How to Start a General Contracting Business in Washington State

Starting a general contracting business in Washington State can be a rewarding endeavor, but it involves careful planning and execution. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process, from forming your business entity to obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.

1. Choose your business structure

Before you can register your business in Washington State, you’ll need to decide on a business structure. Generally, this means choosing between a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Each structure has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to research them carefully and seek legal advice if necessary.

2. Register your business

Once you’ve chosen your business structure, you’ll need to register your business with the Washington Secretary of State. This involves choosing a unique business name, filing the appropriate paperwork, and paying a registration fee.

3. Obtain a tax ID number

Before you can start doing business, you’ll need to obtain a tax ID number from the IRS. This number identifies your business for tax purposes and allows you to hire employees if necessary.

4. Get licensed

General contractors in Washington State are required to have a contractor’s license issued by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. This involves passing a written exam, providing proof of insurance, and paying a licensing fee.

5. Obtain necessary permits

Depending on the scope of your projects, you may also need to obtain permits from local authorities. This can include building permits, electrical permits, plumbing permits, and more.

6. Develop a business plan

A business plan is essential for any new business, and general contracting is no exception. This plan should include your goals and objectives, marketing strategies, financial projections, and more.

7. Build your team

As your business grows, you may need to hire employees or subcontractors to help with projects. It’s important to establish clear roles and responsibilities, provide proper training, and ensure that everyone is working safely and efficiently.

8. Market your business

Marketing is crucial for any business, and general contracting is no exception. You’ll want to build a strong online presence, establish relationships with local vendors and suppliers, and develop a reputation for quality work.

Starting a general contracting business in Washington State requires careful planning and execution, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding and profitable venture. By following these steps and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can set yourself up for success in this dynamic industry.