The City of Bellingham has a long history of partnering with businesses, and offering the help and guidance they need to be successful. We have assisted companies, like Erin Baker’s Breakfast Cookies, expand in Bellingham, and companies, like Index Sensors relocate to our City. We’re here to help Bellingham – and the people and businesses within it – thrive.
Why Do Business in Bellingham?
Ideally located between two large urban areas – Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA – Bellingham offers five higher-educational institutions, a myriad of business support agencies, special incentives, a supportive community and an unmatched lifestyle. The business properties stretch from our eclectic downtown, to port property along Bellingham Bay, to industrial property in the Irongate community, and beyond. While our community gets to enjoy the natural beauty of Mt. Baker and the Puget Sound, we also benefit from having nearly 6 million customers within a 90-mile radius.
The Most Robust Incentives in the State
Take advantage of tax reductions, expedited permitting, reduced fees and more. We offer special discounts and incentives for projects that reflect our community goals, including: sustainable development, affordable housing and historic preservation.
- Sustainable development: Green building projects are eligible for special support and expedited permitting. You can also get tax credits and free reductions for solar power installation.
- Urban villages: Get property tax reductions and reduced fees for construction projects located in dense, mixed-use areas. You could also qualify for reduced B&O taxes.
- Affordable housing: New housing developments that provide affordably-priced units can qualify for expedited permitting and fee reductions of up to 80%.
- Historic preservation: Projects that preserve and reuse historic buildings can qualify for a 10-year property tax reduction, among other incentives.
Learn more about our exclusive incentives.
Get Help from your City and Community
No matter your business stage or industry, we’re here to help you through the permitting process, getting your business license and more. Beyond City resources, our community also offers a variety of organizations specifically designed to help your business succeed, including the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Sustainable Connections, SCORE and others. Check out our community business resources to the right contact for your business needs.
You can also visit ChooseWhatcom.com to learn more about business resources and Whatcom County success stories.
Find Your Business Property
Search for available business properties on the Whatcom Prospector website or check out the CityIQ map – this interactive map allows you to explore property boundaries, utilities, zoning and aerial photos.
Get Your Permit and Business Licensing
You can apply for permits and business licenses online or at City Hall, located at 210 Lottie St. Bellingham, WA 98225.
- Apply for a permit online ( For permitting help, feel free to contact our Permit Center at email@example.com or 360-778-8300.)
- Apply for a business license online (For business licensing and registration questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-778-8012.)
We love seeing new businesses start in our community and helping current businesses thrive. If you have any questions or would like someone to walk you through the process, contact our economic development specialists at email@example.com or 360-778-8105.