state and local licensing.

Welcome, Sunnyside. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

East Wenatchee is open for business with BLS

The state Business Licensing Service (BLS) today welcomes the city of East Wenatchee.

The busy hub of the central Columbia River basin is the 70th city to connect with the state’s combined licensing partnership. The riverside city of 15,000 in Douglas County boasts more than 1,000 thriving businesses in the apple capital of the nation.

East Wenatchee joins 20 other communities east of the Cascades as part of the state’s streamlined “one stop service” for business licensing.



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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

BLS Partner Update

Revenue Improves Website on Sept. 9

The dor.wa.gov site will be streamlined with improved navigation and tools important to businesses, tax practitioners, and the general public. The updated site, which launches Sept. 9, also has responsive design for mobile devices. More than 60 percent of first-time visitors and 12 percent of all users access dor.wa.gov with a mobile device.
The Business Licensing Service website is not changing. More updates will be sent by email after Labor Day.


Make Sure You Have an ATLAS Backup

Vacation, promotion, and turnover – just a few reasons to have a succession plan. It is helpful to have a backup trained on ATLAS Partner Portal for those times when primary staff are out of the office. Otherwise, your customers have to wait to get your approved endorsement(s) until your primary staff are back in the office.
It is best to have a teammate complete and return the affidavit and start the Partner Portal registration process. Training documents and “computer-based training” are available to get them up to speed.

Report Enhancements

You asked. We delivered. The Product/Service Description entered on every Business Licensing Application is now a field in three reports. Look for the field in the right-most column of the Partner Pending Approval report, the Partner Interface report and the Partner All Status report.
The Partner Change of UBI report is also enhanced. Run your reports for individual programs, instead of only for your entire agency.

All reports are accessible by selecting “New Manager” on your ATLAS Partner Portal home screen and then selecting reports by name on the Launchpad screen. 

Save Your Files: SFT Upgrade Coming Soon

There will be an upgrade to the Secure File Transfer service on September 10, 2017. Revenue and the Business Licensing Service will remove all files at 9 p.m. on September 6, 2017. Transfer your files prior to the upgrade.

*No impact to those who do not use SFT.*

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Closing Accounts

Reminder: BLS staff are not authorized to close a customer’s account without something in writing from the customer. We will not close or otherwise change tax registrations and other state endorsements. Customers who need to close an account should do so in My DOR or by filling out a business information change form.

City and agency program staff manage their respective endorsements only.  If a business is delinquent or non-compliant with a city business license or regulatory license, only the impacted license may be terminated or suspended.

You may not request to change status of tax registrations and other endorsements outside of your regulatory authority. Those endorsements may be tied to tax or corporate accounts where debts or legal rights are at stake.

Also, BLS staff cannot transfer funds between UBI accounts unless requested by authorized taxpayer(s). Taxpayers should call 1-800-451-7985 for assistance or login to My DOR.

Click to Enlarge

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Phishing scam targeting Washington businesses

The Washington Department of Revenue is warning businesses to be aware of an email phishing scam targeting Washington state businesses. 

The scammers are sending emails that appear to come from Revenue and provide them with instructions to renew their business license using alternate links to the “My DOR” business licensing system.

Businesses are encouraged to be on the lookout for this, and other similar scams, and never click on an unusual link in an email.

To avoid falling victim to this scam, businesses should:

  •  Confirm the sender’s email address is cms@dor.wa.gov.
  • Verify the expiration date on their business license document.
  • Visit the My DOR website through http://bls.dor.wa.gov and log in to review their license status.


More information about this scam is available on the DOR website at www.dor.wa.gov.

If a business is unsure about an email correspondence with the Department of Revenue or has questions related to this scam, they are asked to call 1-800-451-7985.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Welcome, City of Battle Ground

The state Business Licensing Service (BLS) today welcomes another Southwest Washington city to the league of municipal licensing partnerships.

Battle Ground joins fellow BLS associates Vancouver, Washougal, Longview, and Kelso. BLS now services the local licensing of 69 cities to streamline applications, renewals, and payment processes.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Set the Correct Fee Type to Ensure Proper Renewal Fee

City Partners

Make sure your customers' licenses will renew by setting the right fee type when you change an endorsement type. 

When you change an endorsement type  such as from general business to non-profit  make sure to set the fee type to match.

The fee type sets the right renewal fee(s). If it's not set properly, incorrect fees — even zero fees  might be charged at renewal.

A sample is below.
Click to enlarge
~BLS Partnership Services

Saturday, July 1, 2017

State budget signed; BLS maintains normal operations

Partners,

On Friday, June 30, 2017, the Legislature passed a 2017-19 operating budget and it was signed by the Governor.

BLS will continue with normal operations.

Thank you for your patience.

~BLS Partnership Services 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Possible shutdown of state government

As of today, the state Legislature has not passed a new operating budget. State agencies are notifying customers of potential impacts to services.

MyDOR will be taken offline tonight at 11:55 pm to allow time for processing electronic payments. We will not accept online business license applications and renewals until a new state operating budget is enacted.

We sent several secure messages to businesses with June 30, 2017, renewal deadlines encouraging them to renew early. Businesses can send applications or renewals by U.S. mail during the shutdown.

Other impacts beginning on Monday, July 3, if a new budget is not signed into law by June 30:

  • Licensing fees and revenues will not be funded to partners
  • Business licenses and renewal notices will not be mailed
  • DOR offices will be closed


The bls.dor.wa.gov website will remain online to provide licensing information, and partners should be able to access Partner Portal.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BLS Partner News Update

ATLAS Service Pack

ATLAS is getting a few system updates Friday, June 23.  Major functions will be largely unchanged. Enhancements to help city and agency users are described in the linked document. Minor changes to My DOR used by businesses are also included. 

Incomplete Report Now Easier to Use

The Partner Incomplete Application report can now be divided into easy-to-use groupings.
Requests for Information (RFI) and Requests for Payment (RFP) are now grouped together. Another grouping, meanwhile, lists applications that have “auto-withdrawn” because the customer did not respond to an RFI or RFP for 120 days. All incomplete applications will be auto-withdrawn after 120 days.
You will create either the RFI/RFP group or Auto-Withdrawn group every time you run a report. We think you’ll like the simpler way to sort businesses that may need prompting to complete their business application versus those that need to re-apply.

Reminder: Update Your Contact Info

Please answer a few short questions at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BLS_contact 
We are updating our records. We need the best contact information for your local licensing team. We have yet to hear from these cities:
Buckley, Carbonado, Carnation, Clyde Hill, College Place, DuPont, Duvall, Eatonville, Edgewood, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Granite Falls, Kenmore, Lacey, Lake Stevens, Leavenworth, Liberty Lake, Long Beach, Longview, Maple Valley, Marysville, Millwood, Milton, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Newcastle, North Bend, Port Orchard, Pullman, Ruston, Sammamish, Sedro Woolley, Selah, Shoreline, Skykomish, Spokane Valley, Stanwood, Sultan, and West Richland.

Customer Service Survey Coming this Summer

BLS is reaching out to get your insights and opinions. Early this summer, we will send a survey link asking for your candid input on BLS services and support. You may share the survey link with all BLS partner staff members. Responses are limited to one response for each person.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mount Vernon joins BLS

Mount Vernon, the county seat and largest city in Skagit County, now coordinates its local licensing requirements with the state Business Licensing Service.

The City of the Soft Petal, nationally renowned for its springtime tulips, has streamlined its fees and processes with BLS help businesses apply for and renew business licenses.

The partnership is effective June 1. Welcome, Mount Vernon!




Friday, May 26, 2017

Register for Local Government Meetings in June

Revenue's Local Government Webpage

Department of Revenue conducts local government partnership meetings every June. The meeting provides an opportunity for all local governments to share information, connect with the department staff and peers, and help in planning of future tools to enhance local tax administration and communication. 


If you'd like to be invited to the Local Government Partnership Meetings, sign up for the local government partnership Listserv.

Western Washington
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Department of Revenue Headquarters6400 Linderson Way SWTumwater, WA 98501
 Eastern Washington
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
:Best Western Lake Front Hotel 3000 West Marina DrMoses Lake, WA 98837

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Updated Welcome file helps you track new businesses

Get instant lists of new businesses in town with the updated Partner Welcome file.

The file is in the Launchpad within the Atlas Partner Portal. It is easy to create on-demand with a date range set by the users.
 
Most cities run the Welcome report monthly, but the date range is adjustable
Many cities use this report to share monthly new business lists with the local chamber or other business groups. Reminder: Public disclosure rules still apply. Email addresses and phone numbers are nonpublic information. 

NSF or RFI status keeps account on-hold

Accounts with Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) payments or with a Request for Information (RFI) cannot be changed from an On-Hold status until the account issue is satisfied.

The [Change] button on the Account level screen of ATLAS Partner Portal is not visible until the customer has settled issues by making payments or updating information at 1-800-451-7985.




Friday, May 12, 2017

Change to Vehicle Wholesaler Endorsement

The vehicle wholesaler endorsement will no longer be available as a new endorsement starting Monday, May 15. This is only for new applications, businesses that currently have this endorsement will be able to renew until July 1, 2018. 

This is due to House Bill (HB) 1722. There is more information located at http://bls.dor.wa.gov/vehiclevesseldealer/dlrwholesaler.aspx in the Important Information box. 

~BLS Partnership Services 


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May 2017 Partner Update

Partners –

Warmer weather is coming our way. So, too, is the one-year anniversary of the ATLAS rollout.  We have made improvements since June, including online staff training, faster application processes, and improved reporting for partners. Thank you for your continued support.

BLS set to add city partners over next five years


Lawmakers approved EHB 2005 to bring more cities into BLS partnership. The unanimously approved bill directs all cities issuing general business licenses to combine local licensing with BLS or other existing solutions.

Business groups and cities supported the effort following a 2016 Revenue-led task force. The Association of Washington Cities summarized the bill’s effects on its website.


City of Interest report supports your compliance work


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integration with the ATLAS Partner Portal is reaping new partner benefits. Businesses with your city as the location address but without a valid city endorsement are now easier to identify.

The City of Interest report now has improved phone and email address data for the first time. The report also lists nonprofits and exempt businesses, in addition to general businesses. The report includes historical data, so some locations out of city limits will be returned.

Even with the improvements, it is best to review the report and validate addresses before using it for mailings.

City partners can find the City of Interest report in the Partner Portal Launchpad list.


City of Interest is near the bottom of your ATLAS Partner Portal Launchpad

Reminder: Local Government meetings in June


Local government meetings are your chance to hear from Revenue managers about legislation and enhancements to local tax and licensing administration. Register now for meetings in Tumwater and Moses Lake http://dor.wa.gov/localgovernment


Topics include:

  • - Taxability of IT Contracts
  • - Reporting Unclaimed Property
  • - Legislative update
  • - Partnering with Business Licensing Service (BLS)

Licenses revert to ‘pending’ when liquor sales location changes

Due to a recent implementation for online change of location applications that have existing liquor licenses, you may receive work items to approve with your endorsement in a “pending” status. These will have a new location ID and a reason code status of “physical address change.”

 Thanks!
  
~BLS Partnership Services 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 2017 Partner Update

 Hail to the (new) Chief!

Patti Wilson
Veteran Revenue manager Patti Wilson now leads your BLS Partnership Services Team. Many of you know Patti from her tenure as a Local Government Liaison and Customer Service Advocate for the Department among other titles held in her 28 years of public service. Her temporary assignment to Business Licensing ends late this year. Outgoing team supervisor Brandi Greene has moved to the BLS Testing Team to support improvements to the ATLAS system.

Please join us in welcoming Patti to our team!



Denise Ceja


Greetings, Denise and Kim!

The Partnership Services Team is adding new experts to serve you. Both are seasoned members of the BLS Specialty Team who start their new jobs on April 17.

Denise Ceja moves to the Partnership team after working for the past two years as the BLS Specialty Unit Supervisor. She joined BLS in May 2014 and has more than 10 years of customer service experience. Her attention to detail and willingness to take on challenges has earned her the respect of her peers and customers.
Kim Morgan

Kim Morgan has been working in customer service for nine years. After starting with BLS in February 2016, managers named her as a team lead with the Specialty unit last fall. She has a quick wit, is a fast learner, and an ATLAS expert ready to assist city and state agency staff.








Register for Local Government meetings in June

Revenue sponsors and conducts local government partnership meetings once a year in June. The meeting provides an opportunity for all local governments to share information, connect with the department staff and peers, and discuss future enhancements to local tax and BLS partnership administration and communication. The next meetings will be in Tumwater and Moses Lake. Check out http://dor.wa.gov/localgovernment to register.

Tumwater - Wednesday, June 7, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Department of Revenue Headquarters
6400 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501


Moses Lake - Thursday, June 15, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Best Western Lake Front Hotel
3000 West Marina Dr.
Moses Lake, WA 98837

Legal Name Change report now available by program

More is better when it comes to reports available via ATLAS Partner Portal. The Legal Name Change report is available to create ad hoc lists by date range. The report now allows a breakdown for each program or division at state agencies that partner with BLS. The narrower focus helps collect precise data and runs reports faster.

The Licensee file renamed and streamlined

The city Licensee report provides an instant report of all businesses with your local endorsement. The file contains the same fields in the same order as previous versions of the reports. We will rename it “City Licensee” instead of Partner Licensee to distinguish it from the Program Licensee report that tallies endorsements for state agency programs and has added fields.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

DOL Professions customer service moves April 17

Department of Licensing professions license customer service is moving to:

6135 Martin Way E, Lacey, WA
Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Parking is available in front of the building
http://dol.wa.gov/business

(PRINTABLE MAP)

The DOL change is effective Monday, April 17.  The change does not affect the Business Licensing Service, a unit of the Department of Revenue.

DOL professions licenses include:

  • Sellers of Travel
  • Auctioneers/Auction Companies
  • Cosmetology, Hair Design, Barber, Esthetics, Manicuring
  • Tattoo, Body Art, Body Piercing, Permanent Cosmetics
  • Court Reporter
  • Combative Sports (Boxing, Martial Arts, Wrestling)
  • Prorate and Fuel Tax
  • Public Protection (Firearms, Bail Bonds, Security Guards, Private Investigators)


Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 2017 BLS Partner Update

Kelso joins BLS 

The city of Kelso joins dozens of cities and agency programs to make licensing simpler for Washington State businesses. Kelso is the seat of Cowlitz County and is just east of Longview. It has a population of 12,000 and about 1,400 business licensees.

Welcome Greg Shawver

Greg Shawver is at your service.
Greg Shawver joins Partnership Services team this month. He will handle partner phone calls, emails and customer service. Greg is a seasoned service professional having worked years at a retail store and, later, as a restaurant and bar manager. We recruited Greg from the BLS Production team where he learned about partners' unique requirements and ATLAS functions.


Improved Help Manager simplifies shortcuts, searches, and sorting

Improvements to ATLAS keep coming. ATLAS added customizable search options in December. Now, we’re updating the Help Manager modules with step-by-step support to help you use shortcuts, navigate screens, and add letters. Learn how to search by Letter ID, filter search results, and view Tasks in the My Work manager. Get started by using the Partner Portal at the Help link shown below.


New Help Manager modules help with shortcuts, searches, letters, and more.
(Click image to enlarge)

Don’t email any document  with a Letter ID

Important reminder #1: DO NOT EMAIL anything with a Letter ID. It would give access to the account. Email is not a secure method of delivery. Let customers know you can mail to the address on file or fax to the number on file. In addition to the letter ID, do not email:
  • Location renewal forms
  • Request for Information letters
  • Request for Payment letters

BLS will not expedite processing

Important reminder #2:  BLS staff can not expedite requests on last-minute applications and renewals. Staff process most jobs in just a few business days. In most cases, work progress can be viewed in ATLAS.
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

MyDOR gets updated look, added features

My DOR, the service businesses use for all online business licensing applications, is getting more user-friendly. Some resources to help you be ready for customer questions are here:



City and agency program users of ATLAS will see an updated look on the login, customer and account screens. Also, message alerts go directly to tasks with one click. Your daily work processes will not change.

Businesses, meanwhile, will now more easily navigate to find and edit their account details. Once associated with accounts, users can see many accounts simultaneously on a “dashboard" like the one shown below. 

Other My DOR upgrades:
  • Bigger fonts for better readability
  • Set a default bank account to make payments for all business accounts
  • View Governing People under the "Names and Addresses" tab
  • Work from a phone or tablet with better mobile device support


 
Click to Enlarge

Friday, February 17, 2017

Register for My DOR Webinars next week

Partners -
My DOR service will be updated Thursday. March 2. The changes won't affect your daily work.

Business license applicants, however, will see a new interface with improved features. We are offering webinars to prepare your teams for questions you may get. The webinars have the same content. No RSVP required for this 90-minute webinar.


My DOR Walk-through for BLS Partners


9 am, Tuesday, Feb 21
1. Go to https://wadismeetings.webex.com/wadismeetings/j.php?MTID=mc0d459691f2c0cbc32bdea794ffc8ed0
2. Enter your name and email.
3. Click "Join". (Meeting Number: 924 506 428)


2 pm, Thursday, Feb 23
1. Go to https://wadismeetings.webex.com/wadismeetings/j.php?MTID=mbd6d6f8ac6d595a5c62bb5221c14af7d
2. Enter your name and email
3. Click "Join". (Meeting Number: 922 640 806)

Changes include more user-friendly account and customer pages, quicker navigation to governing people updates, and the ability to manage default payment information across accounts. See the images below for the new look and feel.





Monday, January 23, 2017

DOR experiencing busy telephones

Our 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 us. Most active Washington businesses have a January 31 reporting deadline. This generates thousands of phone calls.

We are less busy between 8 - 9 a.m. and between 4 - 5 p.m. We recommend that taxpayers call during those times for a shorter wait time.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Some addresses are truncated in ATLAS reports

Truncated apartment and suite addresses

It has been brought to our attention that address fields in some of our reports, are not including the Apt, Ste, Unit, etc. Because of this, complete mailing or physical addresses may not show in the reports for some accounts. The reports affected include:
  • Partner Welcome
  • Partner Licensee
  • Partner Public Disclosure

Partner ImpactIf you are using these reports for mailings, the mailings could be returned due to truncated addresses.


Next steps

We have created a high priority work item to fix this issue, and it is currently being worked out.
You may want to wait to do any mass mailings until the fix is in place.

Contact BLS Partnership Services with any questions.

Thank you.





Friday, January 6, 2017

Revenue’s Bellingham office reopens to public

The customer service counter that provides tax and licensing assistance to Whatcom and Skagit county businesses is reopening on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.

Operations are back to normal for the Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue) office in Bellingham, which had been closed to the public since Dec. 19 because of damage from a broken water pipe.
The office, located at 1904 Humboldt Street, Suite A in Bellingham, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information about the office, visit our Bellingham Contact Us page.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

January 2017 BLS Update

ATLAS Partner Portal upgrade implemented


A new Navigation Panel, an improved search history, and attachment scanning features are part of the ATLAS Partner Portal upgrade deployed on Dec. 28. Some fonts and descriptions are modified, but most functions are the same as before. More enhancement details are here.

New report tallies your totals

Need to know how many new licenses have been issued or renewed? Count them with just a few clicks. The Endorsement Application Statistics report is now in your ATLAS Launchpad. 
  • Select your city or program.
  • Input the date range -- such as December 1 to December 31 
  • Click [Generate].

(Figures prior to June 2016 are not available in ATLAS.)
Counts by day and by endorsement type also shown in the report output

Notes features are viewable by all users

Be brief and clear when adding notes to user accounts in ATLAS. Use simple descriptions for:

  • Status updates
  • Missing required information
  • Phone or email contact with the business
  • Next steps to take by the business or staff

Remember: Notes are seen by all users statewide, not just those in your city or program. Also, they are subject to public disclosure. Avoid recapping long conversations or logging items specific to city or program staff members.

Happy 2017!

Best wishes for a Happy New Year from your friends at the Business Licensing Service.