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How to Verify a Professional's License in Seattle?

The licensing and regulation of professionals in the City of Seattle is handled by several agencies. These include the Washington State Department of Licensing, which issues nearly 30,800 professional licenses to eligible individuals and businesses annually, and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, which handles the licensing and regulation of building-related professionals like construction contractors, electrical professionals, and plumbers. It is necessary to make sure that your preferred Seattle professionals have been duly licensed by the relevant agency before retaining their services. Consequently, the Department of Licensing provides a License Lookup webpage that you can use to find out whether a professional has been duly licensed, whether this professional's license is currently active, and if there have been any license violations recorded against the professional. Likewise, you can verify the licensing status of building-related professionals through the Department of Labor and Industries' Verify a Contractor, Tradesperson, or Business webpage.

Note that in addition to obtaining state-issued licenses, certain professionals, such as refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, gas piping mechanics, and boiler operators, may also be required to undergo city-level licensing or registration in Seattle. Likewise, if your preferred professional is expected to carry out construction-related projects, then you may need to obtain a city-issued permit before any work can begin. These city-level licenses and permits are administered by the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection, and you can contact this agency at (206) 684-8600 to make inquiries concerning the licensing or permitting requirements for your specific project. This is important, as failing to obtain the required permits for your project can lead to fines and other enforcement actions against you.

Do Seattle Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

The City of Seattle is divided into seven districts and each district consists of several neighborhoods. You can get information on the city's neighborhoods, find out the district that your neighborhood belongs to, and get contact details on your district's councilmember via the city's neighborhoods and council districts webpage. Residents of Seattle's neighborhoods, as well as the various associations and organizations formed by these residents, are not authorized to issue permits for construction-related projects. However, they utilize the resources and opportunities provided by the city's Department of Neighborhoods to build their communities, engage with city officials, and improve the quality of life in their various areas of residence. For example, in August 2021, the Department of Neighborhoods announced that it was looking for interested residents from Laurelhurst, Montlake, and Ravenna/Bryant neighborhoods to serve on the Seattle Children's Hospital Standing Advisory Committee. This committee will be responsible for several actions, including reviewing reports about the hospital's development and offering advice on projects that are currently under development. Earlier in July, the department hosted virtual workshops for neighborhood groups and community organizations that were interested in applying for its Neighborhood Matching Fund, which was created to provide funds for neighborhood improvement projects developed and implemented by community members.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Seattle?

Residents of Seattle that have complaints about businesses in the city can file these complaints with the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. Complaints can be filed by filling and submitting a complaint form online or by downloading a PDF version of the consumer complaint form and mailing the completed form to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Consumer Protection Division
  • 800 5th Avenue
  • Suite 2000
  • Seattle, WA 98104-3188

Queries concerning how to file a complaint with this office can be directed to (206) 464-6684 or 1-800-551-4636. It is important to note that the Washington State Office of the Attorney General is not authorized to bring legal actions on behalf of individual consumers, and it is also prohibited from giving legal advice, conducting research on behalf of consumers, or rendering opinions or interpretations. Also, while this office typically offers an informal complaint resolution service to complainants, it cannot compel businesses to respond to complaints or make adjustments during the complaint resolution process. However, it can inform consumers of alternatives to take if the complaint resolution service that it offers proves to be unsuccessful. This usually includes consulting with a private attorney and filing a suit with the Small Claims Division of the King County District Court for matters that do not involve more than $10,000. You can get referrals to attorneys in Seattle by contacting the King County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service via email, online, or by calling (206) 267-7010 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays. Note that the payment of a fee is usually required to utilize this service.