How to Start a Business in Seattle, WA – Useful Seattle Facts 2023

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Start a Business in Seattle, 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 Seattle, 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 Seattle, WA. With an urban population of 3530752 (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, Seattle, 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, Seattle, WA has a proper business environment for all.

How to Start a Business in Seattle, WA

In this article, you will read about how to start a business in Seattle and why you should choose Seattle to start and run your business. We recommend you check below the important facts about Seattle, WA; these might help you.

Seattle, WA Household Income Statistics

Seattle Median household income97185 USD
Seattle households with dual income earners62.9 %
Seattle households $150K+ Income30.5 %
Seattle households $100K+ Income49 %
Seattle households $100-150K Income18.5 %
Seattle households $75-100K+ Income11 %
Seattle households $50-75K+ Income13.5 %
Seattle households $35-50K+ Income8.3 %
Seattle households $25-35K+ Income5 %

Seattle, WA Education & Labor force Facts

Seattle residents with a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)37 %
Seattle residents with at least a 4-year degree65 %
Seattle residents with a graduate degree28 %
Seattle residents with a high school diploma but no more9.5 %
Seattle residents with less than high school education4.8 %
Seattle residents with some college but no more20.7 %
Seattle residents with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (STEM fields)54.9 %
Seattle households that own (rather than rent) their residence44.9 %
Seattle residents 16 and older in the labor force74 %
Seattle residents unemployed4.1 %

Seattle, WA Demographics

Seattle residents aged 0-98.8 %
Seattle residents aged 10-198.2 %
Seattle residents aged 20-2921.1 %
Seattle residents aged 30-3920 %
Seattle residents aged 40-4913.3 %
Seattle residents aged 50-5911.2 %
Seattle residents aged 60-699.3 %
Seattle residents aged 70-795.1 %
Seattle residents aged over 803 %
The average size of resident families in Seattle, WA2.82
Estimated population per square kilometer in Seattle, WA3414
Seattle, WA urban population (estimate)3530752
Seattle, WA municipal population (estimate)741251

Now that you know what makes Seattle of Washington good for business, let’s get started with the exact steps on how to start a business in Seattle.

How to Start a Business in Seattle, WA

Starting a business in Seattle, 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 Seattle.

Step 0: Decide on What Business to Start

Decide on What Business to Start

This is the first thing you work on, the type of business you want to start in Seattle. 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,

  1. Through market research on demand trend
  2. Complete Budget plan – funding your business. If you’re planning to start an LLC, then take a look at the cost of LLC
  3. What competitors are doing
  4. SWOT Analysis – check what your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are
  5. 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

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

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,

  1. You cannot name your business that has words or phrases like Bank, University, Government, or anything that can confuse people with a government sector. 
  2. 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.
  3. The name should reflect the nature of your business. Any name that can confuse people should not be picked.
  4. 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.
  5. You can reserve your business name for a certain time before you form your business in Seattle, 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

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 Seattle can be a registered agent. However, there are some requirements to becoming a registered agent.

  1. The person has to be 18+ years of age.
  2. Must be a citizen of the Washington
  3. Must have a physical street address in the Washington
  4. 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

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 Seattle, WA. Your Washington LLC articles of organization should have the following details about your business

  1. Company/Business name, address
  2. Registered Agent Name, address
  3. Member-managed or manager-managed (in case of LLC)
  4. 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

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,

  1. About Business
  2. Members and management
  3. Capital contribution
  4. Profit Distribution
  5. Change of membership
  6. Dissolution

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

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

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 Seattle, WA. It increases your business credibility and liquidity. It will also be helpful for business loans.

Step 8: Create Your Business Website

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

  1. Once your company is set in the Seattle, Washington, you need to file your taxes and apply for licenses (if needed).
  2. 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 Seattle Stats for Starting a Business

Before you start a business in Seattle, 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

Seattle 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 21.1 (people in their 20s) and 20 (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 35.2. 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 Seattle has approximately 3 (people in their 80s and above) percent of old people. Check out the table (Demography) above for more information.

Real Estate

Another important factor to mention about Seattle is the home value of owned properties. The average value of owned houses is 713372. Also, the percentage of people living in their own houses is 44.9. 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 Seattle who still do not have health insurance. The rate of people not having health insurance is 4.4. This depicts the lifestyle and overall health demography of Seattle. 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 Seattle, 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.

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Reasons to Start a Business in Seattle

Seattle 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 Seattle. Here are some of the reasons,

Stable Economic Growth

Seattle 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 Seattle, 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 Seattle 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 Seattle, 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 Seattle, 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 74 is the percentage of labour participation. Hence, it is clear that having a business in Seattle will make a lot of difference to the existing labor force.

Demand for New Market and Industry

In Seattle, 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 Seattle.

If we follow the US Data, the median value of commute time for the residents to their work is approximately 27.7. 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.

Other Benefits

Seattle (aka ) is ranked at 1 in terms of importance. Apart from the above mentioned reasons, there are some other benefits that businesses enjoy in Seattle. 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 Seattle is 20. Hence, it would be great to start a business that is related to tech here as you might get a good number of clients.

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Why Start Business In Seattle Washington

Whether you are starting a small business in Seattle or planning to move your business to the city, there are many resources available to help you. You can find free business services, including free counseling, workshops, and training at the Seattle Public Library and affiliated libraries. There are also plenty of support groups for new entrepreneurs.

The state of Washington offers many resources to help you start your business, including free workshops and seminars. It’s also easy to get a business license in Washington. The state department of licensing has a website that has information on obtaining a business license. You can also find information on the Washington state business tax structure. There are several types of taxes to consider, including sales tax, use tax, and business and occupation (B&O) taxes. Depending on the industry, you may need a specific permit to operate.

A good business plan is a key part of the startup process. It helps you organize your business, make important milestones, and reach financial goals. It also helps you find the funding you need to get started. Before writing a business plan, do some market research. You can do this through surveys, focus groups, SEO research, and more.

Washington state also has a robust network of accelerators. These are programs that provide a platform for startups to pitch their business ideas to investors. The investors invest smaller sums of money in startups in early stages. However, it’s not a guarantee that your business will get funded. There are also several angel investors in the state. These wealthy individuals invest in early stage startups in order to have a greater say in the operations.

The Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County provides free counseling, workshops, and training for entrepreneurs and businesses. The council works with local government agencies, community organizations, and other businesses to help promote small businesses and develop a stronger workforce. It also offers industry-specific updates, discounts to its economic forecast conference, and other services.

You can also find funding for your business through angel investors, venture capitalist groups, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Before you apply for funding, you should calculate your costs and determine how much funding you will need for a year. A well-written business plan will help you get organized and reach important milestones.

Washington also offers some of the best markets for new businesses. If you plan to operate a business in Seattle, you will be able to access the largest market in the state. You may also be able to reduce your tax liability by moving your business outside of the city limits.

Many entrepreneurs report that Seattle is a business-friendly city. The city is a hub for many big businesses, and it’s a great place to start a business. However, it’s also important to understand the local regulations and licensing requirements before launching your business. You can get help from IncFile and the Seattle Public Library.

FAQ About Seattle, WA

Why is Seattle, WA so popular?

Seattle, WA has been so famous because of its diverse people, culture, and artistic scene. Seattle is a commercial metropolis, but visitors are drawn here by the rich culture, people, and educational opportunities.

What is the first thing you should do when starting a business in Seattle, WA?

Having a business concept is the first step to taking if you want to launch a company in Seattle, WA. It is advisable to create a draft or business plan that contains information on the kind of enterprise you intend to launch in Seattle, WA.

How much does a DBA cost in Seattle, WA?

Seattle, WA charges $24 for DBA. So that you may utilize the name later for your LLC or firm, a DBA or “Doing Business As” filing is required (not applicable in certain jurisdictions).

How much does it cost to license a business in Seattle, WA?

If you’re looking to start a business in the great state of WA, you may be wondering how much it will cost to license a business in Seattle. The cost to license a business in Seattle, WA depends on the type of business you want to start.

How much is business insurance in Seattle, WA?

Depending on the sort of business you have, the size of your organization, and the nature of the business, there are different business insurance costs in Seattle, WA. For instance, the annual cost of general insurance for a small business with less than 10 workers might be as low as $1,000.

Do businesses pay taxes in Seattle, WA?

In Seattle, WA, companies are indeed required to pay taxes. Depending on the kind of company, the tax rate may change. Additionally, Washington may allow you to deduct taxes on a certain item or service.

How much does it cost to start a small business in Seattle, WA?

The cost to start a small business in Seattle, WA varies depending on the type of business and the specific needs. If you’re forming an LLC, the most typical startup expense for a small company in Seattle, WA, is $200.

Do you have to renew LLC Every year in Seattle, WA?

LLCs are a terrific option to launch your own company. However, you need to renew your LLC annually. Make sure to do it before the deadline if you’re in Seattle, WA. In order to prevent any inconsistency, you must renew your LLC before the deadline.

How many small businesses are in Seattle, WA?

Seattle, WA is a city that is filled with small businesses. It has been ranked as one of the popular cities in the United States for small businesses. There are over 10,000 small businesses in the city, and the number is increasing.

Will house prices go down in Seattle, WA?

It is difficult to predict what will happen next in the real estate industry in Seattle, WA. Because of the industry’s volatility, prices often rise in the absence of an outside economic shock. If an adverse economic situation arises, it can decline.

What business can I start with $1000 in Seattle, WA?

There are many business ideas that can be started in Seattle, WA with $1000. You can start a business that sells websites. Also, businesses that sell things online. You could start a business that has to do with computers and technology and use a good name as your company name.

Which is the cheapest business to start in Seattle, WA?

Numerous low-cost enterprises may be found in Seattle, WA. If you’re ready to launch a company in Seattle, WA, you may do it by operating an internet store. In Seattle, WA, you may also establish a low-cost home baking or teaching company.

What is a LLC in Seattle, WA?

In Seattle, WA, an LLC is a kind of company form that combines elements of both a sole proprietorship and a partnership. There is no double taxation in LLCs, although there is pass-through taxes. People may therefore save a lot of money.

Does Seattle, WA require small business insurance?

You may be a Seattle, WA small business owner who is unsure if you need insurance for your company. Yes is the answer! A sort of commercial insurance known as small business insurance provides protection against a range of commercial hazards. Damage to property, liabilities, and disruption of business are some of these dangers.

Is it better to rent or buy in Seattle, WA?

Seattle is a city with a lot to offer, but it also has some of the most expensive rents in the country. So, is it better to rent or buy in Seattle, WA? It depends on the investment strategy of the person, whether he/she wants long-term or short-term investment.

What policies do I need for a small business in Seattle, WA?

A few employee-related regulations are required if you run a small company in Seattle, WA with a small staff. A few of these are equal opportunity, leave and attendance policies, workplace health and safety, and others. The most typical one is a health and safety policy.

What is the best area in Seattle, WA to live?

When you have this question that where to live in Seattle, WA then find the place best fitted for your job/business. Depending on the targeted buyers you have for your business, you can choose the area to live in Seattle, WA.

Is moving to Seattle, WA a good idea?

If you want to move to Seattle, WA you can. It is not a bad idea. The city has a lot to offer to entrepreneurs and small business owners. You can use all the resources Seattle provides to start your own business.

Is it cheaper to live in Seattle, WA or Houston?

For years, people have argued about which city is the best to live in. Seattle is renowned for its thriving economy and multicultural population. Houston is renowned for having more reasonable living expenses. When determining which is less expensive, there are several things to take into account.

What business are moving to Seattle, WA?

Popular enterprises including restaurants, hotels, luxury clothing stores, and others keep relocating to Seattle, WA. The likelihood of having major brands in Seattle is increasing along with the economy.

What is a livable salary in Seattle, WA?

In Seattle, WA, a living wage is roughly $24,000. Seattle would consider any salary between $40,000 and $60,000 to be livable. You may need to make more money if you wish to live a luxurious lifestyle in this city.

What business can make you rich in Seattle, WA?

No company can instantly make you wealthy. But being a wealthy entrepreneur in Seattle, WA, is not impossible. You may launch your own venture in the high-demand industries of food, dining, or coffee. These companies could be a smart way to generate money.

How do you make money with an LLC in Seattle, WA?

Towards Seattle, WA, registering your business is the first step in earning money with an LLC. Online, via mail, or in person are all acceptable ways to register your business. You may start offering your goods and services for sale to generate revenue after your LLC has been registered.

What is the easiest business to start in Seattle, WA?

Fast food is a wonderful choice as the simplest kind of company to launch in Seattle, WA. Burgers, waffles, rolls, wraps, and other food items may be sold from a kiosk or, better yet, a truck. Anyone will be able to start this company with ease.

What is better than an LLC in Seattle, WA?

In Seattle, WA, a single proprietorship is required if you question what is preferable to an LLC. However, it depends on the kind of company you wish to launch in Seattle, WA. You may determine if an LLC or a single proprietorship is preferable based on that.

What big business can I start in Seattle, WA?

You may launch a business that offers tours of Seattle, WA that take in all the greatest restaurants. You’ll have to start with a name and a logo and related license and documents to become a city tour guide.

What business makes money the fastest in Seattle, WA?

Making money quickly in Seattle, WA, or any other city, is challenging but not impossible. In Seattle, WA, having a well-liked and in-demand company might speed up your financial progress. For instance, reputable possibilities include real estate, dining establishments, personal trainers, and construction companies.

Is $18 an hour good in Seattle, WA?

Earning $18 per hour in Seattle, WA, is not terrible. If you operate an LLC and own a small company, everything is in order. Starting and maintaining an LLC in Seattle, WA doesn’t cost much money.

Do I need insurance for my LLC in Seattle, WA?

Absolutely, Seattle, WA’s LLC requires insurance. The federal government mandates that you have workers’ compensation if your LLC employs people. Different laws apply in various states, however. If you’re unsure if Washington requires insurance for LLCs, you may check the Washington Secretary of State website.

What does a registered agent do for a new company in Seattle, WA?

A registered agent for your company in Seattle, WA will receive all your documents on your behalf. Official documents, legal documents, and some other documents are to be received by the registered agent in their office in Seattle, WA. You can be your own registered agent.

What requirements does Seattle, WA require to start a business?

You must complete a few prerequisites in order to open a company in Seattle, WA. You must first be legally able to do business in Seattle, WA. A general business license is furthermore required to operate a company in Seattle, WA.

How much does it cost to get a tax ID number in Seattle, WA?

Numerous purposes call for tax identification numbers, but how much does obtaining one cost? In Seattle, WA, obtaining a tax ID number is free. The IRS website offers a free tax ID number service.

How long does an LLC last in Seattle, WA?

The duration of an LLC’s life in Seattle, WA is determined by how long the business is in existence. The LLC will likewise end if the firm does. You must timely renew the LLC in Seattle, WA to keep it active.

How much tax does an LLC pay in Seattle, WA?

Seattle, WA LLC is required to pay a certain amount in taxes each year. There are three taxes that must be paid: sales tax, franchise tax (not in all states), and employment tax (if your LLC employs people). But in Seattle, WA, LLCs are not subject to income taxes.

What is Seattle, WA most known for?

The thriving economy of Seattle, WA is its most notable feature. This will be a smart move for you if you like doing business and are eager to launch your own enterprise in this city. Easy company startup is possible in Seattle, WA.

In Conclusion

Starting a business in Seattle 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 Seattle, WA.

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