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Doing Business in Bellingham

Business owner

The City of Bellingham is committed to supporting and retaining our business community, and enhancing economic development. The information provided below will help you get started, whether you are starting a new business or looking for assistance for an existing business.

Opening a Business in Bellingham

The Office of Business Relations and Economic Development (BRED) staff are available to assist you with business-related questions and provide community resources and city services to support your business. We may be reached at: business@cob.org or 360-778-8105. 

STEP 1: Develop a business plan

For local resources visit the Small Business Development Center or call 360-778-1762 to schedule a no-cost appointment with a business strategist. SCORE is another good resource for Free Small Business Counseling  and they can be reached at  360-685-4259.

For state resources visit www.access.wa.gov/topics/business/

For federal resources visit www.business.usa.gov

STEP 2: Find a location

The location of your business is very important. The following links provide you with resources that will help you choose the perfect fit. 

STEP 3:  Zoning and Permits

Make sure that your business is allowed in the location you have chosen and see what permits may be required.

STEP 4:  Business License and Registration

All businesses must register for city and state business and occupation taxes at the same time.  The fastest and most convenient way to register is online.  The City's Finance Department publishes a Business Tax Guide that can assist you in addressing some of your registration and tax questions.

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