How to get a workers' compensation account
Steps to open a workers’ compensation account
  1. Go to the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service
  2. If you:
    1. Don’t have a Washington State business license, apply for one.
      or
    2. Already have a Washington Business License, change or update your business information to indicate you are hiring employees.
  3. We will receive your application within 1 week and it will be assigned to one of our account managers.
  4. Your account manager will contact you. We want to:
    1. Ensure we are classifying your business correctly the first time.
    2. Get your initial questions answered right away.
    3. Provide a lasting point of contact for your business.
  5. Your account manager will set up your policy. A letter explaining your account, rate notice, certificate of coverage, and workplace posters will be sent to the mailing address you listed on your application
  6. Go to our File Quarterly Reports page for information on your filing options
  7. There’s more you need to do. You can:
    1. Set up your Accident Prevention Program, which is required for all businesses.
    2. Set up a Return to Work Program or learn about the Stay at Work Program.
    3. Check the requirements of other state agencies using the Small Business Guide such as:
    4. Look at rules for Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Medical Leave:
    5. Understand rules for:
Owner/officer & Exempt employments coverage

Owner coverage is available for sole proprietors, partners, limited liability partners, excluded corporate officers, and excluded members of limited liability companies.
To elect coverage for owners:

  1. Follow the steps on the previous tab to get a workers’ compensation account
  2. Make sure your account is in good standing if you already have an account
  3. Complete the form Application for Elective Coverage in Related Resources below
  4. Fax or mail the completed form to the contact information listed on the application. Or attach the completed form to a secure message to your account manager

Excluded employments are types of employment that are normally excluded from mandatory workers’ compensation coverage including musicians, entertainers, newspaper carriers, volunteers, and more. Employments normally excluded from coverage are described in RCW 51.12.020, 51.12.035, and 51.12.170.
To elect coverage for excluded employments:

  1. Follow the steps on the previous tab to get a workers’ compensation account
  2. Make sure your account is in good standing if you already have an account
  3. Complete the form Application for Elective Coverage for Excluded Employments in Related Resources below
  4. Fax or mail the completed form to the contact information listed on the application. Or attach the completed form to an email or secure message to your account manager

When will my coverage start?

Coverage will begin on the day after the request is received by L&I unless you indicate a later date on your application. Your account must remain in good standing to keep elective coverage.

When will my coverage end?

  • We will cancel your elective coverage if your workers’ compensation account has any required payments that haven’t been made
  • You can cancel your elective coverage by notifying the department in writing that you wish to cancel your coverage
    • Complete the form Cancellation of Elective Coverage in Related Resources below for cancellation of owner coverage
    • Complete the form Cancellation of Elective Coverage for Excluded Employments in Related Resources below for cancellation of excluded employments coverage

Note: Cancellation of coverage for excluded employments, corporate officers, and member/managers of LLC’s will not take effect until 30 days after we receive written notification of the cancellation. Cancellation for sole proprietors, partners, or LLCs with management vested in its members will be effective the date we receive written notice of the cancellation unless you tell us to cancel on a later date.