A liquor license is renewed annually through the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) Business Licensing Service. You will receive a renewal notice from DOR approximately 45 days before your license expires. You must pay your annual license fee before or on your expiration date to avoid late renewal penalties.
How much does it cost to renew my license?
The cost for renewal is based on your license type.
How do I renew my license?
You can do this two ways:
- Online with DOR Business Licensing Service if you meet the requirements
Renew by mail using the Business License Renewal form you received with your renewal notice. Mail to:
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
P.O. Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
- State of Washington
Responsible Vendor Program
The Responsible Vendor Program is a free, self-monitoring program that rewards retail licensees who take positive steps to prevent the sale and service of alcohol to minors and apparently intoxicated persons.
Retail licensees may apply for this program if they have a spirits retailer license and have no public safety violations within the past two years.
What should I do if I don’t want to renew my license?
Call the WSLCB Customer Service Desk at (360) 664-1600.
Is the local authority notified that my license is up for renewal?
Yes, the WSLCB notifies the local authority (i.e. mayor or county commissioners) of where your business is located that your license is up for renewal 90 days prior to the expiration date.
The local authority has the option to object to the renewal. They must send in their objection letter 30 days before the license expires. They can request an extension if needed.
If the local authority objects, your renewal will go before the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) Licensing and Regulation Division Director, who will decide whether to renew your license or not. If the local authority does not object to your renewal, your renewal will proceed.
What can I do if the local authority objects to my license renewal?
The WSLCB will send you a copy of the local authority’s objection. You may contact the local authority to discuss their objection and ask if they will withdraw it.
If the local authority declines to withdraw the objection, you can submit a rebuttal to the WSLCB. This rebuttal, along with the objection and your license history with the WSLCB, will be reviewed by the WSLCB when making a decision about your renewal.
What can I do if the WSLCB denies my license renewal?
If your license renewal is denied, you will receive a notification of the decision along with a form to request an administrative hearing on the decision. You have 20 days to file your hearing request. Hearings take place before an administrative law judge (ALJ) from the Office of Administrative Hearings. Parties to hearings normally include the ALJ, you, an assistant attorney general, a representative from the WSLCB, and the local authority who objected to your liquor license renewal.
What happens after an administrative hearing?
After the hearing, the ALJ will prepare an initial order and send it to you, the assistant attorney general, the WSLCB and any other party to the administrative hearing. If any party takes exception to the ALJ’s findings of fact, conclusions of law or initial order, a petition for review may be filed with the WSLCB, which must be received within 20 days from the date the initial order is sent. The party requesting review must mail copies of the petition to all other parties at the time of filing.
The petition for review must specify the portions of the initial order where exception is taken and refer to the evidence of record which is relied upon to support the petition.
With notice to all parties, the Board may extend or shorten the filing time based on a voluntary stipulation of the parties or upon motion of a party that demonstrates a clear and convincing showing of exigent circumstances.
If another party files a petition for review, you may file a reply with the WSLCB, which must be received within 10 days from the date the petition for review is sent. You must mail copies of the reply to all other parties when you file it.
The Board will review the administrative record, the initial order, any petitions for review and replies filed by the parties. The Board members will then enter a final order, which is appealable to Superior Court.
The Board may issue a final order that differs from the initial order even if no party filed a petition for review or reply.