Your business started out as a dream and now it’s time to make that dream a reality. You’ve got the passion and even put together a solid business plan, but it’s hard to figure out what the next step should be—and nothing can stall your plans faster than confusion over details like business licenses, bonds and insurance, zoning regulations, and setting up the right infrastructure to put you on the road to success.
When you’re betting your future on a new business venture, it’s important to start things off right. Don’t let the paperwork and legalese distract you from your primary objective – creating a business that makes a difference and turns a profit. To help you see through the regulatory fog, we’ve put together all the Bothell, WA business resources you need.
Permits and Licenses
In order to set up shop, you need to make sure you have all the required permits and licenses needed to do business in Bothell, Washington. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need more than just a basic business license. Thankfully, the city has easy-to-use guides that will help you navigate the ins and outs of registering and licensing your business.
All Bothell businesses start with an application for a business license, and depending on four factors including the number of employees, occupancy size, type of business, and other special classifications, you’ll need to pay a fee ranging from $34 to over $4000. But the city recognizes that the cost of doing business can be steep at first, which is why they also provide plenty of information about small business financing and loans.
Insurance and Taxes
There’s no escaping the need to protect your investment or the requirement of paying local and state taxes. Some businesses and business activities, like new construction or landscaping, require a surety bond or proof of insurance. Don’t be caught unprotected; be sure you know Bothell’s requirements before getting started.
When it comes to taxes, Bothell does its best to be business-friendly. In order to encourage business growth and development, Bothell businesses aren’t subject to a head tax or a business and occupation tax. Make sure you are familiar with all of Bothell’s tax regulations by consulting the Bothell Municipal Code.
Zoning and Construction
It’s often been said that business success comes down to location, location, location. In addition to finding a spot that provides the right exposure and access, you need to make sure the property you choose is properly zoned for your type of business. Bothell provides a comprehensive zoning map along with a Land Use and Zoning resource page to help you identify any special provisions or permits you need to move forward.
The city also provides an extensive resource of design and construction standards and specifications that covers everything from codes and ordinances to legal responsibilities and inspections. To make sure you have all your “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed; however, you can contact City Manager Bob Stowe directly Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Bothell City Hall or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Solutions and Infrastructure
Once you’ve got all the permits and red tape taken care of, you need to make sure you’re set to take on the day-to-day operations of conducting business. That includes reaching current and potential customers and making sure they get prompt, reliable, and friendly service.
These days that usually means setting up a network you can count on along with a data security and backup plan that won’t let you down. And even if you have a strong Internet presence, all businesses need a phone system that keeps you connected to both suppliers and customers.
It can be tricky sorting out the right plans and solutions for your business, so be sure to measure all decisions against your business plan and overall business goals. Don’t get distracted by unnecessary bells and whistles if your initial business launch only requires a simple, straightforward Internet or PBX phone plan.
Your best bet is to partner with a local provider like Frontier Communications that has a good reputation with other small businesses. They’ll be sure to understand your unique needs and will be able to help you set up the most strategic operation for the current Bothell business climate.
Putting it All Together
Giving life to your dream business is definitely within your grasp. By consulting the resources above you’ll be able to save yourself from many of the headaches and missteps that often plague new business owners. But that doesn’t mean questions won’t come up.
One of the smartest things you can do to ensure the success and longevity of your business is to stay connected to the small business support resources that are available in Bothell. One of the best places to turn is the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Washington Bothell. From individualized business consulting to educational seminars and networking events, the small business services at UWB are definitely worth checking out.
You can also turn to the city’s Economic Development department, which is committed to providing and promoting opportunities for economic growth to the citizens of Bothell.