You'll also want to visit the State of Washington site to find out which licenses and permits the state requires. The Governor's Office of Regulatory Assistance at http://www.ora.gov was specifically created to help citizens navigate the complex permitting and licensing requirements of all levels of government--from federal on down to the cities. You may also contact the office toll-free at 1-800-917-0043 during regular business hours. Or you can try the state's online help site, which will walk you through a series of questions to determine what types of business registration you'll need.
Visit that site at http://access.wa.gov/business/inquiry/register.aspx.
If you're just thinking about starting a business, you may be looking for free advice. The Green River Community College Small Business Center (SBAC) is designed to provide technical assistance to small businesses in South King County and North Pierce County areas. The SBAC offers assessment, referral services, business counseling at no charge, and hands-on training to small business owners and managers. You may reach the center at http://www.greenriver.edu/businesscenter or by calling (253) 288-3400. The center has offices in Enumclaw and Auburn.
Another great resource is SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). It offers low-cost or no-cost services to aspiring business owners. Contact SCORE at www.score.org. There are SCORE offices in Seattle and Tacoma. Contact information is below:
Bates Technical School
1101 S. Yakima Ave., Room M-123
Tacoma, WA 98405
Phone: (253) 680-7770
Fax: (253) 680-7771
2401 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: (206) 553-7320
Fax: (206) 553-7044
There are many other helpful resources online. A few are below:
A Guide for Small Businesses in Washington State Published by the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. This guide includes information on state financing possibilities. www.choosewashington.com.
A Business Resource Guide published by the Department of Licensing, Department of Employment Security, Department of Labor and Industries, Department of Revenue and Secretary of State. Also a good resource that explains the different types of businesses and varied registration requirements if you are hiring or not hiring employees, etc. www.dol.wa.gov/business/operate.pdf