Starting A Business

Washington State – A great place to start a business.

Washington State is consistently ranked as one of the best places to start a business. The state has more than 250,000 businesses registered, from one-person start-ups to some of the most familiar names in retailing, aircraft, software and outdoor recreation equipment. If you plan to be the next Amazon.com, Microsoft or Boeing, here are some resources to help you open your business and position it for success.

Office of Regulatory Assistance

The Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance (ORA) offers great information and resources for small business and permit projects.  Staff members are available to answer any questions related to local and state government regulations.  Our Small Business Guide is a helpful tool for all phases of business.

Contact ORA at 1-800-917-0043 or help@ora.wa.gov

Access Washington

Access Washington offers great one-stop shop that includes nearly everything you need, from how to choose a business structure to licensing requirements. Washington State is definitely open for business, and this portal will give you a jump start on getting your business up and running quickly.

You may also want to look through their handy Business Roadmap, which is an easy to follow introduction to doing business in Washington State.

 Secretary of State

If the business structure you’ve chosen is a corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership, you will need to register that company with the Office of the Secretary of State first, or have your attorney do it for you.

Registration with the Office of the Secretary of State is simple, just be sure to properly plan by using the Washington State Small Business Guide.

More than half of all new businesses in Washington state file with the Secretary of State’s office.

Small Business Development Centers

The Small Business Administration, in partnership with state economic development organizations, Washington State University and other educational institutions, has created a network of Small Business Development Centers. Conveniently located around the state, these centers offer business consulting, management training, market research and one-on-one assistance at no charge.

Businesses that worked with the state’s SBDCs experienced average sales 3% higher than businesses that chose to go it alone.

Find a SBDC near you.