Is SELF being replaced with another online system?

Yes. Seattle has partnered with other WA state cities to adopt FileLocal ( as our multi-jurisdictional online portal for business licensing and tax.

When will SELF be decommissioned?

We estimate that the system will be taken offline in 2020*. To prepare for this transition, we encourage businesses to get their business accounts set up with their license(s) linked in FileLocal as soon as possible.

Additionally, SELF users should download copies of their returns filed online that they wish to retain. At this time, Seattle is not planning to leave SELF up in an archival capacity so past filed forms will be irretrievable once the system is taken offline.

*Final notification will be distributed prior to going offline.

Will my SELF login work in FileLocal?

No. A business must first register at FileLocal by creating a Business Account then the Seattle license can be linked. A new User Name and Password will be created during your setup, and the system will request your City Account Number to complete the link for each business location. You can look up your City Account Number(s) here:

Tax Preparers can set up a Prepare Account to file for multiple businesses. The Business Account owners for each account will be notified when a Preparer requests access.

For information about Account Setup in FileLocal, or for assistance with account retrieval or password resets please contact their web support directly at 1-877-693-4435.

Does FileLocal function the same as the SELF system?

No. Since FileLocal is a multi-city portal, we were unable to make the system function exactly like SELF. However, we believe the benefits of using the same portal for your multi-jurisdictional tax and licensing needs offsets the interface differences between the two systems.

Notable differences between the two systems are:

  • Users can link licenses for multiple cities to each location registered, allowing them to renew licenses and file/pay taxes for multiple jurisdictions in one system.
  • Users will no longer be able to prepare/submit a tax form and pay separately with a check by mail. A tax filing must be accompanied by electronic payment in order to file via FileLocal. If you are unable to pay electronically, please contact our office to request a paper tax form after the SELF system is taken offline (
  • Returns where no taxes are owed may still file without electronic payment.
  • Payments for Seattle’s Regulatory License fees cannot be paid via FileLocal. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Can I apply for a Business License Tax Certificate with SELF?

No. Online applications are only accepted through the FileLocal system (

What is a Pre-assigned Access Code (PAC)?

If you are an Administrator for a businesses' SELF account, you can create a pre-assigned access code (PAC) to provide another person access to the business. They can use this PAC to add the business to their account.

The PAC is not required for setup. Users can use the Customer Number and any Obligation Number associated with the account to add the business or have an existing Administrator add them using their User ID.

What do the different roles mean?

Each role authorizes certain functions as described in this table.
Role Authorized to...
Administrator Add/Edit/Remove Users, Update Address/Phone, Prepare Tax Return, Approve/Submit Tax Return, Pay Tax Return, Pay license renewals
Tax Preparer – can prepare, submit and pay Address/Phone, Prepare Tax Return, Approve/Submit Tax Return, Pay Tax Return, Pay license renewals
Tax Preparer – can prepare Address/Phone, Prepare Tax Return

Can I remove my login from a business?

If you are an Administrator you may remove yourself. If there is another person associated with the business, that person must be an Administrator before you may edit or remove yourself. You can make another person an administrator by clicking edit.

If you are not the Administrator you will need to ask the current Administrator to remove your permissions. If you are unable to make this request with your Administrator you may e-mail our team with your request if your need for removal is urgent. Otherwise, account maintenance is not prioritized since the system will be decommissioned this year.

Where do I find my Business Customer Number and Obligation Number?

Any past or current paper tax form, Balance Due Notice, or Renewal Notice should feature the Customer Number and at least one Obligation Number. If you cannot locate these documents, email with your request or call our office.

How much is my license fee and how is that determined?

Please see our Licensing web page for information about our license fee costs by tier, and to view the Ordinance behind that: