Washington State House Democrats


Bipartisan support gives businesses break under simplified license bill

For Immediate Release: April 11, 2017

OLYMPIA – Businesses in Washington can expect a simpler process for acquiring general business licenses now that the Senate passed legislation to simplify an often confusing and time-consuming process.

When businesses operate in more than one city, even when their only operation is making a single delivery in another jurisdiction, a business license is often required for each municipality they enter. For some businesses, that can be excessive and require hours of paperwork.

Under legislation (HB 2005) from Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) and Sen. Sharon Brown (R-Kennewick), businesses would be able to receive a city’s license from the Department of Revenue, increasing compliance and saving time. Cities would be required to work with the Department of Revenue to administer the general business licenses.

“I’m very pleased we have found a way to make owning and operating a business in Washington simpler. Getting a business license shouldn’t get in the way of pursuing a dream and through bipartisan cooperation we’ve given owners and operators a chance to spend more time focused on serving their customers,” said Lytton.

Brown pointed to the relief the measure will be for some of Washington’s growing small businesses.

“In committee we heard from a number of small-business owners that the current system is confusing, and a drain on their time and resources, with one employer testifying that his small family-run business had to deliver to 92 different taxing districts last year alone,” said Brown.

“This new law will gives our cities enough flexibility to choose what system works best for them, while still simplifying bookkeeping for a lot of small-business owners. Having one go-to place for business licensing will help cut the red tape, and allow our employers to focus their resources on growing their business and hiring new employees.”


Media contacts:
Rep. Kristine Lytton – Travis Shofner: (360) 786-7224
Sen. Sharon Brown – Booker Stallworth: (360) 786-7536