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Doing Business In Washington State

Do you need to register your business?

To help you decide if you need to register your business, please check all the statements that apply to your business and select "Next."

My business:

  • will sell goods to consumers checklistquestion.gif

    Sale of item to consumer as compared to selling to a wholesaler who will resell to consumer. All sales are retail sales unless seller receives a resale certificate from buyer.

  • is expected to earn a gross income of $12,000 or more per year checklistquestion.gif

    Gross income is the amount received from business activities in Washington before subtracting expenses.

  • will have employees within 90 days checklistquestion.gif

    Prior to hiring employees, all businesses or household employers must apply for workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. An owner is not considered an employee however, optional owner worker compensation coverage is available.

  • will use a name that is different from the owner or corporation name checklistquestion.gif

    If you will have a business name that does not include the full legal name of all owners of the business, or the exact name of the corporation or Limited Liability Company as registered with Secretary of State, you need to register the business name as a Trade Name.


    *A sole proprietor named Jonathan J. Jones does not need to register "Jonathan J. Jones Apples" but he would need to register "Johnny Jones Apples."

    *A corporation named "Ginger Sweet Emporium, Inc." would not need to register that name, but would need to register "Ginger Sweets" if that were the name they would actually do business under.