Master Business Licenses can be applied for online

“Almost every new business starting up in Washington needs a Master Business License, and most of those now can enjoy the convenienceof the Internet to apply and pay online for their licenses.Washington recently became the second state in the nation to offer business registration with credit card payment over the Internet. The new service can save time and reduce trips to state offices for nearly 80,000 new businesses that start up in the state each year.Washington is leading the way in digital government by offering a wealth of information and services over the Internet, said Gov. Gary Locke.I’m proud to offer new Washington businesses a convenient and quick way to apply and pay for their licenses online.Since the online application and payment option went live Dec. 29, and with virtually no publicity, the state’s Department of Licensing has issued more than 1,200 new business licenses over the Internet.Our customers want us to deliver the same level of service they get from quality businesses, said agency Director Fred Stephens. Our Internetpayment option offers customers another way to use our service and, more importantly, the opportunity to get out of line by going online.Sheila George, a graphic designer from Port Ludlow, was the first person to use the online option and took less than 15 minutes to complete the application. Compared to other web sites, this one was incredibly organized, quick and fun, too. I liked how I could click on the question marks if I had questions, and there were simply zero glitches, George said. This is a great service for new businesses.With businesses completing forms and entering their own information directly via the Internet, agencies reduce potential for errors in data entry and speed license processing.Master License Service Administrator Nancy Skewis said, While we’re still checking applications to make sure all the necessary information is included, we’re making fewer calls to applicants, which means we deliver licenses much faster.The Master License Service was originally created as a one-stop shop for coordinated business licensing. Instead of business owners having to obtain licenses from many state agencies for tax registration, industrial insurance, unemployment insurance, minor work permits and trade name registration, they can simply make one application through the MLS. As a result, about 80 percent of new businesses need only a basic state registration to get started.The Master Business License costs $15, with an additional $5 for trade name registration. Businesses requiring more complicated licensing, such as a liquor license or a license for an underground storage tank, cannot use the online option at this time. The electronic application clarifies who should and should not pay for licenses over the Internet.DOL will add online registration and credit card payment options for corporate renewals and vehicle license tab renewals later this spring, and will expand to Uniform Commercial Code filings in July. DOL plans online renewals for various professions in 2002.For more information, or to use the online Master Business License application, visit and click on the Forms link at the top of the page. “