You can start a business in Washington State by following these simple steps. From sole proprietorships to LLCs, we’ve got you covered.
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Research the type of business you want to start
There are many different types of businesses you can start in Washington State. Some common businesses include: sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each type of business has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will need to research the type of business that best suits your needs and goals.
Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by one person. The sole proprietor is responsible for all aspects of the business, including profits and losses.
Partnership: A partnership is a business owned by two or more people. Partnerships can be either general partnerships or limited partnerships. In a general partnership, all partners are equally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. In a limited partnership, one or more partners (the general partners) are liable for the debts and obligations of the business, while the other partners (the limited partners) are only liable for the amount they have invested in the business.
Limited liability company (LLC): An LLC is a type of partnership that offers its owners limited liability protection. LLCs can be either single-member LLCs (owned by one person) or multi-member LLCs (owned by two or more people).
Corporation: A corporation is a type of business that is owned by shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors to manage the corporation. Corporations offer their owners limited liability protection.
Choose a business structure
Although many businesses start out as sole proprietorships or partnerships, you may want to consider incorporation as your business grows. Incorporating your business can offer certain tax advantages, as well as limiting your personal liability in the event your business is sued.
There are several types of business structures to choose from when incorporating in Washington State. The most common are:
-Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is the most basic type of business structure. You are solely responsible for all aspects of the business, including liabilities and debts.
-Partnership: A partnership is similar to a sole proprietorship, but there are two or more owners who share responsibility for the business.
-Corporation: A corporation is a more complex business structure that offers limited liability protection to its owners.
The process for incorporating your business in Washington State is relatively simple and can be done online or by mail. You will need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Washington Secretary of State and pay a filing fee. For more information on incorporating your business in Washington State, please see the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.wa.gov/corps/.
Register your business
To register your business in Washington State, you must first choose a business structure. The type of business structure you choose will determine which taxes you must pay, how you pay them, and the level of personal liability you face. The most common business structures are:
Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business owned and operated by one person. The sole proprietor is personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
Partnership: A partnership is a business owned and operated by two or more people. Partners are jointly and severally liable for all debts and obligations of the partnership.
Limited Partnership: A limited partnership is a business with one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. Limited partners are only liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership up to the amount they have invested in the partnership. General partners are jointly and severally liable for all debts and obligations of the partnership.
Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners, known as shareholders. Shareholders are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the corporation. There are two types of corporations: C corporations and S corporations. C corporations are taxed on their profits, while S corporations pass their profits through to their shareholders, who are then taxed on their share of the profits.
Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a company that combines features of both partnerships and corporations. LLC owners, known as members, are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the LLC. LLCs can be taxed as partnerships or corporations, depending on how many members they have and whether they elect to be taxed as such.
Once you have chosen a business structure, you will need to obtain the required licenses
Get a business license
You need a business license to operate a business within city limits in Seattle. Business licenses for the entire state of Washington are available through the Department of Revenue. The cost of a business license varies depending on the type of business you plan to operate and the city in which you will be conducting business.
To get a business license in Seattle, you must first register your business with the city. You can do this online or in person at the Business License Call Center. Once you have registered your business, you will be able to apply for a business license and pay the associated fees.
If you plan to operate your business outside of Seattle, you will need to contact the appropriate licensing agency in that jurisdiction. In Washington state, businesses are required to have a license if they sell taxable goods or services, engage in certain trades or professions, or manufacture or distribute liquor, tobacco products, or hazardous materials.
If you are starting a home-based business, you may also need to obtain a zoning permit from your local jurisdiction. Zoning permits ensure that your home-based business complies with local land-use regulations.
For more information on how to start a business in Washington state, visit the Business Licensing Service website or call 1-800-452-1942.
Open a business bank account
Opening a business bank account is one of the first steps you’ll take as a new business owner. It’s important to choose a bank that’s FDIC-insured and offers the products and services that fit your business needs.
To open a business bank account, you’ll need to have the following information on hand:
-Your business name and address
-Your Social Security number or individual tax identification number
-Your driver’s license or passport
Once you have this information, you can start the process of opening a business bank account by visiting your chosen bank’s website or going into a branch location.
Understand your tax obligations
You will need to obtain a business license from the city or county in which your business is located. You will also need to register your business with the Washington State Department of Revenue. Once you have registered your business, you will be required to pay state and local business taxes.
You will also need to obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will need this number to pay federal taxes, file ABC information returns, and open a business bank account.
Create a business plan
Your business plan is a document that summarizes the financial and operational objectives of your business. It also outlines the strategies you will use to achieve your goals.
A well-developed business plan is essential for any new business. It will give you a roadmap to follow and help you track your progress. The process of creating a business plan can also help you clarify your goals and objectives.
To get started, download our Business Plan Template. This template includes instructions and questions to help you complete each section of your plan.
Once you have completed your business plan, review it regularly to ensure that you are on track to meet your goals.
Find the right business location
The first step is to check out the location where you want to open your business. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a location for your business:
-You will need a business license for the address where your business is located. You can apply for a business license online or in person at your local county courthouse.
-The zoning for your desired location will affect what type of businesses are allowed to operate there. You can contact your local planning and zoning department to find out what the requirements are for your desired location.
-You will also need to select a business structure that is right for your company. The most common business structures are sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
After you have selected a location and business structure, you will need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses from the state of Washington. The state requires all businesses to register with the Department of Revenue, which can be done online or by mail. You will also need to obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. Once you have registered your business and obtained all of the necessary permits and licenses, you will be ready to start operating!
When you’re ready to hire employees, you’ll need to find the right people and then follow the law.
To find the right employees:
-Make a list of the qualities and skills you need in an employee.
-Think about where you will find people with those qualities and skills. For example, you might look for someone who already has experience in your industry or who knows how to use certain types of equipment.
-Post job descriptions in places where potential employees are likely to see them, such as online job boards or community bulletin boards.
-Contact employment agencies that specialize in finding employees in your industry.
Once you’ve found some potential employees, you’ll need to follow the law when you hire them. This includes:
-Checking their eligibility to work in the United States: All employers must verify that their employees are eligible to work in the United States. You can do this by having them fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9). For more information, see Hiring Employees: The I-9 Form from USCIS ( https://www.uscis.gov/i-9 ). The Washington State Employment Security Department also has a program that can help you verify your new hires’ eligibility to work in the United States (https://esd.wa.gov/employer-services/electronic-verification).
-Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN): You will need an EIN if you will have employees working for your business. To get an EIN, you can apply online at IRS.gov (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-(ein)-online).
-Withholding taxes from your employees’ paychecks: As an employer, you are responsible for withholding federal and state taxes from your employees’ paychecks and paying those taxes to the government. For more information, see IRS Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide ( https://www.irs.gov/publications/p15 ), or contact the Washington State Department of Revenue (http://dor1wy52d7ckl5w5o4datgfncn6tozjkx4xohgmxidjtbsfv7aea2qdydrnu7k2nrfnx76scmkny issues with withholding state taxes).
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