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Why You Should Start a Business in Washington State
September 13, 2019
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Why You Should Start a Business in Washington State

Starting a business is challenging but doing it in the right location can help. Whether you’re launching a tech startup or opening an art gallery, Washington State offers business owners a little bit of everything. It’s not a bad place to live, either. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked Washington first overall on its Best States 2019 list.

If you’re looking for a place with strong entrepreneurial energy and a supportive creative culture — not to mention picturesque surroundings — consider the Evergreen State. In this post, we’ll list the top reasons that this may be the best spot to start your business in!

7 Reasons to Start Your Business in Washington:

1. Pro-Business Climate

Over 250,000 businesses are registered in Washington, from one-person startups to some of the nation’s largest household brand names, including Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, and Costco. Perhaps it’s because Washington is one of only seven states to not levy a corporate or personal income tax.

In addition, Washington had the third-highest patent creation rate between 2015 and 2017 and ranked among the top five states for venture capital investments.

2. Strong Economy

Washington State was the fastest growing economy in the country in 2018, expanding output by 5.7 percent annually. This was almost double the national rate, according to data from the Commerce Department. Not to mention, Washington has seen its job market increase by 1.8 percent over the last year.

Future job growth over the next 10 years is predicted to be 39.1 percent, which exceeds the U.S. average of 33.5 percent. Based on these numbers, it’s a great time from a financial standpoint to start your small business in Washington.

3. Low Cost of Energy

Washington’s commitment to the environment means that energy costs are much lower in the Evergreen State than elsewhere in the country. The state offers businesses the largest coordinated hydroelectric system in the world, meaning nearly 75 percent of its power is derived from rivers that flow through the state. This renewable energy source is complemented by a growing reliance on wind and solar power to reduce energy costs for businesses and households alike.

4. Active Lifestyle

Whether you like to ski, hike, or swim, Washington has it all. Its landscape includes mountains, deserts, rainforests, and over 3,000 miles of coastline. The state also boasts three national parks — Olympic, North Cascades, and Mount Rainier. With its many opportunities for active residents, it’s not surprising that Washington routinely ranks among the ten healthiest states in the country.

5. Expert Labor Force

Washington ranks seventh in the nation for higher education, according to Yahoo Finance, and 34 percent of high school graduates go on to attend college in-state. The Evergreen State also has the lowest average in-state public college tuition in the country — in 2015, the state legislature voted to cut tuition at four-year colleges by 15 to 20 percent.  Washington’s excellent education rankings mean there are plenty of talented workers entering the market.

6. Creative Culture

Over 200,000 Washingtonians make their livings in the arts, and Washington is one of only a handful of states that have a Certified Creative Districts program. This program provides opportunities for networking, training, and technical assistance to strengthen Washington’s creative community and attract new artists to the Evergreen State.

7. Diversity of Industries

Washington’s economy is comprised of many types of businesses, attracting a variety of business entities, entrepreneurs, and workers to the state. Although aerospace is the state’s main economic driver, the military and defense sector employs the second-highest number of employees in Washington.

Maritime, technology, and clean energy are also important industries, as is agriculture. In fact, Washington generates 70 percent of the country’s apples and is a leader in milk, potato, and cattle production.

Conclusion: Consider Starting Your Business in the Evergreen State

Washington offers a unique environment for entrepreneurs, whether you’re in a highly technical profession or prefer the arts. With its high rankings in health, education, and quality of life, you can’t go wrong if you open a business in Washington state.

To learn more, check out this handy guide to starting a business in Washington State.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].