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Traffic flows westbound through downtown Ferndale (April 12, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

Ferndale businesses to benefit from “one-stop” licensing with state system

FERNDALE, Wash. — Businesses looking to renew or get a new business license to operate within the City of Ferndale will now be able to do so via the same system used for required state licensing and registrations due to a recent partnership between the city and the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR).

As far back as 2015, DOR’s Business Licensing Service (BLS) has been partnering with cities to enable businesses to apply or renew city business licenses. It is also used for reporting state taxes and supports about 600 different types of regulatory licenses among dozens of state agency programs and more than 130 Washington municipalities.

Many businesses have to obtain a business license from multiple cities. Having to deal with separate and different processes with each city is avoided when the cities partner with the state and are included in the BLS system.

Some King, Snohomish and Pierce County cities created their own business registration, tax filing and payment system called FileLocal.

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The City of Ferndale is about to be added to the list of partner cities according to an announcement from city staff, making it easier for businesses to do business in Ferndale.

As of June 15th, city staff will no longer be accepting new applications for general business licenses and beginning June 25th, all applications will need to be applied for through the BLS either online or by mail. City business licensing fees will remain the same.

Exceptions to this include co-located/space rental business licenses, manufacturing and industrial business licenses. City business licensing for these businesses will continue be handled directly by city staff.

The city will continue to review individual business licenses for compliance with city code and regulations prior to approval and retain the local business license fees but the application process will be handled by DOR.

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DOR has managed the Business Licensing Service since July 2011 after taking it over from the Department of Licensing.

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