Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Electronic Franchise Filing FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about the electronic franchise filing system.

General Questions

If I use the E-File System, am I required to make any paper or physical submissions to the Division?

No. The E-File System is intended to eliminate the need to make any paper or physical submissions to the Division. Because the E-File System allows you to upload your application as a PDF, we do not require that you send in a paper application or a CD-ROM with these files.

I would like to send in a physical application. Am I required to use the E-File System?

The E-File System is currently provided as an optional alternative to submitting a physical application. However, we strongly encourage you to use the E-File System. We believe that time and resources will be conserved by both the applicant and the Division. We also expect that applicants will receive a response in a shorter amount of time, as the Division will be able to reduce the amount of time spent processing applications.

Is the E-File System only available for new franchise applications?

No. The E-File System can be used for all franchise filing types, even if you have previously filed a physical application. The E-File System can accept initial applications, reapplications, renewals, and amendments.

Do I need to create a username in order to use the E-File System?

No. The E-File System can be accessed by any user by directing your web browser to the link found in the document titled, "How to get started." If you are reapplying, renewing, or amending an application, you will need to use the file number associated with the file. This number can be looked up using the "Lookup" feature built in to the E-File System.

Can I use the Franchise E-File System to file franchise exemption notices or franchise broker applications?

The E-File System is not set up to accept franchise exemption notices or franchise broker applications at the current time.


The E-Filing Process

Now that I have submitted an application using the E-File System, I would like to send an additional document or pre-effective amendment. How do I do this?

Once you have submitted an initial application or a reapplication, you must send additional documents and pre-effective amendments by e-mail directly to the examiner assigned to your file. You can look up the examiner assigned to your file on our online Licensee Database. Before searching, you must first select the box next to "Franchise" and "Display All Statuses."

Once I have submitted an application is my registration immediately effective in Washington?

No. New applications and reapplications will be assigned to an examiner who will review the application and may issue comments. For more details, please refer to the PDF letter that is attached to the e-mail you receive after making an online submission.

I am attempting to renew my franchise registration permit, but the E-File System is forcing me to reapply and pay the $600 filing fee. Why is this happening?

Please check to see whether your existing franchise registration permit has already expired. If you are attempting to file a renewal past the expiration date of your permit, you are required to reapply and pay the full $600. There is no "grace period" in which registration permits may be renewed after expiration.

If you believe your permit has not yet expired and the E-File System is in error, please contact Trang Pham at (360) 902-8738.

Can I pay the filing fees with an electronic check ("e-check"), or by sending a physical check?

No. Currently, if you choose to use the E-File System you must pay with a Visa or MasterCard. Our payment system accepts all Visa or MasterCard credit cards, debit cards, and pre-paid cards. We do not currently accept American Express or E-Checks.


Technical Support/Troubleshooting

Many of the technical problems listed in this section can be solved by using the latest version of Windows Internet Explorer® web browser. While the E-File System has been tested to work on all web browsers, some users have reported errors while using other browsers.

After selecting "continue" to upload the selected PDFs, my browser appears to freeze. What should I do?

Depending on the size of the PDFs you are uploading and the speed of your internet, it may take up to four minutes for your files to upload. If more than four minutes has passed without success, please contact Trang Pham at (360) 902-8738.

After selecting "Submit" to submit my payment information, my browser appears to freeze, or I get a "Runtime Error." What should I do?

Please be sure to only select "Submit" once so as to prevent multiple charges. If your browser does not display a payment receipt, or you get a "Runtime Error," please contact Trang Pham at (360) 902-8738 before attempting to re-submit an application. We will confirm with you whether we have received the payment.

What if I make it through the whole process but don’t receive a payment receipt?

If you do not receive a payment receipt after selecting "Submit" please call Trang Pham at (360) 902-8738 to confirm whether the payment was processed. Attempting to resubmit may result in multiple charges.

What should I do if I accidentally submit the filing twice?

Before resubmitting an application, please contact the Division to confirm whether your application was submitted successfully. If you accidentally submit the filing twice, either by selecting "Submit" twice or by completing the application process twice, please call Trang Pham at (360) 902-8738.