August 13, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Washington Entrepreneurs  
  Bellingham, Washington Resources for Entrepreneurs is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

Starting a Business in Bellingham, Washington

Thinking about starting a business in Bellingham, Washington? This step-by-step guide walks you through the major decisions you should consider before opening a new business in Bellingham.

Bellingham, Washington Demographic Information

Bellingham has an active business community that includes small businesses, mid-sized businesses and large businesses.

To give you a better feel for Bellingham demographics for small businesses, we have tabulated the small business sizes, based on number of employees, for business in Bellingham.

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 19647
5-9 Employees 6891
10-19 Employees 4599
20-49 Employees 2889
50-99 Employees 972
100-249 Employees 495
250-499 Employees 90
500-999 Employees 54
1000+ Employees 9
All Bellingham Businesses 35646

As a new Bellingham entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Bellingham for each business category. By looking at this chart, you can get a general sense for how much competition there is in the business niche that you are pursuing.

Business Type # of
Advertising Agencies 4
Air Traffic Control 1
Aircraft Manufacturing 1
Amusement Arcades 2
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 5
Architectural Services 13
Art Dealers 8
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 7
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 15
Automotive Transmission Repair 4
Baked Goods Stores 1
Barber Shops 1
Beauty Salons 41
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 3
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 1
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 4
Blood and Organ Banks 2
Boat Building 11
Boat Dealers 14
Book Publishers 2
Book Stores 13
Books Printing 1
Bowling Centers 2
Breweries 1
Building Inspection Services 7
Business Associations 8
Business to Business Electronic Markets 1
Cable and Other Program Distribution 3
Cafeterias 2
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 3
Canvas and Related Product Mills 1
Car Washes 9
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 3
Caterers 6
Cement Manufacturing 2
Charter Bus Industry 1
Child and Youth Services 9
Child Day Care Services 28
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 2
Civic and Social Organizations 18
Claims Adjusting 4
Clothing Accessories Stores 3
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 8
Collection Agencies 2
Commercial Lithographic Printing 3
Commercial Photography 4
Community Food Services 3
Computer and Software Stores 9
Computer Systems Design Services 14
Computer Training 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 2
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 2
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Consumer Lending 4
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 1
Convenience Stores 7
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 1
Couriers 2
Credit Unions 8
Curtain and Drapery Mills 2
Custom Computer Programming Services 24
Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing 2
Dental Laboratories 8
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 3
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 3
Digital Printing 2
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 4
Direct Mail Advertising 2
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 3
Discount Department Stores 3
Document Preparation Services 1
Drafting Services 5
Dried and Dehydrated Food Manufacturing 1
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 13
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 15
Educational Support Services 7
Electric Power Distribution 1
Electrical Contractors 44
Electronic Shopping 10
Elementary and Secondary Schools 19
Emergency and Other Relief Services 2
Employment Placement Agencies 1
Engineering Services 39
Environmental Consulting Services 11
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 3
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 2
Facilities Support Services 2
Family Clothing Stores 17
Family Planning Centers 1
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 2
Fine Arts Schools 4
Finfish Fishing 14
Finish Carpentry Contractors 27
Fish and Seafood Markets 3
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 8
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 12
Flight Training 1
Floor Covering Stores 6
Flooring Contractors 8
Florists 6
Flour Milling 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 8
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 2
Food Service Contractors 4
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 1
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 1
Framing Contractors 21
Freight Transportation Arrangement 4
Fresh and Frozen Seafood Processing 11
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 2
Full-Service Restaurants 123
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 3
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 3
Furniture Stores 15
General Automotive Repair 45
General Freight Trucking, Local 5
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1
General Warehousing and Storage 2
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 20
Glass and Glazing Contractors 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 4
Grantmaking Foundations 6
Graphic Design Services 7
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 1
Hardware Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 2
Hardware Stores 6
Hat, Cap, and Millinery Manufacturing 1
Heating Oil Dealers 1
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 11
Home Centers 3
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 5
Home Health Care Services 5
Home Health Equipment Rental 2
Homes for the Elderly 14
Household Appliance Stores 3
Human Rights Organizations 2
Hydroelectric Power Generation 1
Industrial Building Construction 1
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 1
Industrial Launderers 2
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 3
Inland Water Passenger Transportation 1
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 54
Interior Design Services 7
Internet Service Providers 2
Investigation Services 2
Investment Advice 8
Janitorial Services 33
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 1
Jewelry Stores 14
Junior Colleges 1
Kidney Dialysis Centers 1
Land Subdivision 12
Landscape Architectural Services 2
Landscaping Services 40
Language Schools 2
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 3
Limited-Service Restaurants 87
Limousine Service 1
Linen Supply 2
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 2
Locksmiths 5
Logging 6
Machine Shops 11
Mail-Order Houses 9
Manufactured (Mobile) Home Dealers 1
Marinas 4
Marine Cargo Handling 2
Marketing Consulting Services 13
Masonry Contractors 9
Materials Recovery Facilities 2
Meat Processed from Carcasses 2
Medical Laboratories 2
Men's Clothing Stores 2
Miscellaneous Intermediation 5
Mobile Food Services 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 12
Motion Picture and Video Production 3
Motor Vehicle Towing 3
Motorcycle Dealers 5
Museums 5
Musical Groups and Artists 3
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 6
Nail Salons 2
Natural Gas Distribution 1
New Car Dealers 12
New Housing Operative Builders 15
News Dealers and Newsstands 1
Newspaper Publishers 5
Nitrogenous Fertilizer Manufacturing 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 5
Nursing Care Facilities 7
Office Administrative Services 5
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 3
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 4
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 34
Offices of Chiropractors 34
Offices of Dentists 70
Offices of Lawyers 110
Offices of Optometrists 16
Offices of Other Holding Companies 3
Offices of Podiatrists 4
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 9
Optical Goods Stores 5
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 3
Packaging and Labeling Services 2
Paging 1
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 1
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 5
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 38
Paper (except Newsprint) Mills 1
Parking Lots and Garages 2
Passenger Car Leasing 1
Passenger Car Rental 3
Payroll Services 1
Periodical Publishers 5
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 1
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 7
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 6
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 3
Petroleum Refineries 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 13
Photography Studios, Portrait 7
Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil 1
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing 1
Plate Work Manufacturing 1
Portfolio Management 4
Prepress Services 2
Private Mail Centers 6
Professional Employer Organizations 2
Professional Organizations 4
Public Relations Agencies 4
Quick Printing 3
Radio Stations 1
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 1
Real Estate Credit 9
Real Estate Investment Trusts 1
Recreational Goods Rental 1
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 3
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 1
Remediation Services 1
Repossession Services 2
Residential Property Managers 24
Residential Remodelers 47
Retail Bakeries 4
Roofing Contractors 12
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills 1
Sales Financing 1
Savings Institutions 9
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 1
School and Employee Bus Transportation 1
Seafood Canning 1
Securities Brokerage 24
Security Guards and Patrol Services 3
Semiconductor Machinery Manufacturing 1
Septic Tank and Related Services 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 1
Shellfish Fishing 5
Ship Building and Repairing 2
Shoe Stores 17
Siding Contractors 4
Sign Manufacturing 7
Site Preparation Contractors 17
Skiing Facilities 1
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 52
Software Publishers 5
Solid Waste Collection 3
Sporting Goods Stores 20
Sports and Recreation Instruction 8
Spring (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 1
Steel Wire Drawing 1
Tax Preparation Services 5
Taxi Service 3
Telemarketing Bureaus 3
Telephone Answering Services 1
Television Broadcasting 2
Temporary Help Services 10
Temporary Shelters 3
Testing Laboratories 4
Textile Bag Mills 1
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 8
Tire Dealers 6
Tobacco Stores 3
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 1
Translation and Interpretation Services 1
Travel Agencies 8
Travel Trailer and Camper Manufacturing 1
Used Car Dealers 10
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 6
Used Merchandise Stores 15
Vending Machine Operators 2
Veterinary Services 14
Video Tape and Disc Rental 11
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 11
Voluntary Health Organizations 2
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 3
Water Supply and Irrigation Systems 1
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 16
Window Treatment Stores 2
Wineries 1
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 5
Women's Clothing Stores 13
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 1
Wood Preservation 2
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 1

Is Buying an Existing Bellingham Business a Good Strategy?

An excellent way to get started in business is to Buy a Business in Washington. Follow that link and you can review several good businesses for sale in Bellingham.

If you are going to be buying a business, you may want to read this article: Hold Harmless Agreements When Buying Businesses.

Make Sure You Have a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is vital in laying a solid foundation for your business success. Indeed, your business plan is your game plan for how you hope to grow your business. Not having a business plan

Before you start writing a business plan, we suggest you skim Business Plan Outsourcing. You can also get face-to-face free consulting available from your local SCORE chapter in Washington.

Startup Financing Basics

Finding the funds to fuel the growth of your Bellingham business will be harder than you might expect. The reality is that there is very little funding available for new small businesses, and you have to explore every possible alternative.

Fortunately, this site contains dozens of articles on raising money, including one we recommend entitled Attracting Investors.

For Bellingham entrepreneurs with great ambition but a shortage of investment capital, we have assembled a List of Washington Angel Investors and our List of Washington Venture Capital Firms.

Building Up Your Sales

Being able to sell is fundamental to your business success. Whether you are focused on selling local customers in Bellingham or are selling to customers throughout Washington, the United States or even the world, you have to be able to sell.

Not knowing how to sell can result in lost customers and minimal market share. Fortunately, we've got plenty of good advice to help you improve your selling skills.

Cold Call Selling is a good article to read, one of dozens in the Selling for Entrepreneurs section of our site.

How to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Abilities

The best business owners recognize that they don't know everything.

Given that you are starting a business in Bellingham, Washington, you will want to take advantage of the many programs available at nearby Washington universities, colleges and community colleges. We also recommend you look into networking organizations for Bellingham entrepreneurs.

Some Interesting Bellingham Entrepreneurs

We're compiling a number of interviews with Bellingham entrepreneurs. Enjoy!

Now It's Up To You

You have a dream -- starting a business in Bellingham. To achieve your dream, you have to persevere, even when the odds are against you.

From this point on, you control your own destiny.

Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Bellingham and throughout the United States . We believe entrepreneurship is an amazing engine for job creation in Bellingham, neighborhood development and overall economic health.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Bellingham, Washington

Here are more links that we believe will help you be successful in starting a business in Bellingham.



Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Buying a Business

Writing a Business Plan

Raising Money


Small Business Marketing

Advertising Advice

Public Relations -

Customer Service Tips

Entrepreneurial Selling

Workplace Safety