Start a Business in Bellingham, WA: When it comes to starting a business, entrepreneurs must look for the place with the most potential. Whether a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC, having a business in Bellingham, WA, is a plus for any entrepreneur. In general, setting up any form of business in Washington, US, is the initial step to building an international brand.
Entrepreneurs across the globe are interested in starting and expanding their businesses in Bellingham, WA. With an urban population of 129653 (estimate), the city has a lot to offer to all emerging entrepreneurs. The main reason for this is the economic environment and flexibility of the business structure in Washington. Like most places in the US, Bellingham, WA also offers business structures for all types of entrepreneurs; no matter what business you want to do, there’s a perfect solution for you. If you want to start limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, or a sole proprietorship, Bellingham, WA has a proper business environment for all.
In this article, you will read about how to start a business in Bellingham and why you should choose Bellingham to start and run your business. We recommend you check below the important facts about Bellingham, WA; these might help you.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- Bellingham, WA Household Income Statistics
- Bellingham, WA Education & Labor force Facts
- Bellingham, WA Demographics
- How to Start a Business in Bellingham, WA
- Other Things to do After Starting Your Business
- Important Bellingham Stats for Starting a Business
- Reasons to Start a Business in Bellingham
- FAQ About Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, WA Household Income Statistics
|Bellingham Median household income||56198 USD|
|Bellingham households with dual income earners||50.9 %|
|Bellingham households $150K+ Income||10.9 %|
|Bellingham households $100K+ Income||24 %|
|Bellingham households $100-150K Income||13.1 %|
|Bellingham households $75-100K+ Income||13.6 %|
|Bellingham households $50-75K+ Income||17.7 %|
|Bellingham households $35-50K+ Income||12.3 %|
|Bellingham households $25-35K+ Income||8.6 %|
Bellingham, WA Education & Labor force Facts
|Bellingham residents with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)||27.2 %|
|Bellingham residents with at least a 4-year degree||45.4 %|
|Bellingham residents with a graduate degree||18.2 %|
|Bellingham residents with a high school diploma but no more||17 %|
|Bellingham residents with less than high school education||5.8 %|
|Bellingham residents with some college but no more||31.9 %|
|Bellingham residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (STEM fields)||49.5 %|
|Bellingham households that own (rather than rent) their residence||46.4 %|
|Bellingham residents 16 and older in the labor force||64.6 %|
|Bellingham residents unemployed||4.5 %|
Bellingham, WA Demographics
|Bellingham residents aged 0-9||7.8 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 10-19||11.6 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 20-29||26.9 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 30-39||12.1 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 40-49||10.4 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 50-59||9.6 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 60-69||10.9 %|
|Bellingham residents aged 70-79||7.1 %|
|Bellingham residents aged over 80||3.8 %|
|The average size of resident families in Bellingham, WA||2.82|
|Estimated population per square kilometer in Bellingham, WA||1246|
|Bellingham, WA urban population (estimate)||129653|
|Bellingham, WA municipal population (estimate)||90821|
Now that you know what makes Bellingham of Washington good for business, let’s get started with the exact steps on how to start a business in Bellingham.
How to Start a Business in Bellingham, WA
Starting a business in Bellingham, WA, needs planning, financial decisions, legal procedures, and a handful of other things. Be it a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC in Washington, you must go through the following steps. These steps are general steps. They are subject to change depending on the structure of your business.Generally, starting a Limited Liability Company is easy to form. Read our guide on how to start an LLC before you start your own business. Here are the steps to set up your business in Bellingham.
Step 0: Decide on What Business to Start
This is the first thing you work on, the type of business you want to start in Bellingham. Depending on that, you need to make your business plan. Apart from the legal documentation and process, you must include the following points in your business plan,
- Through market research on demand trend
- Complete Budget plan – funding your business. If you’re planning to start an LLC, then take a look at the cost of LLC
- What competitors are doing
- SWOT Analysis – check what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are
- Your targeted buyers
Once you have the entire plan with you, you can continue working on the legal structure of your business. LLCBuddy will guide you through the legal process of forming an LLC for your business. It’s very likely that you have already done this step 0, so that we won’t go deep into this step, let’s move to step 1.
Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure
The very first step after you decide on what type of business you want to start is to choose what type of business structure you want to form. You can form an LLC, a sole proprietorship, a corporation, or a partnership. Each type of structure has different rules and regulations. For example, if you want to start a Washington LLC, there are different types of tax and fee structures. An LLC formation is similar to forming a sole proprietorship. On the other hand, forming a corporation is much more complicated. The tax and fee structure is completely different in corporation formation.
Step 2: Name Your Business
The next step in forming a business is to give it an appropriate name. Having a business name is not so easy task. You cannot pick a random name for your company. One has to follow proper naming guidelines before they name their company. Besides, before you settle a name, you must check if the name you are looking for is available to use. You can visit the official government site of Washington to do the Washington LLC name search before you pick the available name. Below are some of the naming rules you need to follow,
- You cannot name your business that has words or phrases like Bank, University, Government, or anything that can confuse people with a government sector.
- If you are forming an LLC in Washington, then you must include words like “LLC,” “LC,” “LLC,” “Liability Company,” and “L.L.C.” If it is an LLP, then you must include “LLP” in your business name.
- The name should reflect the nature of your business. Any name that can confuse people should not be picked.
- You can check if the name of your company is available. Through the business name search process, you can search if the desired name is available for use or not.
- You can reserve your business name for a certain time before you form your business in Bellingham, WA by filing a name reservation application.
The above-mentioned points are basic naming rules that all businesses have to follow while naming their company. As mentioned above, these rules are subjected to change depending on the structure of the business.
Step 3: Get a Registered Agent
A Registered Agent is a person who receives all types of legal and official documents on behalf of the business. Whether a suit against your company or formation-related documents from the state, a Washington LLC Registered Agent is responsible for receiving these documents at his/her official address. In general, anyone who has the right to conduct business in Bellingham can be a registered agent. However, there are some requirements to becoming a registered agent.
- The person has to be 18+ years of age.
- Must be a citizen of the Washington
- Must have a physical street address in the Washington
- Must have legal rights to conduct business in the Washington
Anyone who fulfills the requirements can be a registered agent. Also, anyone from the company, your spouse, any relative, or yourself can be a registered agent. But, it is recommended that you hire a professional registered agent to look after your documentation. You can choose from the best LLC services that also offer registered agent for LLCs.
Step 4: Register Your Business
The next step is to register your business under the Secretary of State, Washington. The Articles of Organization (or certificate of incorporation) of your company should be submitted online, by mail, in person, or by fax to the Washington SOS. You need to pay the state filing fee either by Credit Card or by check to the SOS while registering your business in the Bellingham, WA. Your Washington LLC articles of organization should have the following details about your business
- Company/Business name, address
- Registered Agent Name, address
- Member-managed or manager-managed (in case of LLC)
- Type of business
Depending on the type of business structure, you may have to add some more information to the formation document.
Step 5: Write the Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a document that has all the structural information of your business. In most states, it is not mandatory to create an operating agreement. However, it is highly recommended to have one as an internal document. This document records information such as,
- About Business
- Members and management
- Capital contribution
- Profit Distribution
- Change of membership
In future, if any member wants to leave the company or you want to dissolve the business, then the Washington operating agreement has everything recorded, from clauses to contributions.
Step 6: Obtain EIN
EIN or Employer Identification Number is required to file taxes, open a business bank account, and if your business has employees. EIN can be obtained from IRS. It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. However, EIN is different from SSN. It is solely used for business purposes, especially for general tax filing. You have to fill out the form and submit it to the IRS website. It does not cost you anything to obtain EIN.
Step 7: Get Business Bank Accounts
Once you obtain the EIN for your business, you are free to open a business account in the US. Having a US business bank account can ease your business transactions in Bellingham, WA. It increases your business credibility and liquidity. It will also be helpful for business loans.
Step 8: Create Your Business Website
Business websites are as important as your business structure. It is necessary to have a catchy business website with all the information regarding your company. Along with the website, you need some more things. Things such as logos, business cards, business emails, domain names, and social media accounts are needed to promote your business. You can hire a professional business service to get all of these services under one roof.
Other Things to do After Starting Your Business
- Once your company is set in the Bellingham, Washington, you need to file your taxes and apply for licenses (if needed).
- Apart from the license and permits, you need to get insurance for your business. Such as General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation Insurance are some of the insurances you need to get if you are about to start an LLC.
Important Bellingham Stats for Starting a Business
Before you start a business in Bellingham, it is required that you know some facts about the city. Following are some of the stats to consider before starting a business.
Education & Employment
Bellingham has a diverse population that comes from various educational backgrounds. There are students who haven’t finished their high-school education, whereas there are people who are more than just college graduates. Check the table (Education & Labor Force) for detailed data. From the data, it is clear that the city has enough educated and skilled people who can contribute to the labor force.
As we talk about the urban population density, the young population percentage in the city is approximately 26.9 (people in their 20s) and 12.1 (people in their 30s). This means that having any business that is new and tech-based might be profitable. The median age of the population in the city is 32.9. On the contrary, if anyone wants to start a business that is related to any old-age service, such as caregiver, primary old-age support, or something of a similar sort, then Bellingham has approximately 3.8 (people in their 80s and above) percent of old people. Check out the table (Demography) above for more information.
Another important factor to mention about Bellingham is the home value of owned properties. The average value of owned houses is 404687. Also, the percentage of people living in their own houses is 46.4. This reflects the real estate market of the city. For a metropolitan city, this is a considerable number.
It is inevitable that living in a big city is different from living in a town or a comparatively smaller city. It directly affects lifestyle and health. It is obvious that having health insurance is important, no matter which city or region you are residing in. But there are people in Bellingham who still do not have health insurance. The rate of people not having health insurance is 4.9. This depicts the lifestyle and overall health demography of Bellingham. As you plan to start your business in this city, you must consider this stat as well.
Income & Lifestyle
The income pattern of the people in this city is given in the table (Income) above. In Bellingham, a part of the population has a dual family income that reflects a better standard of living. As in, people have more than one source of income. The table above shows the income percentage of various slabs.
Also Check – How to Start Business In Kent, WA
Reasons to Start a Business in Bellingham
Bellingham offers a bunch of business-friendly services for entrepreneurs. A proper business environment, skilled labor, tax advances, deductions, and much more are awaiting if you are interested in starting your business in Bellingham. Here are some of the reasons,
Stable Economic Growth
Bellingham or any other city in Washington has stable economic growth and an environment that helps any business to grow successfully. The economic structure of Washington shows not only balanced but also a sustainable condition of economic growth, which in turn triggers the businesses to flourish in the state.
Minimize Personal Liabilities of the Entrepreneur
If you’re considering starting an LLC in Bellingham, then it will be your best choice. An LLC protects your personal assets and minimizes your personal liabilities. This is one of the many reasons why having an LLC in Bellingham is a wise choice. Also, if you are opting for an LLC, the tax deductions will be more than having a corporation.
Federal and State Tax Relaxation
There is a series of federal taxes that an entrepreneur has to pay when operating a business in the US. Depending on the state your company is located in, the state taxes are being imposed. For an LLC, both of these taxes are much lower compared to other business structures. Along with tax impositions, some tax deductions (state-wise) lower the filing fees and other government charges. Check out the Washington LLC tax structure to know more about the tax structures for LLCs in the state.
Government Incentives for Entrepreneurs
Federal and state governments in the US ensure that entrepreneurs get a proper business environment in the state or city they are operating their business. The government provides a few incentives to the business holders in Washington or any other state. That means if you are operating any business in Bellingham, then Washington State will provide an incentive for creating jobs, contributing to the state’s GDP, and/or balancing the state’s tax structure.
Low Corporate and Other Business Taxes
Corporations and other business structures (except for an LLC) are liable to pay a corporate tax in Washington. Also, there is a Sales Tax that all businesses, including LLCs, have to pay. However, the rate of taxes is very low. Besides, as the businesses receive incentives, the tax burden gets lower.
Skilled Labour & Quality Manpower
In Bellingham, it is easy to hire employees for your business. They are not only skilled but also well-educated to help your business grow. As mentioned above, the 64.6 is the percentage of labour participation. Hence, it is clear that having a business in Bellingham will make a lot of difference to the existing labor force.
Demand for New Market and Industry
In Bellingham, Washington, there is an uprising demand for new industries and new markets. Entrepreneurs who are willing to start a business in any of the cities of any state are given enough opportunities to stay in business. Business licensing, tax deductions, incentives, and relaxation of business taxes are some of the benefits that encourage start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses in Bellingham.
If we follow the US Data, the median value of commute time for the residents to their work is approximately 19. If you are starting a business here, you must keep in mind that commutation can be a point to consider.
Intellectual Property Protection
The US government receives roughly more than 1 million applications for IPR every year. The federal government makes sure that there is no infringement of any patent or property rights. It does not matter which city in which state you are running your business. The rule of Intellectual Property Protection is the same for all. If you have a foreign business in the US, then you might get more benefits under the IPR act.
Bellingham (aka ) is ranked at 2 in terms of importance. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, there are some other benefits that businesses enjoy in Bellingham. For example, technological advancement, a stable political environment, renewable resources, sustainable non-renewable resources, and some more benefits make things easier for entrepreneurs to start and run their businesses. According to US Data, the percentage of young people in Bellingham is 12.1. Hence, it would be great to start a business that is related to tech here as you might get a good number of clients.
Similar Read – How to Start Business In Merrydale, LA
Best Time To Start Business In Bellingham Washington
Whether you are starting your first business or expanding your existing one, Bellingham Washington provides the perfect business environment for you. The city offers several economic opportunities, a diverse population, and a stable political environment.
In addition to the business environment, Bellingham is also home to an uprising demand for new industries and markets. Bellingham also offers ample natural resources, a high quality of life, and an up-to-date technology infrastructure. The climate of Bellingham is also quite mild, and the temperatures are typically cooler than Seattle and Vancouver. The climate is also considered to be typical of the Puget Sound region. This is one of the reasons that Bellingham has become a popular tourist destination.
In addition to the economy of Bellingham, the city also offers a number of cultural opportunities. This includes the North Sound Youth Symphony, the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Bellingham Festival of Music. There are also a number of farm-to-table restaurants, and craft brews. Bellingham also hosts several pods of orcas.
Bellingham’s climate is mild, and the summers are less cloudy than Seattle. The warmest temperature recorded in Bellingham is 100 degF on August 12, 2021. It also has an average daily high temperature of 59 degF and an average daily low temperature of 44.1 degF.
The city also offers plenty of recreational opportunities. The Bellingham Bay Marathon circumnavigates Bellingham Bay and finishes in downtown Bellingham. It is an annual event, and runs from Gooseberry Point on the Lummi Nation to Bellingham Bay. The Bellingham Bay Marathon also offers a variety of sponsorship opportunities. It is hosted by the Port of Bellingham and other entities.
When it comes to the business environment in Bellingham, Washington, the state government offers incentives for business holders. This includes tax breaks, and the chance to contribute to state GDP. Additionally, the state provides incentives for business owners to balance the state tax structure.
In addition to these incentives, Bellingham also offers several business structures for entrepreneurs of all types. These include limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. Regardless of which structure you choose, you will need to register your business in Washington and apply for a license. In addition, you will need to get insurance. You also need to create a website, and have social media accounts to promote your business. You will also need to open a business bank account in the US. This will help you with business loans and increase the liquidity of your business.
In addition, Bellingham offers free counseling from retired business professionals at Choose Whatcom. This program, co-funded by the City of Bellingham and the Port of Bellingham, helps small business owners start their business and develop new ideas. It also matches local entrepreneurs with mentors.
The Chamber of Commerce is also a good resource for new business owners. They offer different membership levels, and host educational events. They also provide a number of business resources, such as workshops on topics such as entrepreneurship, small business financing, and business planning.
FAQ About Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, WA, is a fantastic location if you’re seeking for a spot to launch a business. For entrepreneurs, there are a ton of resources available, not to mention the tax advantages. For business owners, there are several excellent networking chances.
Determining a registered agent is necessary for an LLC in Bellingham, WA. A registered agent is required to accept any correspondence on your behalf, including official and legal papers. A registered agent for your LLC in Bellingham, WA, must be appointed as a result.
LLCs are a fairly common kind of company in Bellingham, WA. The simplicity of creating an LLC is the cause. You are exempt from paying income taxes if your LLC does not generate a profit. Additionally, LLCs are inexpensive and simple to keep up.
All of your documentation will be received on your behalf by the Bellingham, WA registered agent for your corporation. The registered agent’s office in Bellingham, WA will receive official documents, legal documents, and various other documents. A registered agent might be the owner.
In Bellingham, WA, an LLC may deduct certain taxes. Tax deductions in Bellingham, WA might include things like company insurance, home office expenditures, business-related travel costs, bank fees, and any kind of business interest.
Bellingham, WA has a strong economy, which is the key factor in its wealth. For aspiring entrepreneurs who wish to launch their own firm in Bellingham, the city has a lot to offer. On the economic map, this will increase their visibility.
A registered agent in Bellingham, WA can be anyone who is able to conduct business in Bellingham, WA. In every LLC in Bellingham, WA a registered agent should be appointed to receive the documents. You can be your own registered agent in your LLC.
In Bellingham, WA, you may launch a company that provides a service to those who want to know what’s going on in the city for only $1000. You may create a service that sends out a daily email listing the top five events taking place in the city at the moment.
If there is a need for your goods, selling it in Bellingham, WA, can be an excellent idea. A solid sales strategy, an understanding of your competition, a familiarity with prospective customers, and product promotion are all necessary for the successful sale of your goods.
In Bellingham, WA, having an LLC means you have to pay self-employment tax along with income tax. Besides, LLCs are liable to pay filing fees that are more than the fees of sole proprietorships. LLCs are more complex than running a sole proprietorship company.
In Bellingham, WA, your LLC may be used for a variety of purposes. You may spend less money by using this kind of company structure (as it has fewer tax burdens). From your LLC in Bellingham, WA, you may simply generate some decent income.
Bellingham, WA, is rapidly expanding, as can be shown by looking at recent statistics. This is due to Bellingham, WA’s booming economy, particularly in the service sectors. Strengthening the economy are the service sectors.
The procedure for registering a company in Bellingham, WA, is not difficult. Before you can begin, there are a few tasks to complete. If you are registering your company online in Bellingham, WA, it takes a day.
In Bellingham, WA, there are several opportunities for home-based employment. You may work as a freelance writer, graphic designer, or web developer. As a virtual assistant, a transcriptionist, or a translator, you may operate remotely. You may also work from home baking or as an online instructor.
The price of launching a company in Bellingham, WA can vary depending on the kind of enterprise. You must pay a charge if you wish to establish a firm as an LLC. A business license and a tax ID number are additional requirements.
Starting a small business in Bellingham, WA is not as hard as it may seem. Bellingham is a very creative city, and there are many resources to help you get started. The city offers a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs and is a great place to start a business.
A livable income in Bellingham, WA is around $50,000. Any income between $40,000-$60,000 would be a livable income in Bellingham. If you want a lavish lifestyle in this city, then you might need to earn more money.
Popular enterprises including restaurants, hotels, luxury clothing stores, and others keep relocating to Bellingham, WA. The likelihood of having major brands in Bellingham is increasing along with the economy.
In Bellingham, WA, establishing an LLC is a straightforward procedure. Prior to submitting LLC formation documentation, you must first file paperwork with the Secretary of State. Afterwards, you must see the County Clerk and submit documentation (if needed).
Choosing the right sort of LLC to form is the first step if you want to create an LLC on your own in Bellingham, WA. The Formation paperwork must be submitted to the Secretary of State if you wish to create a single-member LLC.
You must take into account a few factors while deciding where to reside in Bellingham, WA. The location in Bellingham is best for your family, the cost of living, the commute, if you would find buyers there, and so on. Prior to moving to Bellingham, make a decision on these.
In Bellingham, WA, forming an LLC will set you back $200. The SOS has received this state filing fee. Name reserve, DBA registration, and registered agent fees round out the remaining expenses. Since each state has a varied tax rate, so does the overall cost.
There are many different ways to get funding for your business idea in Bellingham, WA. You can go to a bank and apply for a loan, get a grant from the government, or use a crowdfunding site to raise money. You can explore the grant opportunities that are available.
Moving to Bellingham, WA is not a bad idea. Bellingham has a moderate standard of living and immense opportunities for startups. Bellingham, WA is a city that has a lot to offer in terms of business. Hence, it is not a bad idea to move to Bellingham.
Businesses in Bellingham, WA seeking insurance should get in touch with an agent to see how much it would cost. Finding the right insurance policy for your company is crucial since there are several varieties available. Asking the agent is a smart place to begin.
Having Bellingham, WA small business insurance is a good idea. Whether it is required or not, insurance may shield your company from mishaps and uncomfortable situations. As a result, one should get small business insurance.
An LLC in Bellingham, WA, may generate income. Selling products to other companies is one option. Offering services to other companies is an additional strategy. For instance, you may create a website for them if you own a website-building service. A consultation service is another option.
It’s difficult to predict what will happen next in the Bellingham, WA, real estate market. This is a dynamic sector, and without an outside economic shock, prices usually increase. If a change in the economy happens, it may decline.
LLC in Bellingham, WA has to pay a certain amount of annual taxes. Sales Tax, Franchise Tax (not in all states), and Employment Tax (in case your LLC has employees) are required to be paid. But there is no income tax for LLCs in Bellingham, WA.
It is good to earn $18 an hour in Bellingham, WA for a startup. If you are running an LLC in Bellingham, WA, then it does not cost much to maintain. Hence, if you’re making $18 an hour, it is not bad.
In Bellingham, WA, having an LLC is a plus. The reason is that the state offers a wide range of benefits for entrepreneurs. It offers tax benefits, short-term business loans, employment advantages, and other benefits to startups.
If your company is modest relative to the city’s major corporations, you could have to pay less in taxes. Sales tax and franchise tax are required payments for an LLC in several states. Paying employment taxes may be necessary if you have workers.
Creating a business plan should be your first step when starting a company in Bellingham, WA. If you have a business plan, starting a company will be simple for you. The first step in starting a company is to complete that.
It depends on the kind of company you wish to launch. There may be government fees, licensing fees, and other state taxes that you must pay to establish your company in Bellingham, WA.
A fast food restaurant in Bellingham, WA, would be an excellent choice if you wanted to launch the simplest company. To sell burgers, waffles, rolls, wraps, and other items, you may purchase a kiosk or, even better, a food truck. Everyone will find it simple to start this company.
Starting a business in Bellingham is not only easy but also profitable. A large portion of the US and even people from other countries are registering their business in the US for intercontinental brand building. Besides, Washington has a sustainable economic atmosphere that is enough to encourage newbies to start and run their businesses in Bellingham, WA.