To sign up for Square’s online payroll service in Washington, you must be registered with the appropriate tax agencies so we can pay and file your state taxes:

Agency Required Tax Information Format
Washington Department of Revenue Unified Business Identifier (UBI) 6XX-XXX-XXX (9 digits)
Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Account ID XXX, XXX-XX (8 digits)
Participant Activation Code (PAC) XXXXXXXX (Up to 8 digits, add zeros to end if less than 8 digits)
Washington Employment Security Department Employment Security (ES) Reference Number XXX XXXXXX XX X (12 digits)
Employment Security Department Total Tax Rate X.XX%
Employment Administration Fund (EAF) Rate X.XX%
Workers’ Comp Experience Factor X.X%

Washington New Employer Registration

Tax Accounts

Before anything else, you will need to file a Business License Application with the Washington Department of Revenue. This single application will also open an unemployment insurance account and a workers’ compensation account for your business. Your application will be processed in about 10 days.

If you have already filed the Business License Application, please continue to the sections below.

Unified Business Identifier (UBI)

Employment Security (ES) Reference Number

Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Account ID

Participant Activation Code (PAC)

  • This can be found on the top left of your Employer’s Quarterly Report, on your Rate Notice, or New Account Letter. If your PAC is less than 8 digits, add zeros to the end.
  • If you’re unsure, contact the agency at (360) 902-4817.

Tax Rates

Your Employment Security Department Total Tax Rate is the sum of your Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate and Employment Administration Fund Rate, i.e. Employment Security Department Total Tax Rate = UI Tax Rate + EAF Rate.

Unemployment Insurance Tax Rate

  • You will be assigned a tax rate based on your industry.
  • For more information, contact the agency at (855) 829-9243.

Employment Administration Fund (EAF) Rate

  • This is either 0.02% or 0.03%. You can contact the agency at (360) 902-9670 to find out which rate applies to you.

Workers’ Comp Experience Factor

  • The Experience Factor for new employers is 1.0. For more information, contact the agency at (360) 902-9670.

Find Your Washington Tax ID Numbers and Rate

Tax Accounts

Unified Business Identifier (UBI)

Employment Security (ES) Reference Number

  • You can find your ES Reference Number online or on the Tax Rate Notice mailed by the WA State Employment Security Department.
  • If you’re unsure, contact the agency at (855) 829-9243.

Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Account ID

Risk Class Code

  • View your assigned Risk Class Code by visiting lni.wa.gov and search by entering your Worker’s Compensation Account Number (L&I Account ID).
  • If you’re unsure, contact the agency at (360) 902-4817.

Participant Activation Code (PAC)

  • This can be found on the top left of your Employer’s Quarterly Report, on your Rate Notice, or New Account Letter. If your PAC is less than 8 digits, add zeros to the end.
  • If you’re unsure, contact the agency at (360) 902-4817.

Tax Rates

Your Employment Security Department Total Tax Rate is the sum of your Unemployment Insurance (UI) Tax Rate and Employment Administration Fund (EAF) Rate, i.e. Employment Security Department Total Tax Rate = UI Tax Rate + EAF Rate.

You can locate your UI Tax Rate and EAF Rate on the Tax Rate Notice sent by the Washington State Employment Security Department. If you can’t find it, please contact the agency at (360) 902-9670.

You are responsible for ensuring Square Payroll has the correct tax ID numbers and tax rates for your business. Please contact us if you need to update your rate.

Washington State Tax Details

Square Payroll processes the following per the frequency below to the listed state agencies:

Agency Name Frequency
Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) Unemployment Insurance Tax and Wage Report (5208A & 5208B) Quarterly
Unemployment Insurance Tax Payment Quarterly
Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Workers' Compensation Employer's Quarterly Report (F212-055-000) Quarterly
Workers’ Compensation Premium Payment Quarterly
Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) New Hire Reporting Per New Employee

Washington Employee Information

Exemption from Washington State Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employment Administration Fund Tax

As of December 2013, officers who provide services in Washington are automatically exempt from unemployment insurance unless the employer specifically requests to cover them. This exception (opting into unemployment insurance) can only be made for corporations. It does not apply to sole proprietors, partners of partnerships, or managers of limited liability companies (LLCs), etc.

If a corporate officer wants to opt in to Washington State Unemployment Insurance, they must fill out the Voluntary Election Form, and the WA Employment Security Department must approve the request. If one corporate officer opts in, then ALL other corporate officers must be opted in as well. This form must be filed with the WA Employment Security Department every two years.

For more information, read these FAQs or contact the WA Employment Security Department at 360-902-9360.

Exemption from Washington State Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Sole Proprietors, Partners, For-Profit Corporate Officers, and Members/Managers of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are typically exempt from workers compensation insurance. To voluntarily opt in, they must file the Application for Elective Coverage with the WA Department of Labor & Industries.

Exemption from Federal Unemployment Tax

Certain types of income may not be subject to Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA). Review Publication 15 and Publication 15-A to determine whether this exemption applies to your business. The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Website also defines how this exemption applies to S Corporation employees, shareholders and corporate officers.

Learn how to locate or obtain an EIN.

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