How to Start a Business in Washington State

How to Start a Business in Washington State

To start a business in Washington State, you must follow a series of steps to get the proper certification.

But before getting a transportation business license or starting any business, you must understand that success can be challenging for business owners. You must be prepared for years of hard work and persistence until you achieve a significant result. Consistency and a proactive approach to solving your business problem will be your best allies.

  1.  Market Research — You must research and get a deep breakdown of the market you are trying to enter. Also, check your competition and understand their top products or services; that way, you can validate your business idea. Use software or services to study and analyze their online presence and traffic volume.
  2.  Write Your Business Plan — A solid business plan is a step-by-step roadmap for your business outcome. It outlines your market analysis summary, how your business will be structured, core products/services, the marketing plan, and financial forecasts. Plan for your following line of tasks for 2-3 months ahead, where you need to execute 
  3. Choose Your Business Structure — You must choose your business's legal structure. The most common choices for a business that is just getting started are sole proprietorship or an (LLC) limited liability company. Each has its cons and pros. Consult a tax professional to help you make an informed decision.
  4. Register Your LLC and Get a Business Licence — Once you decide the business name and the structure for your company, it's time to register your business with the appropriate office. To register an LLC in Washington State, you need to go to the secretary of state by clicking on this link. After that, make sure you are legally compliant and get the necessary business licenses and permits based on your industry.
  5. Set Up Your Finances — Separate your expenses from your business ones. As soon as you get an EIN number, you should open a business checking account on that number and separate yourself. Track your expenses and income from the beginning, choose accounting software at the beginning, and later consider hiring a bookkeeper or accountant.
  6. Build an Online Presence — Develop a website and create accounts for the major social media companies. Increase brand awareness on the internet by posting on those social media companies.
  7. Market Your Business — Implement an outbound or inbound marketing strategy to reach your target audience. Use a mix of content marketing, social media, SEO, and paid advertising. Especially at the beginning, paid advertising will give you the fastest results.


Starting a business is a multistep process that requires dedication, strategic planning, and a lot of learning from own mistakes. Follow these steps, keep your head up, and build a strong business foundation.


How to Form an LLC in Washington State:

By registering an LLC in Washington State, the main benefit is that you will protect your personal assets from your company business debt. 


  1. Create or reserve your LLC name - Select a unique name for your LLC, you can check the availability of that name on the secretary's website. All the names must include "LLC" at the end of it. If you are still deciding whether to open the company or not, you can reserve your name for up to 180 days by filling out the form for "Name Reservation.
  2. Get a registered agent or put it under yourself. If you want all your mail handled by someone else, you can select a registered agent within the state for your LLC. All agents must have a Washington state address. However, most of the time, the owners choose themselves as the business's registered agent.
  3. File a certificate of formation in Washington. Go to the Secretary of State website and fill out the form with your business name, office address, agent, and owner information. Wait 3-5 business days, and you will receive the certificate
  4. Get a Washington Business License — After you obtain the certificate along with your UBI number. You need to apply for a business license to operate in your city. Each city has its regulations and limits, so be careful about what you choose on the application. You can register with the Washington Department of Revenue after your LLC starts earning $12,000 or more.
  5. Get an EIN — As soon as you get that certificate of formation, you will obtain a UBI number, which will allow you to apply for an EIN. This will help separate your business from you, allow you to to open a business bank account and hire employees for your company. 


How to get a business license in Washington State

  • After obtaining your WA certificate of formation and UBI number, you must go here and create an account.
  • After you log into the account, find the link that says to apply for a new business license.
  • The next step is to click on "start a business in WA State", where you enter the UBI number and fill out the application.

How much is a business license in Washington state?

  • Initial Application: When opening a business in Washington, the business license can cost up to 100$.
  • Annual Renewal: The annual renewal fee is $60 and up, depending on your business license.

How much is an LLC in Washington state?

  • Initial Application: Opening an LLC in Washington costs you 200$.
  • Annual Renewal: The fee for your annual report to the secretary of state is $70 
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