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Start a Business in Washington

Ideas become profitable every day. If you are interested in learning how to create a successful business in Washington State, you must act carefully and wisely. Below, find a checklist that will assist you with everything you need to do in order to start your new company.

Starting a Business Checklist

Starting your business will take careful planning and strategizing. A new company is a lot of work, which is why it is of the utmost importance to stay organized with your process. Consult the below checklist when you are ready to take charge and start your business in Washington:

  1. Prepare a business plan – Prior to starting your business comes the most important task of determining its blueprint. You should set your business goals and how you plan to reach them. Outline how and why these goals are attainable. In addition, choose your team and establish some background information on your new organization.
  2. Choose your business structure – Now, you must decide which business structure to maintain. Your business structure will depend on different limitations and benefits. Choose between a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, a general partnership, a corporation or a limited partnership.
  3. Select a business name – Consider the following when choosing a name for your business: customer appeal, graphics and marketing strategies, other use or similar use of your brand name, and the indication of your corporation or limited liability company factored into the name. Register your business name for $5 when you complete your Washington Business License Application.
  4. Get registered in Washington State– If you choose to start a corporation or a limited liability company, you must get registered. So work with an attorney; determine who your registered agent will be; create your Articles of Incorporation; get your Washington State Unified Business Identifier (UBI); and create the governance document for your business.
  5. Set your business location – Your business license will need to identify a physical location to associate with your company or corporation. Depending on if your company is mobile, Internet based, an office or a retail shop, learn about all applicable permits, restrictions, zoning and costs.
  6. Get a federal tax ID – Sole proprietorships and limited liability companies without employees will allow you to use your Social Security Number for your federal ID. In all other instances, you need to get a federal ID number (or tax ID) for IRS and tax filing purposes.
  7. Obtain any permits and licenses – In addition to your business license, you may need to get additional licenses at a local level, along with professional licenses, depending on your industry.
  8. Organize your operations – Set up a bank account to associate with your new business, so long as you have finalized your UBI, your federal ID number and your governance document. Consider taxes, accounting and insurance labor and costs, as well.
  9. Hire your team – Be sure to hire employees that are trained and skilled in your industry to ensure your success. There are several programs throughout Washington State that can assist you with finding the trained professionals you require.
  10. Open your business – Now that you have taken care of all the initial moving parts, from incorporation to finance, and licensing to staffing, it is time to get your business out on the market.