The construction industry is booming! In fact, the residential building construction industry was the number one fastest-growth industries for small businesses in recent years (source: Sageworks) thanks to an increase in housing demand, lending activity and real estate values.

In addition, six of the 10 fastest-growing industries among small businesses are tied to construction – including contractors, real estate agents and architects.

The commercial construction market is also experiencing a rebound. IBISWorld predicts that the next five years will see a period of robust growth for commercial construction companies. Demand for more business office space and the resurge of disposable incomes will also raise the demand for retail buildings. A glance at many Washington city skylines verify this when you start counting the cranes!

If you’re interested in making the move into the construction, or currently work in construction and want to be your own boss, now is a good time!  But starting your own business can be a challenge, there are many pitfalls you need to avoid to be successful.  This page is designed to get you to the resources you need to be successful!

 

Human Resources, Tax, and Licensing

Internal Revenue Service Construction Tax Center

The IRS Construction Tax Center contains information on topics such as accounting methods, excise taxes, and energy credits. Additionally, the site includes helpful recordkeeping information for all small businesses.

Washington State Department of Licensing

Information on the type of licenses, how to apply for a business license and an assortment of guides and resources to help you through this process including: "How to begin," a step by step guide to applying for your business license in Washington state and how to register if you are a contractor.

How to Register as a Contractor

The basics about being a contractor in Washington: In Washington State, general and specialty contractors must register with L&I.  This site will walk you through registering for the first time and renewing as a contractor.

Small Business Guide

The Small Business Guides provides helpful information, links to valuable resources, and outlines the steps for starting and operating a business in Washington state. The Small Business Guide is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.

WA Labor & Industries

More resources from Labor and Industries on how to start and run your business.

City of Seattle Department of Construction and Permits

Permits and information you need to do business in the City of Seattle

SCORE

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for over fifty years. Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to our network of 11,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at very low cost.

Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC)

The Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) is a network of business advisors, trainers, and support staff who operate from Washington State University, Western Washington University, several of the state’s community and technical colleges, and selected economic development agencies. A free network of professional advisors providing insight and solutions for the development and growth toward the long-term success of businesses.

Access Washington: How to start a business

Thinking of starting a business? Find out what you need to do.

  • Business Guide - Use the guide to walk through the steps necessary to run a successful business
  • Plan a business - Find resources for financial assistance, business advice and more.

Ahlers & Cressman Construction Law Blog  In the construction industry, this firm represents general contractors, subcontractors, owners, design professionals, and suppliers involved in both public and private construction projects throughout the western United States and Alaska. They also representclients in commercial matters and litigation, real estate transactions and disputes, and business matters.   Visit the blog to post your comments, questions and read other postings.

Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC) at the University of Washington is an innovative clinic serving entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Northwest. We team law and business students with pro bono attorneys and business advisors to provide critical early stage legal and business counseling to the following groups:

  • Technology Entrepreneurs
  • Small Business Owners
  • Social Entrepreneurs & Non-Profits
  • UW & ITHS Faculty Researchers

Northwest Justice Project 

Welcome to the Northwest Justice Project (NJP), Washington’s publicly funded legal aid program.  Each year NJP provides critical civil legal assistance and representation to thousands of low-income people in cases affecting basic human needs such as family safety and security, housing preservation, protection of income, access to health care, education and other basic needs.

Washington Law Help– Free legal information and self-help materials that provide information about non-criminal legal problems affecting low-income people in Washington state.

Columbia Legal Services(CLS) is a nonprofit law firm that protects and defends the legal and human rights of low-income people. CLS represents people and organizations in Washington State with critical legal needs who have no other legal assistance available to them.

Washington State Bar Association

The WSBA’s mission is to serve the public and the members of the Bar, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.


Marketing

Free Websites from Google
Small businesses across Washington are getting online through this free program from Google. Sign up and you’ll receive:

Free easy-to-build Intuit website

Free customized domain name

Free web hosting for one year

Free online tools and training

Small Business Development Center Network
The Washington Small Business Development Center Network is your resource for expert business advising, management training and market research. SBDC advisors offer one-on-one technical assistance at no charge to make sure you have the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you and your company.  Conveniently located in 24 locations throughout the state, the SBDC offers a host of services designed to help you grow your business, achieve higher profits and improve operations.

For Marketing specific to Women with great information read the   Recruitment and Retention Booklet developed by Heather Winfrey, Executive Director, ANEW (Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women)


Contracting

Washington State Department of Enterprises

Washington State Department of Enterprise Services Offers information and resources on how to bid on public works, view project bidding opportunities, join Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) resource center and much more visit

United States Green Building Council

Every day USGBC is helping advance spaces that are better for the environment and healthier for us to live, work and play in. Through our community network, continuous collaboration with industry experts, market research publications and LEED professional credentials, USGBC remains a key driving force in the green building sector.  Visit this site for information on how to meet LEED standards, training, and more.  Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center

The PTAC program helps companies find and successfully achieve contracts for work with the local, state and federal governments. With the help of PTAC, Washington State companies have won millions of dollars in federal, state and local contracts and subcontracts.


Finance

Apprisen Financial Advocates, locally known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service.  In their 56 year history as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, they have helped over a half-million predominantly low-to-moderate-income individuals and families learn to manage money, balance their budgets and get out of debt.

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solution is a national non-profit that helps consumers obtain a clear perspective of their financial situation throught counseling and education.

Bank on Seattle-King County is a partnership of banks, credit unions and community organizations that can help you open free or low-cost checking and savings accounts.

Washington C.A.S.H. (Community Alliance for Self-Help) is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington. We provide the hands-on education, in-depth support, and access to capital needed to launch and grow successful small enterprises.

GrowSeattle – Office of Economic Development page on how to start, grow and green your business in Seattle.