How to Start a Business in Washington DC

Washington State offers entrepreneurs and new business owners a lot of opportunities to start and run a successful business.

The State boasts of the enviable position of number 6 in the nation’s economic climate, 6t position again in low income taxes, and an impressive 5th place in access to funding.

The State of Washington offers small business owners great deals and encouragement to start-up businesses as the State has insured a tax-free policy on the first $43,000 of revenue incurred.

Popular Business Ideas in Washington

  • Batting Cage Business
  • Junk Removal Business
  • Tree Service
  • Wedding Officiant Business
  • Campground
  • Web Development Company


Steps to Starting a Business in Washington

  1. Business Structure

The first step you must take to ensure a proper business is deciding on the business plan that is most suitable to you and your proposed business.

You may choose to run your business under any of the available business structures; and there are several of them.

Each business structure of course comes with its own pros and cons, and it is left to business owners to decide which works best for them, and which will best serve the purposes of their business.

  • Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship business plan allows for just an individual or a couple involved in the business.

The business structure allows for ease and simplicity of operation, as there are an extremely limited number of people involved.

The pros of this kind of business are that there is the benefit of fewer taxes, fewer legal problems, and a higher control of management.

The con is that any debts and legal problems encountered will be on the business owner.

  • General Partnership

This structure involves two or more individuals who are in a complete agreement to run and manage all aspects of a business together.

The profits, losses and management of the business are evenly distributed between all parties involved, and the terms of the agreement is usually formally written in a partnership agreement.

This is actually a less popular business structure.

  • Limited Partnership

A limited partnership involves at least one general partner and one or more limited partner.

The profits and losses are split between the general partners and the limited partners.

The limited partners may not be fully involved in all of the operations of the business, and the partnership has seen a considerable downslide of utilisation with the increasing popularity of limited liability companies.

  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company is the most popular business structure available.

Members involved in an LLC are all involved in the ownership of the business, and the business can have one or more members involved.

An LLC does not hold the members liable for the debts incurred by the LLC business.

LLCs are easier in terms of management and profit and loss distribution, and are much more flexible.

  1. Register your Business

Corporations and businesses in Washington must be registered formally using a valid Washington address.

If you plan on using a trade name, you have to register the name with the Business License Application (BLC), and then the name will be formally secured as yours.

You must also run a search first to ensure that your proposed business name has not been taken by another business.

  1. Filing Fees and Tax Registration

The business will also have to pay some fees for filing for a limited partnership, Limited Liability Company or profit corporation.

These fees vary, but are usually not too expensive. Other fees necessary include an annual renewal fee.

Most companies will require a Tax ID number, or a Federal EIN, and it is necessary for managing business accounts and employee payments.

You will need to register for Washington Sales Tax, and pay a Business Tax.

  1. Create a Business Account

A business account that is dedicated only to your business will make your service look more professional, and also simplify all business related transactions.

Your business will also be required by LLC and Corporation laws to have a business banking account.

  1. Get Insured

Business insurance will ensure that your business is properly covered in case of risks and damages incurred.

Some of the common business insurances are; Workers Compensation Insurance, General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance.

In the State of Washington, businesses involving more than one employee must have workers compensation insurance, in compliance with the laws.

  1. Establish your Brand and Advertise

The popularity of your business will largely depend on your advertising strength, and brand look.

Build a brand that conveys what your business stand for, and engages your target customers.

Business owners should also build an active social media presence, and a professional looking website can help here.

In addition to having a professional website, you can also promote your business on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Review sites are also helpful in creating strong awareness.