Frequently asked questions: Scrap metal businesses

Will I need a license to collect and sell empty aluminum cans?
You won’t need any of the scrap metal licenses with the Department of Licensing, but you may need a business license with the Department of Revenue. We recommend you contact the Business Licensing Service at the Department of Revenue to find out if you need one.

Can I buy non-vehicle scrap metal if I already have a vehicle wrecker, hulk hauler, or scrap processor license?
No, those licenses allow you to acquire metal as part of a vehicle. A scrap metal processor, recycler, or supplier license is a needed to buy non-vehicle scrap metal.

Will I need to have more than 1 license if I recycle and process scrap metal?
No, the licenses are tiered:

  • A processor can act as a processor, recycler, or supplier.
  • A recycler can act as recycler or supplier.
  • A supplier can act only as a supplier.

See also:

Washington Healthcare Finder
Access Washington – official state government website