April 2, 2020  
  Entrepreneurial Resources - Advice for Washington Entrepreneurs  
  Seattle, Washington Resources for Entrepreneurs  
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Start a Business in Seattle, Washington

Are you starting a business in Seattle, Washington? This article discusses the most important things to consider when opening a business in Seattle.

Which Business to Choose?

There are many businesses that you can start. How do you know which type of business is right for you? We recommend that you read Business Ideas That Don't Make Sense.

For in-depth how-to guides on how to start specific businesses, browse our Good Businesses to Start section of our site. For example, you might be interested in our Opening a Data Processing Equipment Maintenance Business guide or our Starting a Decals Wholesale & Manufacturers Business guide.

Remember that Seattle is the place where you are starting a business. Some businesses will do better in Seattle than others. A critical consideration is whether Seattle demographics mesh well with your startup concept.

Seattle, Washington Demographic Information

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

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

Business Size# of
1-4 Employees 50145
5-9 Employees 16569
10-19 Employees 11376
20-49 Employees 7992
50-99 Employees 2766
100-249 Employees 1554
250-499 Employees 441
500-999 Employees 150
1000+ Employees 96
All Seattle Businesses 91089

As a new Seattle entrepreneur, you may also be interested in the table below. It shows how many businesses there are in Seattle 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
Adhesive Manufacturing 2
Advertising Agencies 100
Air and Gas Compressor Manufacturing 1
Air Traffic Control 1
Aluminum Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Ambulance Services 3
Amusement and Theme Parks 1
Amusement Arcades 7
Animal (except Poultry) Slaughtering 1
Appliance Repair and Maintenance 8
Apprenticeship Training 9
Architectural Services 323
Armored Car Services 3
Art Dealers 52
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing 3
Automobile Driving Schools 5
Automotive Exhaust System Repair 9
Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 16
Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 73
Automotive Transmission Repair 18
Baked Goods Stores 19
Barber Shops 23
Beauty Salons 269
Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 12
Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 5
Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 52
Blind and Shade Manufacturing 1
Blood and Organ Banks 7
Boat Building 10
Boat Dealers 54
Book Publishers 29
Book Stores 67
Books Printing 2
Bowling Centers 11
Breweries 3
Broadwoven Fabric Finishing Mills 2
Broadwoven Fabric Mills 2
Broom, Brush, and Mop Manufacturing 1
Building Inspection Services 22
Business and Secretarial Schools 2
Business Associations 81
Business to Business Electronic Markets 3
Cable and Other Program Distribution 8
Cafeterias 19
Camera and Photographic Supplies Stores 21
Canvas and Related Product Mills 9
Car Washes 24
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services 14
Casino Hotels 1
Casinos (except Casino Hotels) 8
Caterers 62
Cement Manufacturing 2
Cemeteries and Crematories 11
Charter Bus Industry 5
Cheese Manufacturing 1
Child and Youth Services 70
Child Day Care Services 347
Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores 23
Civic and Social Organizations 126
Claims Adjusting 23
Clothing Accessories Stores 25
Coffee and Tea Manufacturing 7
Coin-Operated Laundries and Drycleaners 24
Collection Agencies 15
Commercial Bakeries 24
Commercial Flexographic Printing 4
Commercial Lithographic Printing 70
Commercial Photography 36
Commercial Screen Printing 18
Commodity Contracts Brokerage 6
Commodity Contracts Dealing 3
Community Food Services 18
Commuter Rail Systems 1
Computer and Software Stores 44
Computer Facilities Management Services 12
Computer Storage Device Manufacturing 1
Computer Systems Design Services 161
Computer Training 14
Concrete Block and Brick Manufacturing 1
Confectionery and Nut Stores 17
Confectionery Merchant Wholesalers 3
Construction Machinery Manufacturing 1
Construction Sand and Gravel Mining 1
Consumer Lending 18
Continuing Care Retirement Communities 28
Convenience Stores 123
Convention and Trade Show Organizers 47
Convention and Visitors Bureaus 5
Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing 4
Copper Foundries (except Die-Casting) 1
Copper Ore and Nickel Ore Mining 1
Cosmetology and Barber Schools 13
Couriers 68
Court Reporting and Stenotype Services 25
Credit Bureaus 6
Credit Card Issuing 1
Credit Unions 58
Curtain and Drapery Mills 4
Custom Computer Programming Services 260
Cut Stock, Resawing Lumber, and Planing 2
Dance Companies 5
Deep Sea Freight Transportation 15
Deep Sea Passenger Transportation 1
Dental Laboratories 30
Diagnostic Imaging Centers 33
Diet and Weight Reducing Centers 13
Digital Printing 10
Direct Life Insurance Carriers 42
Direct Mail Advertising 19
Direct Title Insurance Carriers 22
Directory and Mailing List Publishers 10
Discount Department Stores 4
Display Advertising 6
Document Preparation Services 36
Dog and Cat Food Manufacturing 2
Doll and Stuffed Toy Manufacturing 1
Drafting Services 11
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages) 204
Dry Pasta Manufacturing 1
Drywall and Insulation Contractors 45
Educational Support Services 52
Electric Power Distribution 2
Electrical Contractors 186
Electronic Auctions 2
Electronic Computer Manufacturing 3
Electronic Shopping 70
Elementary and Secondary Schools 106
Emergency and Other Relief Services 13
Employment Placement Agencies 36
Engineering Services 271
Envelope Manufacturing 2
Environmental Consulting Services 70
Exam Preparation and Tutoring 38
Exterminating and Pest Control Services 13
Facilities Support Services 14
Family Clothing Stores 86
Family Planning Centers 10
Farm Labor Contractors and Crew Leaders 1
Farm Management Services 1
Farm Product Warehousing and Storage 1
Farm Supplies Merchant Wholesalers 4
Fertilizer (Mixing Only) Manufacturing 1
Fine Arts Schools 46
Finfish Fishing 102
Finish Carpentry Contractors 93
Fish and Seafood Markets 14
Fish and Seafood Merchant Wholesalers 34
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers 110
Flight Training 8
Floor Covering Stores 38
Flooring Contractors 81
Florists 56
Flour Milling 2
Fluid Milk Manufacturing 3
Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Food (Health) Supplement Stores 32
Food Product Machinery Manufacturing 1
Food Service Contractors 81
Footwear and Leather Goods Repair 8
Footwear Merchant Wholesalers 11
Formal Wear and Costume Rental 9
Framing Contractors 33
Freight Transportation Arrangement 181
Fresh and Frozen Seafood Processing 24
Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing 1
Fruit and Vegetable Canning 2
Fruit and Vegetable Markets 20
Full-Service Restaurants 1,135
Funeral Homes and Funeral Services 16
Fur and Leather Apparel Manufacturing 2
Furniture Merchant Wholesalers 57
Furniture Stores 100
General Automotive Repair 214
General Freight Trucking, Local 47
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 13
General Rental Centers 11
General Warehousing and Storage 29
Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Stores 134
Glass and Glazing Contractors 17
Glass Container Manufacturing 1
Golf Courses and Country Clubs 8
Grantmaking Foundations 76
Graphic Design Services 174
Greeting Card Publishers 6
Gypsum Product Manufacturing 2
Hand and Edge Tool Manufacturing 3
Hardware Manufacturing 1
Hardware Merchant Wholesalers 33
Hardware Stores 26
Hat, Cap, and Millinery Manufacturing 1
Hazardous Waste Collection 1
Heating Oil Dealers 12
Historical Sites 1
HMO Medical Centers 6
Hobby, Toy, and Game Stores 50
Home Centers 9
Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers 59
Home Health Care Services 35
Home Health Equipment Rental 1
Homes for the Elderly 99
Household Appliance Stores 25
Human Rights Organizations 27
Industrial Building Construction 3
Industrial Design Services 7
Industrial Gas Manufacturing 1
Industrial Launderers 7
Industrial Mold Manufacturing 3
Industrial Pattern Manufacturing 2
Industrial Valve Manufacturing 1
Inland Water Freight Transportation 7
Inland Water Passenger Transportation 5
Institutional Furniture Manufacturing 2
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages 393
Interior Design Services 96
International Trade Financing 1
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting 37
Internet Service Providers 37
Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation 1
Investigation Services 21
Investment Advice 73
Iron and Steel Forging 1
Iron and Steel Mills 3
Janitorial Services 186
Jewelry (except Costume) Manufacturing 12
Jewelry Stores 95
Junior Colleges 1
Kidney Dialysis Centers 10
Land Subdivision 37
Landscape Architectural Services 52
Landscaping Services 254
Language Schools 22
Lead Pencil and Art Good Manufacturing 1
Lessors of Other Real Estate Property 20
Libraries and Archives 8
Limited-Service Restaurants 790
Limousine Service 13
Linen Supply 3
Local Messengers and Local Delivery 28
Locksmiths 20
Logging 3
Luggage and Leather Goods Stores 8
Luggage Manufacturing 1
Machine Shops 47
Mail-Order Houses 35
Manifold Business Forms Printing 2
Marinas 20
Marine Cargo Handling 13
Marketing Consulting Services 115
Marking Device Manufacturing 2
Masonry Contractors 46
Materials Recovery Facilities 6
Mattress Manufacturing 4
Meat Markets 21
Meat Processed from Carcasses 9
Media Buying Agencies 5
Media Representatives 13
Medical Laboratories 31
Medicinal and Botanical Manufacturing 1
Men's and Boys' Neckwear Manufacturing 1
Men's Clothing Stores 29
Metal Can Manufacturing 1
Metal Heat Treating 1
Metal Household Furniture Manufacturing 3
Metal Tank (Heavy Gauge) Manufacturing 2
Metal Window and Door Manufacturing 4
Miscellaneous Intermediation 47
Mobile Food Services 19
Monetary Authorities-Central Bank 1
Mortgage and Nonmortgage Loan Brokers 87
Motion Picture and Video Distribution 2
Motion Picture and Video Production 83
Motor and Generator Manufacturing 2
Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing 2
Motor Vehicle Towing 26
Motorcycle Dealers 16
Museums 26
Music Publishers 1
Musical Groups and Artists 34
Musical Instrument and Supplies Stores 29
Musical Instrument Manufacturing 4
Nail Salons 68
Narrow Fabric Mills 2
Natural Gas Distribution 3
Navigational Services to Shipping 11
New Car Dealers 45
New Housing Operative Builders 41
News Dealers and Newsstands 6
News Syndicates 6
Newspaper Publishers 32
Nitrogenous Fertilizer Manufacturing 1
Nonresidential Property Managers 93
Nursing Care Facilities 37
Office Administrative Services 92
Office Equipment Merchant Wholesalers 41
Office Supplies and Stationery Stores 35
Offices of Bank Holding Companies 3
Offices of Certified Public Accountants 256
Offices of Chiropractors 173
Offices of Dentists 554
Offices of Lawyers 1,122
Offices of Optometrists 59
Offices of Other Holding Companies 45
Offices of Podiatrists 27
Offices of Real Estate Appraisers 55
One-Hour Photofinishing 3
Open-End Investment Funds 1
Ophthalmic Goods Manufacturing 1
Ophthalmic Goods Merchant Wholesalers 3
Optical Goods Stores 44
Outdoor Power Equipment Stores 3
Outerwear Knitting Mills 3
Packaging and Labeling Services 5
Packing and Crating 5
Paging 1
Paint and Coating Manufacturing 10
Paint and Wallpaper Stores 22
Painting and Wall Covering Contractors 187
Paper Industry Machinery Manufacturing 2
Parking Lots and Garages 258
Passenger Car Rental 44
Payroll Services 20
Periodical Publishers 55
Perishable Prepared Food Manufacturing 17
Pet and Pet Supplies Stores 38
Pet Care (except Veterinary) Services 41
Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals 6
Petroleum Refineries 1
Pharmacies and Drug Stores 116
Photography Studios, Portrait 60
Pipeline Transportation of Crude Oil 1
Plastics Bag Manufacturing 1
Plastics Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing 1
Plate Work Manufacturing 3
Political Organizations 25
Port and Harbor Operations 1
Portfolio Management 104
Power-Driven Handtool Manufacturing 2
Precision Turned Product Manufacturing 5
Prepress Services 9
Printing Ink Manufacturing 2
Private Mail Centers 26
Professional Employer Organizations 7
Professional Organizations 46
Public Relations Agencies 81
Quick Printing 35
Racetracks 1
Radio Networks 5
Radio Stations 40
Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing 2
Ready-Mix Concrete Manufacturing 4
Real Estate Credit 92
Real Estate Investment Trusts 12
Recreational Goods Rental 6
Recreational Vehicle Dealers 3
Refrigerated Warehousing and Storage 11
Reinsurance Carriers 4
Remediation Services 12
Rendering and Meat Byproduct Processing 3
Repossession Services 7
Residential Property Managers 226
Residential Remodelers 436
Retail Bakeries 40
Reupholstery and Furniture Repair 24
Roofing Contractors 54
Rooming and Boarding Houses 41
Rope, Cordage, and Twine Mills 1
Sales Financing 22
Satellite Telecommunications 2
Savings Institutions 100
Scheduled Freight Air Transportation 9
Scheduled Passenger Air Transportation 31
School and Employee Bus Transportation 7
Seafood Canning 7
Secondary Market Financing 4
Securities Brokerage 153
Security Guards and Patrol Services 35
Setup Paperboard Box Manufacturing 1
Sheet Metal Work Manufacturing 17
Shellfish Fishing 41
Ship Building and Repairing 22
Shoe Stores 66
Siding Contractors 19
Sign Manufacturing 31
Site Preparation Contractors 40
Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars 373
Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing 4
Soft Drink Manufacturing 2
Software Publishers 104
Software Reproducing 2
Solid Waste Collection 12
Solid Waste Landfill 1
Sound Recording Studios 20
Special Needs Transportation 7
Spice and Extract Manufacturing 1
Sporting Goods Stores 92
Sports and Recreation Instruction 46
Sports Teams and Clubs 6
Steam and Air-Conditioning Supply 3
Steel Foundries (except Investment) 4
Steel Investment Foundries 1
Storage Battery Manufacturing 1
Support Activities for Forestry 4
Surface Active Agent Manufacturing 1
Tax Preparation Services 48
Taxi Service 10
Telecommunications Resellers 10
Telemarketing Bureaus 12
Telephone Answering Services 7
Telephone Apparatus Manufacturing 2
Television Broadcasting 13
Temporary Help Services 121
Temporary Shelters 27
Testing Laboratories 33
Textile Bag Mills 5
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters 37
Tile and Terrazzo Contractors 33
Timber Tract Operations 3
Tire and Tube Merchant Wholesalers 4
Tire Dealers 35
Tire Retreading 1
Title Abstract and Settlement Offices 7
Tobacco Stores 31
Toilet Preparation Manufacturing 2
Tortilla Manufacturing 2
Tour Operators 37
Tradebinding and Related Work 9
Translation and Interpretation Services 25
Travel Agencies 104
Used Car Dealers 49
Used Household and Office Goods Moving 31
Used Merchandise Stores 117
Vending Machine Operators 9
Veterinary Services 75
Video Tape and Disc Rental 69
Vocational Rehabilitation Services 51
Voluntary Health Organizations 38
Warehouse Clubs and Supercenters 9
Watch, Clock, and Part Manufacturing 1
Web Search Portals 6
Wholesale Trade Agents and Brokers 247
Window Treatment Stores 11
Wineries 2
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 101
Women's Clothing Stores 110
Women's Handbag and Purse Manufacturing 1
Wood Container and Pallet Manufacturing 3
Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing 3
Wood Preservation 1
Wood Window and Door Manufacturing 6
Yarn Spinning Mills 1
Zoos and Botanical Gardens 3

Have You Considered Buying an Existing Seattle Business?

We've created a useful website page for those who want to Buy a Business in Washington. Follow that link and you may find several good businesses for sale in Seattle.

Before buying a business, be sure to read this article: Hold Harmless Agreements When Buying Businesses.

Marketing Your New Venture

Whether your goal is to attract Seattle customers or you plan on selling elsewhere, having an excellent marketing plan is fundamental to your business achieving its goals.

We have some great resources on this site for entrepreneurs who are working on marketing plans. PR Versus Advertising is a good read to get your marketing ideas flowing. There are many more articles on marketing on our site. Visit our Small Business Marketing resource section to see them all.

Building Up Your Sales

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

Why should customers buy from you instead of buying from competitors? The good news is we can help you to make selling a big competitve advantage for your new firm.

Closing Sales is worth reading, as it may give you some good ideas on how to sell your products or services. We have many more good articles on selling that you may enjoy reading.

Increase Your Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Successful entrepreneurs recognize that they need to continually improve.

As an entrepreneur who lives in Seattle, Washington, you should check out some of the learning programs at local Washington educational institutions. You should also check if there are any Seattle networking organizations.

Seattle Entrepreneur Interviews

Enjoy these interviews we've had with Seattle entrepreneurs.

What's Next?

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

Owning your own business will be a daunting task, but you can do it.

Our goal here is to promote the vitality and growth of small businesses in Seattle and throughout the United States . We want to be there for you to answer your business questions, whether you are a new Seattle entrepreneur who is just getting started or you are already up and running with your new venture.

More Entrepreneurial Resources for Starting a Business in Seattle, Washington

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



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