How to get your license: Real estate firms

Who needs a license?

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


To qualify for a firm license, a real estate firm must appoint one 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:
    • Obtain firm name approval from Real Estate Regulatory by sending a brief cover letter with your name, contact information, desired firm name, and any doing business as (DBA) names by fax to 360.570.4982 or email to You will receive notification within a minimum of 5–7 business days.
    • 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

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.

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