Firm licenses: Real estate

Who needs a license?

Any business that conducts real estate brokerage services must have a real estate firm license.

Requirements

To qualify for a firm license, a real estate firm must appoint 1 managing broker as the designated broker who has controlling interest in the firm. “Controlling interest” means the designated broker has the ability to control the operational or financial decisions in the firm.

How to apply for a license

  1. Check to see if the name you want is available before submitting your application:
    • First, fax the requested name to us at 360.586.0998.
    • If we approve it, call the Secretary of State at 360.725.0377.
  2. File a business license application to get a Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number from the Department of Revenue.
  3. Complete the Real Estate Firm Application, following the instructions on the form.
    • You must include your UBI number on the application.
  4. Submit your completed application with a check or money order for the fees (payable to the Department of Licensing):
    • By mail to:
      Real Estate Licensing
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 3917
      Seattle, WA 98124-3917
    • In person at our Olympia office (2000 4th Ave W).

How to renew

Firm licenses expire 2 years after their issue date.

  • Renew online, and pay with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit or debit card.
    • Enter the password on your renewal notice and your firm’s information.
    • When you’ve finished renewing online, print the final confirmation screen for your records.
  • Renew by mail, by sending your renewal notice and a check or money order for the fees to the location shown on the renewal notice.
  • Renew in person, by submitting your renewal at our Olympia office (2000 4th Ave W).

Branch offices and assumed names

If your firm uses an assumed name or operates branch offices, you must get an assumed name license and a branch office license for each location in addition to the firm license.

How to update your firm name or designated broker

  1. Complete a Real Estate Firm Change of Name or Designated Broker, Add or Change DBA Name.
    • If you’re changing your firm name, check to see if the name you want is available before submitting your application by:
      • Calling the Secretary of State at 360.725.0377
      • and
      • Faxing us at 360.586.0998
    • If you’re adding or changing a DBA name, fax us at 360.586.0998 to check if the name you want is available before submitting your application.
  2. Send the completed form and any required documents to:
    Real Estate Licensing
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9021
    Olympia, WA 98507-9021
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