Washington Business Facts
The enterprising state of Washington – home to Microsoft and Starbucks, Amazon and Costco – was named the Top State for Business by CNBC as recently as 2017. On the whole, the nation’s largest concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers live in Washington state and Washington companies benefit from the sixth highest total of venture capital funding in the nation.
Major Companies Headquartered in Washington
In addition to those mentioned above, Washington is the headquarters of numerous major companies including Boeing, T-Mobile, Nordstrom and the US Navy.
Nearly every industry is represented in Washington with 250,000 companies either headquartered or having operations within the state. Washington entrepreneurs enjoy industry-specific tax breaks and no individual or corporate or income tax, but it should be noted that Washington does have some of the nation’s highest labor and real estate costs.
There are 3 basic options: a Corporation, LLC or DBA. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Washington, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Washington state databases:
Restrictions on Washington Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Washington.
How to form an LLC in Washington
How to Incorporate in Washington
Note: When registering a new company the Secretary of State can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long Washington is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in Washington
Optional Considerations when registering a Washington business
Ready to register a business in Washington?
TIP: We can obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you might need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county depending on the type of service you offer. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it.
LLC: Washington corporations are required to file a Periodic Report with the Washington Secretary of State each year by the last day of their anniversary month, in addition to general taxation. Information on your business’ taxes can be found here.
Corporation: Corporations in Washington state are required to file an annual report each year by the last day of the month of incorporation. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $60.
Washington State Secretary of State
Corporations and Charities Division (for Corporation and LLC filings)
416 Sid Snyder Ave SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Washington State Taxation Departments
Washington State Labor and Employment Departments
Washington State Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) Washington State District Offices
The Workshops, the SBA Education and Training Center, and the SCORE Resource Center are all located at the SBA/SCORE offices in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood at the corner of 4th Avenue and Battery Street.
2. Washington State Legal Statutes:
3. Washington State Chambers of Commerce
4. Angel.co Washington State Startups
5. Washington State Business News
6. Washington State Small Business Development Center
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.