Register your business
Register with the Employment Security Department (ESD)
If you have employees in Washington, you must register with us to file quarterly wage reports and pay unemployment insurance taxes.
How registration works
When you apply for a business license and check the boxes to indicate you have or plan to hire employees, Business Licensing Service notifies us. We register your business and send you a letter letting you know that your business is now registered with us. The letter includes instructions for filing wage reports and paying taxes.
Start by applying for a business license
- Sole proprietorships and general partnerships need only file a Business License Application with the Business Licensing Service.
- Corporations, limited partnerships, LLCs and LLPs first create a business structure with the Office of the Secretary of State. After creating a business structure, file a business license application with the Business Licensing Service.
- Businesses already licensed but hiring employees for the first time must refile a business license application with the Business Licensing Service.
Why it's Important
Failure to comply with the law could cost you $1,000 or two times the total amount of unpaid taxes for each quarter you operated without being registered, whichever is more.