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General Business Information


When considering whether or not to start a small business, there are several factors to keep in mind while determining where you would start your business. Fit Small Business compiled a 2018 ranking of all 50 states to determine the best states to start a small business, using the following categories:

  • Taxes – This includes corporate, sales, property tax, individual income, and unemployment insurance tax rates. The ranking demonstrates how much you can expect that your business would have to pay in taxes in the state ranked.
  • Labor Market – This category was assessed by including unemployment rates well as education levels (% of adults ages 25 to 34 who have attained at least a bachelor’s degree). This is meant to measure availability of desirable employees and the overall strength of this market in the state ranked.
  • Cost of Living – This includes costs of utilities, grocery, healthcare, housing, and transportation.
  • Quality of Life – This category is based on access to education, physical safety, and healthcare.
  • Cost to Start a Business – Using per capita income in the state ranked, this is meant to evaluate costs to staff your business as well as the per sq. ft/year cost to rent a commercial building.
  • Startup Activity – Meant to illustrate how likely new businesses are to succeed or fail in the state ranked, this represents the # and survivability of new businesses in that state.
  • Access to Capital – This assesses the likelihood of your business attaining startup capital by evaluating the size and # of small business loans granted and by measuring access to capital based on the availability and amount of venture capital funds.

Taking into account these factors, the survey ranked Washington 19th out of the 50 states, with each of the categories above ranked accordingly:

  • Taxes: 17 out of 50
  • Labor Market: 34 out of 50
  • Cost of Living: 36 out of 50
  • Quality of Life: 13 out of 50
  • Cost to Start a business: 17 out of 50
  • Startup Activity: 4 out of 50
  • Access to Capital: 22 out of 50

Amazon! Starbucks! Wait! Washington may be home to these superstars, but it actually has the lowest business survival rate. However, this Evergreen state (quite literally; this beautiful land is 52% forest) has the 4th highest percentage of available talent and a very strong productivity score. It also ranks well in access to funding and low income taxes. If gorgeous vistas, an active lifestyle, the prawn capital of the country, and a strong coffee and fish game strike your fancy, Washington may be the place for you and your new business.

Washington Department of Revenue
6500 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, Washington 98501
P  800-647-7706

Portal Link

Washington Secretary of State
801 Capitol Way S
PO Box 40220
Olympia, WA 98504-0220
P  360-902-4151

Website Link

Small Business Advocacy
Seattle District Office

2401 Fourth Avenue Suite 450
Seattle, WA
P  206-553-7310

Website Link

Business Filing Fees

LLC Filing Fee
Incorporation Filing Fee

Tax Information

Tax Type
Rate / Fee
Due Date
Corporate Income Tax
Sales Tax
Due Date:
25th day of the month following the reporting period
Property Tax
Due Date:
April 30
Unemployment Tax
0.13 - 7.73%
Due Date:
The end of the month following the end of each calendar quarter
Annual Report Required?*
*(C-Corp & LLC only)
By the end of the registration anniversary month. So if you incorporated or foreign-qualified on March 15, then your annual report is due every year by March 31. You may start filing 45 days prior.
File Report

Additional Information

New Hire Reporting Required?
E-Verify Required?
Comprehensive State Guide
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