Washington State: A smart investment.
Companies are drawn to Washington by our geographic proximity, superb quality of life, mild climate, sector-driven economy, international reputation for innovation and invention, highly trained workforce, pro-business environment and pioneer spirit, which creates a unique, collaborative environment where new ideas are quickly surfaced and brought to market.
A trade-savvy culture.
Washington State is the 4th largest exporter of goods in the U.S. at $77 billion in 2016 and imports another $89.7 billion in products annually. The state’s equidistance between Asian and European markets and the fact that some ports are a day’s sail closer to Asia markets than other west coast cities offers businesses the competitive advantages they need to grow and expand into new markets to the south.
An international gateway.
Washington State is located in the northwest corner of the United States. Seattle is the largest city in the state, and flights to and from major business centers around the world are available from Sea-Tac International Airport, just south of the city. From there, business travelers can fly direct to Amsterdam, Beijing, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Reykjavik, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo and connect to major cities all over the world. Seattle is an hour closer by air to major Asian business centers than any other U.S. airport on the west coast.
Direct international flights are offered by All Nippon, ANA, Asiana, British Airways, Condor, Emirates, EVA Air, Hainan Airlines, Iceland Air, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and Xiamen. Other airlines servicing Seattle include Delta, United, Southwest, American, Frontier, U.S. Airways, Virgin America, JetBlue and Alaska, providing connections to all major U.S. cities, including nonstop flights.
In one Seattle neighborhood, 59 different languages are spoken, a testament to the state becoming the west coast melting pot of people, cultures and traditions.
A business friendly state.
- Washington State does not have a personal or corporate income tax.
- The state is ranked #6 in the U.S. in Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. The ranking is based on corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property.
- Washington offers a range of tax incentives,
exemptionsand deferrals in specific industries to further reduce your tax burden. See our complete list of incentives here.
- $1.2 billion invested in Seattle-area businesses annually: 44% of it in software, 16.3% in biotech, 14% in media & entertainment, 6.3% in IT services, 6%
inmedical devices and equipment, 3.4% in networking and equipment.
Washington’s key sectors.
Boeing, along with 1,400 other aerospace-related companies, employ 136,100+ workers, generating $70 billion in sales and $11.5 billion in wages. Learn more about aerospace in Washington State.
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, F5 Networks and nearly 14,000 other tech companies employ 200,000+ workers and generate $36.4 billion in revenue annually. Learn more about Washington’s ICT sector.
Agriculture is a $17 billion industry employing 140,000 people. Food manufacturing is a $13 billion market employing 37,000 workers. Find out more about the agriculture/food manufacturing sector.
Life Science/Global Health
Nearly 500 companies such as Philips Healthcare, Juno Therapeutics and Physio Control employ 36,000 workers, supported by a national research lab, two major research universities and $908.4 million in NIH grants. Learn more about life sciences/global health in Washington.
Employs 56,000 scientists, technicians, engineers and researchers, backed by $1 billion in venture capital. Learn more about our growing clean technology industry.
With an eye on sustainability and stewardship, Washington’s 1,700+ forest products businesses employ some 105,000 workers earning nearly $5 billion in wages annually. Learn more about our legendary forest products industry.
$21.4 billion in gross revenue and 69,500 workers employed by 2,300 companies. Find our more about the state’s maritime industry.
Rain, rain, go away…
When it comes to climate, Washington has something for everyone. On the west side of the state, the cool marine air turns the sky gray at times, but the Puget Sound region gets less rain than Houston, Mobile, Miami and New York. In Eastern Washington, the weather is drier and warmer in the summer, with some cities enjoying more sunny days than Florida. Winters there are cooler compared to the west side of the state, which enjoys mild weather year round, thanks in large part to the two mountain ranges that shield if from more extreme weather patterns. Regardless of where you live or work, you’ll quickly agree that the scenic vistas here are among the most beautiful in the United States. More about our climate and geography…