Starting a Business in Yakima County
October 19, 2012 by Jean Brown
If you are thinking about starting a business in Yakima County and Washington State, here are some tips to get started. You may want to take a quick self-assessment to identify if you are ready to start a business. Many entrepreneurs hope that they can start a business and work part-time and make loads of money, but in my experience talking with emerging companies, it is the opposite. They bootstrap funds to get the money together, work long and hard developing their idea and business plan and then work even longer hours to get their venture off the ground.
Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about starting a business in Washington State and Yakima County:
- Are you thinking about starting a business? Are you an entrepreneur? Take a quick online self-assessment.
- Writing a business plan will help guide you and assist you in financial preparations. Need help getting started?
- How will you finance the business? Determine how you will finance and how much money you will need. Please keep in mind that grants are a nearly impossible to get, and many lending institutions are hesitant to loan money for buying or starting a company. We encourage Bootstrap Financing – which means using your own money, borrowing from friends and family, or saving enough until you are ready. There are some additional financing options such as Employee Share Ownership Program, owner-financing, lease to own, etc.
Before you start:
- Determine Business type: LLC, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, Corporation, etc. If you’re not sure what is best, it’s wise to talk with an attorney or your accountant. It can be very costly if you set your business up one way and then have to change it.
- Register with Secretary of State (if required)
- Get your Federal ID Number (also called Taxpayer ID number).
- Determine your business location and check with whatever city you will be locating in or Yakima County to make sure it is zoned properly and allowed. This is VERY important if you are a home-based business!
Getting licensed in Washington State
- Check to see if you need to register your business with Washington State.
- Perform a Trade Name Register and Search (Does someone already have the name you want?)
- Apply for a State Master Business License—Online at www.bls.dor.wa.gov
IMPORTANT: You need to check with each city you will be doing business in to find out about licensing requirements in addition to the state license.
Additional licenses—some professions require additional licenses.
- If you plan to sell, serve or produce alcoholic beverages, you need to work with the Liquor Control Board.
- If you are a contractor, you need to register with Labor & Industries
- Food related businesses have special requirements, contact the County Health District FIRST!
Understanding Regulatory & Business Tax Requirements
- Internal Revenue Service (Income, Social Security & Federal Unemployment Taxes, Medicare). www.irs.gov
- Washington Department of Revenue (Business & Occupation, sales, & other taxes)
- Washington Department of Labor & Industries (contractor licensing, worker’s compensation, wage & hour laws)
- WA Employment Security Department (unemployment tax). www.esd.wa.gov
Need help? If you’re not sure where to start, please contact us today!