How to Start a Business in Washington

Starting a business requires more than a good idea. Along with the business concept, you need to follow federal and Washington state laws, have financing, and strategy. Your Seattle business startup lawyer can help ensure you meet all of these. There are a number of steps to the process including registration, permits, and marketing strategy among others.

Formulate a Plan

The first few steps help you build on your business concept. With your Seattle business planner, you must create a business plan and structure. The plan is a map of your business from start to the first five years. It helps you stay on track and know how to move forward to stay within your objectives. With this, you also need to decide on your business structure. Your choices include

  • LLC
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Co-Op
  • Corporation
  • Non-Profit
  • Partnership
  • S Corporation

Each of these is structured differently, which matters simply to how you will register with the state and federal government. The tax rates also vary and your business planner can help you figure out the one that suits your needs.

The Legalities

Once your plan is written, it is time to start facing all the paperwork. This is when you want your Seattle business lawyer on hand to read over all contracts and ensure each piece if followed. You need to

  • Choose a Business Name
  • Register Your Business
  • Obtain a Business License
  • Obtain Business Permits
  • Follow Federal and Local Business Laws

Certain business types such as the selling of alcohol require federal permits so you are registered. In Washington, you also need to register a number for a number of other industries. This includes those such as tattoo shops, private investigators, and auctioneers. For a full list of licenses, you can visit Washington State Department of Licensing.

The Financing

If you don’t have money lined up to finance your business, there are other methods to get you there. You may want to utilize Seattle business planning professionals in order to streamline the process. Most banks offer business loans you can take out if you qualify within their terms. Your business planner, however, should also know of any grants or federal funding programs you can utilize. There are currently a number for minorities and women available to help even the business owners’ demographics. When this is in place, you can use your tax I.D. number to file and pay. These will be dependent on the business structure you choose.

Business Strategy

With everything in place, you can continue with your business strategy, finding a storefront location if needed, and hiring staff. Your target audience determines, in part, the location and staff. You want to hire knowledgeable and likeminded people in a location that attracts these customers. Then, you need to identify your marketing strategy to find the best methods to communicate your brand and products. Once this is done, you should establish a customer base and your business is ready to become a success. This, again, is something your business startup lawyer can help with.

You never want to start a business on a whim. It takes a lot of time and effort and should be done with your local Seattle business attorney. This ensures you follow the legalities and processes needed for both federal and Washington state levels. The last thing you want is to invest in a business that can’t go anywhere.
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