How to Start a Business in Washington 2022: Step-by-Step Process

Washington is the capital of the United States and also the residential hub of the White House. Because of their position, many people move to Washington every day in search of different political and social reasons.

This has caused an increase in the state’s population, which has boosted a lot of businesses. For this reason, many people want to start a business in Washington to contribute to the state’s economic growth.

So, if you’re looking to start a business in Washington, this article will show you how to start one using key strategic steps. Furthermore, we will identify some businesses that have thrived in Washington.

About Washington

Washington is a country in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is the eighteenth largest state, with state and thirteenth by population. Over 60 percent of Washington residents reside in the Seattle metropolitan area, the hub of transportation, business, and industry.

In business, Washington is a major lumber producer. Its rugged surface is rich in scenes of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, fir, pine, and cedar.

They remain the nation’s largest producer of apples, hops, pears, berries, peppermint oil, and sweet cherries, and rank highly in the production of apricots, asparagus, dried peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes.

Washington remains one of the wealthiest and most socially liberal states in the country. The state consistently ranks among the best in terms of life expectancy and low unemployment.

Besides Colorado, Washington was one of the first to legalize recreational and medical cannabis and was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage.

Are there Opportunities in Washington?

Washington’s economy is very stable. With the state’s gross domestic product reaching $ 612,996.5 billion in 2019, they have the fifth-best economy in the country.

Their steady growth pace of 6.5 percent annually makes them the fastest-growing state economy in the United States. Hence, you need to see why you should start a business in Washington as soon as possible.

Some of Washington’s manufacturing industries include aircraft, missiles, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, food processing, metals, metal products, chemicals, and machinery.

There are over a thousand dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

Washington has significant amounts of hydroelectric power generation. In addition, a large amount of trade with Asia passes through the ports of Puget Sound, leading to the sixth ranking of US ports (the ranking combines TEU with the Infrastructure Index).

What are the Requirements to Start a Business in Washington?

When you decide to start a business in Washington, you must meet certain requirements if you truly want to achieve brilliant success. Some of these requirements you need include:


Funding is the blood of the business. When any business lacks funding, it will gradually close its curtains.

According to JCount, in business, a lack of finance is a huge issue. A business has a lot of costs—you need to pay wages, you need to pay your energy and facility bills, you must pay for the rent of your business premises if you are renting, or the mortgage of the place.

So, when you want to start a business in a buzzing place like Washington, you need to do a complete financial analysis.

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While you can run particular businesses without a license, the majority of other businesses demand you own a license to run them. Collection agents, Accountants, Physicians. Realtors and Appraisers need a license to run their business. On the other hand, freelancers, web developers, content creators and consultants don’t need a license to run their business.

So, if you’re part of the former list, you need to register to get your license so you can start your business in Washington. The government regulates the licensing agency to ensure they give licenses to only qualified individuals.

Business Plan

A business plan is a vital and strategic tool for entrepreneurs. A good business plan helps entrepreneurs focus on the specific steps necessary for them to make business ideas succeed, and it also helps them to achieve short-term and long-term objectives.

So, you shouldn’t be caught starting a business in Washington otr anywhere in the world without a business plan.

Team Members

Good teamwork is vital in all organizations. When people work as a team, they pursue common goals and share their diverse skills in complementary roles and in cooperation with each other.

By everyone actively contributing to the general goal, achieving the aim becomes easier and faster.

So, when you think of running a business, you should think of building a powerful team as well that will help you transit easily from one level to another.

Top Startups in Washington

According to Business News Daily, Washington state hosts 608,956 small businesses that employ 1.4 million workers, which is more than half of the state’s private-sector workforce. These small businesses represent 99.5% of all Washington-based businesses, more than half of which maintain less than 100 employees.

Business Insider introduces us to some businesses in Seattle, Washington that are doing extremely well. These businesses include:


Duxter is a social network specifically for gamers. Other social networks, such as Facebook, are not tailored for these gamers, who can find a supportive community and praise for their gaming accomplishments. Duxter also allows for users to earn rewards points on gear and games.

Big Picture

Big Picture is an upscale movie theater that shows old and new films and serves you fancy food and drinks—try the truffle popcorn or the “Den of Sin,” a chocolate cocktail—while you watch. Businesses also rent out space at Big Picture for corporate meetings in either the main theatre or any of its themed meeting rooms.

Bag Borrow or Steal

Bag Borrow or Steal gained an enormous amount of publicity and some of its “coolness” factor thanks to the first Sex and the City movie. But what really makes it cool is that instead of having to purchase expensive luxury bags, you can rent them.

It’s a great service for people who want to try a bag out before buying it, for people who need a bag for a special occasion, or for those who have constantly growing tastes.

Archie McPhee

Archie McPhee is the toy store in Seattle for kids and grownups alike. People come for party favors, gag gifts, pranks, candy, and the more “typical” toys and games. Archie McPhee also offers birthday and bridal gift registries and sells a collection of funny and alternative wedding cake toppers.


This startup has local events boards online with the goal of making unforgettable experiences happen more often. An enormous amount of companies post events from movie screenings to concerts to boat trips.

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You can browse events to see what interests you or follow the boards that create events you enjoy attending. The business is social in that you can see which events are most popular and who is attending them.

How to Start a Business in Washington 2022: Step-by-Step Process

When you want to start up a business in Washington, there are a few key steps you must follow to start and run a profitable business. These steps include:

Step 1: Pick an Idea

When you think of owning a business, you must start by deciding with all the ideas in your head. In seeking an idea, you must find one that suits your interests, and your personal goals create good income and strengthen your natural abilities.

With such an ability, you remain motivated when the going gets tough and this will improve your odds of success.

Some businesses you can model and start-up easily include:

  • Car Repair Shop
  • Laundry Service
  • E-commerce store
  • Farm
  • Bike Rental Business
  • Drive-In Movie Theater
  • Supermart
  • Hookah Lounge

Step 2: Plan Your Business

When you carefully plan your business journey, you increase your chances of success to a great height. Before you commit your resources towards building your business, critically analyze your idea and create a game plan. At a minimum, have appropriate answers to the following questions.

Business Name

Getting a good name for your business is usually an enormous challenge. You’ll want to choose a brand name that follows Washington naming rules, resonates with your customers, and is available as a URL.

Product Development

You would need to solve a serious problem with your new product in a buzzing market. And therefore your product development must be strong.

Sales & Marketing

You would need to find a plan that will help you market your goods and services expertly.

People and Partnerships

For every journey, your business takes, it needs partnerships and individuals to aid it in the process.

Financial Planning

At this point, you would determine how much funding you would need to keep your business afloat.

Step 3: Form Your Business

A lot of businesses grow to a tremendous level and then get hit with heavy taxes. These taxes can cripple the company’s finances and even get them a ban when they are not careful.

However, these issues can be avoided when there is increased credibility or powerful protection from legal issues. And this will happen when you form your business.

For most small businesses, registering an LLC is a great option. Compared to other businesses, LLCs are easier to set up and manage, and they have favorable tax treatment. You can set up an LLC in Washington for as little as $250.

Another important aspect of forming your business would be to secure your domain. When you secure your domain, you can own your business in the online space while you battle with offline registration.

Step 4: Register for Taxes

Taxes are vital for citizens and employees in the U.S. With seriously limited exceptions, most businesses demand an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number.

With an EIN, you can identify a business in its federal tax filings. However, without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

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Register for Washington State Taxes

Unemployment Insurance Tax

Step 5: Set Up Accounting

According to eCareers, 75% of companies fail within the first 18 months, showing just how hard a task it is to build an enterprise from the ground up and manage the finances to a level that is sustainable. While poor management or the lack of market penetration causes many failed startups, a good number of them fail because of poor financial planning.

A cure for poor financial planning would be the use of an accounting system. An accounting system aids you to track the performance of your business and simplifies annual tax filings.

Quality accounting software allows you to download your bank and credit card transactions, making accounting fast. With these strategies in place, you’ll be on top of your accounts every time.

Step 6: Obtain Permits & Licenses

Without a license, you cannot successfully operate a business. You will consistently fall out with the government and regulatory agencies. To operate your new business legally, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations.

In many cases, this involves getting one or more business permits and/or licenses. For example, a restaurant will probably need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Learn how to obtain the necessary licenses and permits for your business

Step 7: Get Insurance

Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. All small businesses including home-based businesses must purchase a general liability policy.

Businesses selling professional advice or services, such as consulting and accounting firms, should also consider a professional liability policy.

In Washington, the law pushes businesses with one or more employees, excluding LLC members and company officers to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Step 8: Define Your Brand

A brand separates you from your direct and indirect competitors in the business world. When you create a brand, you build a customer loyalty bond that will continue to draw more people to your business.

In creating your brand, you must ensure you have a unique selling position and great advertising channels. A popular advertising channel is Facebook which can help you create great brand awareness to your target market.

Step 9: Establish a Web Presence

A professional website is instrumental to the long-term success of your business, regardless of what industry you are staying, you. A website gives potential customers to find your business online and discover the products or services you offer, and it also enhances your business’s credibility.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

  • Setting up social media profiles (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Creating accounts on review sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc)
  • Registering for a local Google profile


Before you start a business in Washington, there’s so much you have to consider. However, with the number of outstanding guidelines you’ve seen in this article, you’ll do better when you start your business in this state or another.


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