WA State Licensing: Start a business

Start a business

Plan your business

Starting a new business is an exciting and challenging undertaking. Find out what you can do first to help your business succeed.

Get licensing contact information and forms

Tell us about your new business and get a customized guide sheet with the contact information and forms you'll need to get a business license.

Create your business structure

Learn about business structures and find out which one is most suitable for your business.

File a Business License Application

Use the Business License Application to apply for many state licenses, registrations, and permits, including a Unified Business Identifier number (UBI or tax registration number); file trade names; hire employees; and get some city licenses.

Hire employees

Learn what to do to hire employees (adult, minors, out of state, etc.).

Specialty licenses

Find out how to get any special licenses your business may need, such as a liquor or lottery license.

City and county licensing requirements

Now you can apply for some city licenses at the same time you apply for state licenses and registrations. Find out how.

Frequently asked questions

Find the answers to common questions about getting a business license, starting a new business, and registering a trade name.

What are my next steps

Find tools and contacts for new and existing business owners.