Looks like your license being inactive status is like not having a license at all which means no LEGAL paying of a referral fee.
*** CHANGE IN 2008 *** (SEE 2778-S.SL) ***
(1) Any license issued under this chapter and not otherwise revoked shall be deemed "inactive" at any time it is delivered to the director. Until reissued under this chapter, the holder of an inactive license shall be deemed to be unlicensed.
(2) An inactive license may be renewed on the same terms and conditions as an active license, except that a person with an inactive license need not comply with the education requirements of RCW 18.85.095(2)(a) or 18.85.165. Failure to renew shall result in cancellation in the same manner as an active license.
(3) An inactive license may be placed in an active status upon completion of an application as provided by the director and upon compliance with this chapter and the rules adopted pursuant thereto. If a holder has an inactive license for more than three years, the holder must show proof of successfully completing a thirty clock hour course in real estate within one year prior to the application for active status. Holders employed by the state and conducting real estate transactions on behalf of the state are exempt from this course requirement.
(4) The provisions of this chapter relating to the denial, suspension, and revocation of a license shall be applicable to an inactive license as well as an active license, except that when proceedings to suspend or revoke an inactive license have been initiated, the license shall remain inactive until the proceedings have been completed.