1. What Is a UBI Number?
2. Filing for a UBI
3. Business Entity and UBI Assignment
4. UBI vs. FEIN

What is a UBI number? A UBI number is an identifier is provided by the State of Washington to identify a registered business.

What Is a UBI Number?

Washington State will provide a UBI number to a business that is registered to operate in the state. The number serves to identify the business to the appropriate state governmental agencies. Local agencies will use the UBI to identify a business. 

This nine-digit number will be assigned to a business when the owner registers with the Department of Revenue, Department of Employment Security, Department of Labor and Industries, or the Secretary of State. The State may also assign a UBI when a business owner files a business license application through the Department of Revenue's business licensing department.

Filing for a UBI

When you file for a UBI, you must pay a $15 fee, plus an extra $5 for each additional trade name. The various agencies within the State of Washington will use the same UBI to identify a single business. As long as a business retains its business structure, the UBI will remain the same. If your business structure changes, such as shifting from a partnership to a corporation, you will need to apply for a replacement UBI number. 

Business Entity and UBI Assignment

The Corporations Division of the State of Washington will assign a UBI number when the owner of a business files for registration as a:

Certain other types of businesses may qualify for UBI numbers as well. You can review the Corporations Division page of the Washington Secretary of State's website to view all applicable business classifications. Even if a company doesn't fall within one of the categories listed by the Corporations Division, it can still qualify to get a UBI number. The owner of this type of business will need to fill out a master business application, available from the state's Department of Licensing. 

UBI vs. FEIN

Many business owners confuse UBIs with FEINs. A FEIN is a federal employer identification number. Based on information found on the Washington Secretary of State's website, a FEIN is assigned by the IRS to classify the federal tax filing and account. Only those companies operating in the state of Washington must obtain a UBI number. If a business needs a UBI number to operate in Washington, the owner can request it through the Business Licensing Service.

Many state agencies in Washington use the UBI number, including the Secretary of State, Department of Revenue, and Employment Security Department. If you're not required to register your business with the Washington Secretary of State, you will receive a UBI number after you complete your master business application and file it with the Department of Revenue. This number is important for identification, taxes, and filing for your business.

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