Washington Payroll Tax Registration

If you have recently hired an employee in the state of Washington, it is important to understand the process of payroll tax registration. This involves registering with the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) to report and remit payroll taxes on behalf of your employees.

How Washington Payroll Registration Works

There are 3 payroll tax setup tasks you may need to complete in Washington to get your new hire on payroll for the first time. You can follow the guide below to help you get registered directly with the Washington agencies or use Mosey to do it.

Use Mosey to register for payroll tax in Washington.

Washington Workers' Compensation Setup

If you have employees in Washington, you are required to purchase workers' compensation coverage from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) or seek approval to self-insure. Private workers' compensation insurance is not allowed in Washington. Your L&I account is typically registered together with an unemployment insurance account when you file a Business License Application as a new employer.

  1. Setup Workers' Compensation Account

    You likely have a workers' compensation account created with the Department of Labor & Industries when filing your new employer Business License Application. If not, log into your SAW account to file a Business License Application to open a workers' compensation account.

  2. Adopt an Accident Prevention Program

    You are required to create a written Accident Prevention Program (APP) to address the safety and health hazards found in their workplace. Washington State provides sample APP templates you can use to generate your compliant plan.

  3. Establish Return to Work and Stay at Work programs

    Washington State provides optional financial incentive programs to reimburse employers for some of their costs when they provide temporary, light-duty jobs for workers while they heal.

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Setup

As an employer in Washington, you are required to withhold, report, and pay premiums for Paid Family and Medical Leave. If you have 50 or more employees in Washington, you are required to cover the employer portion of the premium.

  1. Determine Employer Premium

    If you have 50 or more employees in Washington, you are required to pay the employer's share of the paid leave premium. This premium is optional if you have fewer than 50 employees.

  2. Decide How to Cover the Employee Premium

    You must decide how to cover the Employee Premium, either withhold it from their paychecks or pay some or all of the premium on their behalf.

  3. Instruct Your Payroll Provider to Withhold Premium

    Contact your payroll provider on how much to withhold for the paid leave premiums.

  4. Setup Paid Family and Medical Leave Account

    Login to your Secure Access Washington account to create a Paid Family & Medical Leave account for your business. You will find "Paid Family and Medical Leave" listed in the Employment Security Department section.

Washington Unemployment Insurance Setup

If you have employees in Washington, you are required to register for an Unemployment Insurance account with the Washington Employment Security Department by filing a Business License Application (Form 700 028). When you file for a Business License as an employer, you will also get a workers' compensation account from the Department of Labor & Industries. You will get a 12-digit Employment Security Department account number in the format of 000-123456789. If this is your first registration with the Washington government, your business will also be assigned a Unified Business Identifier, a nine-digit ID used by many state agencies.

  1. Create a Secure Access Washington Account

    Create a Secure Access Washington (SAW) Account if you don't have one already. You will need a SAW account to file the Business License Application online.

  2. File Business License Application

    Log into your Secure Access Washington account to file a Business License Application as an employer. You will be guided to register for an Unemployment Insurance account and a workers' compensation account. No action necessary if Unemployment Insurance was included in a prior application. Note: During the registration process, you will have the option to also register with the Department of Revenue for an excise tax account that's used for sales tax and Business & Occupation tax (a gross receipts tax).

  3. Create an Employer Account Management Systems Account

    Log into your Secure Access Washington account to setup your Employer Account Management Systems as a service in Secure Access Washington. You will use the Employer Account Management Systems to file wage reports and pay taxes online.

Review your compliance risks, free.

More from the blog

Learn how to keep your business compliant in all 50 states across payroll, HR, Secretary of State, and tax.

At Will Employment States & FAQs Answered

At-will employment changes the relationship between an employee and an employer. Both parties involved in the relationship need to understand the rules and regulations surrounding at-will employment and how they can affect the workplace. Here’s how at-will employment impacts employer and employee rights and how to abide by exceptions to the rules. What Is At-Will Employment? At-will employment refers to an employment relationship dynamic. At-will employment means that the employee and employer relationship is considered a voluntary, or “at-will” association.

Alex Kehayias | Jan 22, 2024

How To Check Your Business Compliance Status

Managing a business involves handling your day-to-day operations and complying with state and federal requirements. You have more freedom and flexibility in how you shape and grow your business, but compliance leaves little room for error. Complying with state and local requirements is mandatory. Compliance allows your business to continue operating without interruption, and it’s important to stay on top of everything for a consistent flow. As a business owner, here’s what you need to know about checking your compliance status and keeping your business in good standing.

Kaitlin Edwards | Mar 26, 2024

How Many Pay Periods in a Year? Employer's Guide

Managing employee payroll is vital to running a successful business. While many tasks are associated with payroll management and compliance, they’re all based on which employee payroll schedules you choose. Not all companies operate on the same payroll schedule. While most companies pay their employees biweekly, that is not your only option as an employer. The best payroll schedule for your company depends on many factors, including but not limited to the size of your business.

Kaitlin Edwards | Oct 30, 2023

Ready to get started?

Sign up now or schedule a free consultation to see how Mosey transforms business compliance.