Site allows people to verify businesses

By The Tri-City HeraldMay 21, 2014 

Washington officials are urging residents to check with www.suspectfraud.com before signing any contract.

The site allows people to use tools to verify if a business is registered and licensed with the state. Available information includes if a business is behind on taxes, has complaints filed against it or is subject to state enforcement actions.

Consumers also can report businesses that are not registered, licensed or may be undercutting state laws using the website.

The state departments of Labor & Industries, Employment Security and Revenue developed the website to give consumers an advantage when hiring a contractor, working with a business or paying for a service.

"During spring and summer many people hire contractors for outdoor home improvement projects like painting, adding a deck or putting on a new roof," Joel Sacks, director of the Department of Labor & Industries, said in a statement. "Hire smart, and make sure any business that bids for your job is registered with the state and has a good track record."

Unregistered businesses fail to report millions of dollars in taxes each year that would otherwise would pay for public services such as schools, according to the Department of Revenue.

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