Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide
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Washington Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Washington.

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Washington for individuals and firms. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

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Company Licenses

Washington Architecture Company Licenses

Washington Design Firm Certificate of Authorization

Agency:Washington State Department of Licensing: State Board of Architects
Law:

RCW § 18.08.420

Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Professional Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Ownership Requirements:

Business Corporations:

  • At least one of the directors must be a Washington licensed architect.

Professional Corporations:

  • All shareholders, directors, and all officers, other than the secretary and the treasurer, must be licensed in a profession performed by the firm.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the managers must be a Washington licensed architect.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • All members and managers must be licensed in a profession performed by the firm.

Partnerships:

  • At least one of the partners must be a Washington licensed architect.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

This section applies to architectural firms that are applying for a license in Washington for the first time. If you already have a license and are looking to renew it, please see the renewal section.

Form:

Business License Application and Registered Professional Design Firm Addendum

Agency Fee:

$19 business license fee + $284.50 certificate of authorization fee.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Ensure that your business entity will meet ownership requirements.
  • Identify a Washington licensed architect, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's architectural activities in Washington.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Ensure that your Washington entity will meet ownership requirements.
  • Identify a Washington licensed architect, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's architectural activities in Washington.
  • Obtain a certificate of good standing from your business entity's home state (to be filed during the foreign qualification process). The certificate cannot be more than 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  2. File a Business License Application and a Registered Professional Design Firm Addendum with the Department of Revenue - Business Licensing Service or complete the online application process to obtain a license.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  2. File a Business License Application and a Registered Professional Design Firm Addendum with the Department of Revenue - Business Licensing Service or complete the online application process to obtain a license.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

This section applies to architectural firms that are already licensed in Washington and need to renew their license.

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$145.50 renewal fee + $11 processing fee.

Due:

Annually by date of initial issuance.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Form:

Business Information Change Form

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Washington Interior Design Firm License

Not required



Interior Design Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

Washington does not currently license or register interior design businesses.

Washington Landscape Architecture Firm License

Not required



Landscape Architecture Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

More information: Washington Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects

Individual Licenses

Washington Individual Architecture Licenses

Washington Architect License

Agency:Washington State Department of Licensing: State Board of Architects
NCARB Certificate:Not required
Completion of CE/PDH:Required
Interview:Not required
NAAB-accredited degree:Not required
NCARB IDP:Required
Additional Experience:Required
State-specific exam:Required

Initial Registration

This section applies to architects that are applying for a license in Washington for the first time.

Form:http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/architects/index.html
Agency Fee:

$50 application fee + $50.00 exam fee

Reciprocal Registration

This section applies to architects licensed in another state that are looking for reciprocal licensure in Washington.

Agency Fee:

$250

Registration Renewal

This section applies to architects that are already licensed in Washington and need to renew their license.

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

Biennially by the licensee's date of birth.

Washington Interior Designer License

Not required



Interior Designer licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

Washington Landscape Architect License

Agency:Washington Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects
Fact Checked:10/14/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Landscape Architect Licensure Application

Agency Fee:

$250 exam fee + $450 license fee

Registration Renewal

Form:

Landscape Architect Renewal Application

Agency Fee:

$450

Due:

Biennially by the licensee's date of birth.

Learn about architecture licensing in other states:

ARE (Architect Registration Examination) - Assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required to be a practicing architect.

AXP (Architectural Experience Program) - NCARB program for architectural internship, a requirement for licensure that occurs after filling the educational requirements.

BEFA (Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect) - An alternative NCARB certification that allows foreign architects to independently practice architecture.

COA (Certificate of Authorization) - The most common name of the registration required for firms to practice architecture in a given state.

Design Firm - Architectural firm registration is sometimes grouped with engineering and land surveying on a single “design firm” application form.

NCARB Certification - Licensed architects have the option to become Certificate holders to signify that they have met national standards established by U.S. licensing boards for protecting public health, safety, and welfare. Certification also facilitates reciprocal registration in all 54 jurisdictions, 11 Canadian jurisdictions, and can be used to support an application for licensure in other countries.

Reciprocity - This is when a licensed architect in one state can provide documentation (often a NCARB certificate) to more easily apply for licensure in another jurisdiction.

State Board - Often referred to as the State Architects Licensure Board or Board of Architects, an individual state’s board serves as the regulatory authority for architects. The board qualifies and licenses individuals seeking architectural licensure. The board is responsible for preserving the public health, safety, and welfare of individuals who occupy built environments.

National Architecture Accrediting Board
NAAB establishes criteria for and accredits professional architecture degree programs in the United States.

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
AIAS is an independent, student-run group that promotes excellence in architecture education, training, and practice.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
AIA is a voluntary professional organization for architects providing advocacy, information, and community.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
ACSA represents architectural education programs across the globe.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
NCARB is the national organization representing the state registration boards.

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