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How to renew your license: Collection agencies

When to renew

You must renew every year. The Business Licensing Service mails renewal notices about 6 weeks before a license expires.

How to renew your license

  1. Provide the name and phone number of a contact person at the licensed location.
    • If you have a Collection Agency License, all contact people for offices in Washington State (WA) must be residents of WA.
    • If you don’t list the contact information, your license renewal will be delayed.
  2. Fee – Check or money order payable to Dept of Revenue.
    • If you have an Out-of-State Collection Agency License, the renewal fee can be waived if your home state doesn’t require fees of non-resident, out-of-state agencies.
  3. Mail your renewal notice and fee to the address on the notice.

Debt buyers added to the definition of a collection agency

The 2013 Legislature adopted a new bill, ESHB 1822, that adds “debt buyers” to the definition of a collection agency. The new law:

  • Makes all debt buyers and others who meet the definition of a collection agency subject to the Washington Collection Agency Act (RCW 19.16) and current administrative rules (WAC 308-29).
  • Clarifies that licensees are prohibited from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. This means that lawyers can practice law and also hold a collection agency license.
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