The process of starting your own business can be daunting. The World Trade Center Tacoma can help you as you grow trade. Additionally, we provide below a high level overview of what you need to get your business off the ground, experts who can provide assistance and other important resources
Checklists on Starting a Business
For information specific to Tacoma, visit the current Tacoma-Pierce County Website with local addresses to contact for more information.
Another main source is the Small Business Administration which has a very detailed step-by-step checklist on how to open a business and what other factors to consider. Another very detailed resource is the assessment tool put out by the Small Business Association.
- For general business information, start-up information or business assistance, contact the Referral Center hotline at 1-800-237-1233.
- Accountants: For information on bookkeeping systems, income tax planning, or income tax returns, contact the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants at:
- Legal Contacts: New entrepreneurs should consult an attorney about their business structure, leases, and contracts. For attorney referral services, call:
Washington Society of CPAs
902 140th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98005-3480
Tel (425) 644-4800
Fax (425) 562-8853
Washington State Bar Association
Tel (253) 383-3432
Or, Tel: (800) 945-WSBA or (206) 443-WSBA
- One-on-one counseling:
- Small Business Development Centers - help businesses develop a business plan, map out a business strategy, develop a bookkeeping system, and assist with business start-up at no cost. The centers also help businesses with research and market analysis. And through a statewide network of community colleges, they sponsor education and training workshops. For more information call (253) 272-7232.
- SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) - provides free business advice to U.S. citizens. Retired business professionals can help with issues ranging from how to open a business, to referrals to good local lawyers and accountants and very specific business tips and knowledge, including international trade issues. The two closest SCORE chapters in this area are in Seattle and Spokane. For more information on their services or to get e-mail counseling, go to www.score.org
- Tax, License, Regulations:
Department of Revenue
Tel (800) 667-7706
The IRS can assist you with federal forms, information, and publications.
Internal Revenue Service
Tel (800) 829-1040
For IRS forms and Business Tax Kits:
Tel (800) 829-3676
- Financing: Washington State Department of Commerce provides financing tips, support and assistance regarding doing business in Washington
- Registering the Business (Obtaining Licenses): Anybody opening a business in the area has to have a business license and, depending on your type of business, other operating licenses may be necessary. The State of Washington provides a one-stop shop for business registrations to assist in understanding and meeting federal, state and local licensing requirements. The one-stop application process includes getting a Master Business Application, UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number, and registering a Trade Name.
- Wages, Industrial Health and Safey Regulations: Depending on your type of business, wage regulations can vary. The Department of Labor & Industries regulates these.
Department of Labor & Industries
P.O. Box 44510
Olympia, WA 98504-4510
Tel: (360) 902-5316
For information on health and safety rules, contact:
Division of Industrial Safety and Health
P.O. Box 44600
Olympia, WA 98504-4600
Tel (360) 902-5500
Tel (800) 423-7233
For information on insurance and tax withholdings, contact:
Division of Industrial Insurance
P.O. Box 44144, MS-4144
Olympia, WA 98504-4144
Tel (360) 902-4817
Tel (800) 547-8367
- Environmental Regulations: If your business creates any (excess) end-products that requires a permit for air, water or waste disposal, contact:
Washington State Department of Ecology
P.O. Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600
- Fire and Health Regulations: To make sure your business complies with all local fire regulations, please contact the local fire officials. For storm sewer, water and solid waste utilities, please contact the local health department. Contact information specific for your location can be obtained from the city.