Money Transmitter License in Washington – The Basics
Whether you’re planning to start your money services business or expand your current money transmission business in Washington DC, you will have to apply for a money transmitter license.
According to NMLS, a company is required to acquire this license if they intend to carry out these two business activities:
- Receive money or its equivalent value (equivalent value includes virtual currency) to transmit, deliver, or instruct to be delivered to another location, inside or outside the United States, by any means including but not limited to by wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer.
- Sell, issue, or act as an intermediary for open-loop prepaid access and payment instruments.
WA Money Transmitter License Regulator
The state regulator, Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) regulates and examines a variety of state-chartered financial institutions. Whereas, money transmitters in Washington are regulated by the Division of Consumer Services.
Details pertaining to the money transmission application process in Washington, such as the application form, laws, regulations and other resources can be accessed here.
In an effort to streamline the licensing process, DFI now uses the NMLS system for money transmitter license application. All licensed money transmitters are listed in the NMLS Consumer Access Database.
WA Money Transmitter License Cost
The licensing application fee is US$ 1,000 and the initial NMLS processing fee is US$100. These are non-refundable.
You might also need to hire a dedicated compliance officer through your licensing application process. This might cost you somewhere between US$ 70,000 to US$ 100,000 per year.
WA Money Transmitter Net Worth
According to DFI, the minimum required tangible net worth is US$ 10,000 for every one million dollars of money transmission. The maximum tangible net worth is US$ 3,000,000.
If you deal in virtual currency and store the same in wallets on behalf of others, the minimum required tangible net worth is US$ 100,000.
WA Money Transmitter Surety Bond
According to the Washington State Department of Financial Institution, money transmitter licensees will be required to maintain a surety bond between US$ 10,000 and US$ 550,000. However, based on the financial condition of the licensee, the examiner might increase this amount to a maximum of US$ 1 million.
Requirements to Obtain a WA Money Transmitter License
Depending on your application and your business status, it might take you around 5 to 7 months to obtain a money transmitter license.
In order to apply for your money transmitter license, you will need to provide:
- Criminal history of the applicant, board of directors, AML compliance officers, executive officers, etc.
- Complete credit history
- The employment history of ten years for the main applicant as well as the board of directors, and executive director.
- Audited financials
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML) / Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Policy
- Business Plan
- Flow of Funds
- Management Chart
- Organization Structure
There are a lot of other requirements as well which you need to fulfill in order to become a licensed money transmitter in WA. Go through the official checklist here.
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