New Year, New Business: Small Business Resources in Bellingham, WA
Happy New Year! Are you thinking about starting a business in Bellingham in 2020? If so, congratulations and welcome to a community filled with many great small businesses. When you first start out, it can be quite stressful. You may be asking yourself:
“Where do I start?”
“Who can I ask for help?”
“What do I need?”
And I’m sure many other questions. Here at Summit Bookkeeping, our goal is to help small businesses be successful. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of resources here in Bellingham to help you answer some of these questions.
Federal, State, and City Offices
Bellingham City Hall
210 Lottie St, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 778-8000 | https://www.cob.org/services/permits
Here you can get the required permits and licenses you’ll need to start up your business.
Internal Revenue Service
114 W Mongolia St, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 752-4361 | Closed Until Further Notice
We’re lucky to have an IRS office right here in Bellingham. However, the IRS doesn’t accept walk-ins, so make sure to schedule an appointment by calling (844) 525-5640 if you need to meet with an IRS employee.
Department of Revenue
1904 Humboldt St Ste A, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 594-4840
If you need to register your business with the Department of Revenue, you can do it using the My DOR online business licensing system, but we also have an office here in Bellingham if you need assistance. They also hold workshops to help new businesses learn about tax basics.
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
1336 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 685-4259 | https://bellingham.score.org/
Bellingham SCORE provides small businesses with free counseling from retired business professionals. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can request a mentor and take workshops on topics such as starting a business, writing a business plan, and marketing strategies. This is a good resource for new entrepreneurs who are looking for help with planning and getting their businesses started.
Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
1616 Cornwall Ave Ste 199, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 778-1762 | https://sbdc.wwu.edu/
The SBDC is located at Western Washington University and helps small businesses with planning, financing, and managing. You can work one-on-one with their Certified Business Advisors to help you with a wide range of areas including creating a business plan, financing, market research, and HR. Their services are free of charge to Whatcom County small business owners; however, their main client base is established businesses.
1801 Roeder Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 676-2500 | http://choosewhatcom.com/
Choose Whatcom is a project co-funded by the Port of Bellingham, City of Bellingham, and Whatcom County. They provide small businesses with the information and resources they need to start, grow, and relocate their business.
NW Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC)
2200 Rimland Dr Ste 210, Bellingham, WA 98226 | (360) 255-7870 | https://nwirc.com/
This organization works with entrepreneurs and inventors to help them identify the strategy, tools, and resources they need to develop and launch their idea. Their Just-In Time Mentorship ™ program matches entrepreneurs with experienced mentors.
Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce
119 N. Commercial St Ste 110, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 734-1330 | https://bellingham.com/
If you want to connect with local business owners, joining the Chamber of Commerce is a great way to do that. There are different tiers of memberships, which includes benefits, such as an online business listing, features on their website and e-newsletter, admission to networking events, and more.
1701 Ellis St Ste 221, Bellingham WA 98225 | (360) 647-7093 | https://sustainableconnections.org/
As the name suggests, this organization is focused on creating a sustainable local economy by encouraging a “Think Local First” mindset. Member benefits include being featured on their local business directory, access to their publications, and invitations to events.
Technology Alliance Group
(360) 312-7105 | https://www.tagnw.org/
TAG is a non-profit organization that aims to foster innovation in technology by holding community networking events. As a Business Member, you will be included on their Business Member Directory, have access to their job board, receive discounted event attendance, and promotion in select marketing.
Whatcom Business Alliance
2423 E Bakerview Rd, Bellingham, WA 98226 | (360) 745-0418 | https://whatcombusinessalliance.com/
The WBA aims to facilitate business success and community prosperity in Whatcom County. As a member, you can network with other local business owners to discuss ideas, trends, issues, and opportunities in the business community. Depending on your tier of membership, you can gain access to their bi-monthly e-newsletter, attend quarterly networking and education events, be featured on their website, and more.
1000 F Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 | https://bellinghammakerspace.org/
This space provides the opportunity to use professional tools for creative projects including 3D printers, laser machines, milling machines, screen printing presses, etc. You can choose to become a member which grants access to their computers and software, social events, and classes. On the calendar for this month includes woodshop, laser cutting, and vector graphics. If you’re looking to work on projects such as these without the upfront cost of purchasing the equipment, this is a great way to get started.
114 W Magnolia St #505, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (855) 261-9814 | https://inventcoworking.com/
This space offers a lot of help for startups and freelancers. Amenities in this space include a photography studio, executive office, conference room, and high-speed internet.
Here are some websites that will be helpful when starting your business:
Filing formation documents with the Secretary of State | https://www.sos.wa.gov/corps/forms.aspx
Filing a Master Business License | http://bls.dor.wa.gov/
Obtaining a Federal Tax ID Number (EID) | https://sa.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp
Filing Bellingham B&O taxes | https://pay.cob.org/botax/home/signin
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center | https://www.irs.gov/smallbiz
City of Bellingham Business Center | https://www.cob.org/services/business/Pages/default.aspx
Employment Security Department | https://esd.wa.gov/
Department of Labor and Industries | https://www.lni.wa.gov/
Department of Commerce | https://www.commerce.wa.gov/
We know, that’s a lot of information, but we hope that you will find some of it useful in helping grow your business here in Bellingham. If you've decided to take the leap and start your business this year, we’d love to support you on your journey! So, here’s one more resource:
Summit Bookkeeping LLC
1530 Birchwood Ave Ste C, Bellingham, WA 98225 | (360) 756-5020 | https://www.summitbkpg.com/
We may be a little bias on this resource, but that’s because we know how important it is to practice good bookkeeping from the very beginning. We’re committed to providing business owners in Whatcom County with affordable, friendly, and flexible bookkeeping services.
Schedule a free consultation with us to review and discuss the following:
Tax pros and cons of business entity options
A general overview of accounting and recordkeeping
City, state, and federal tax laws and how they apply to your business
The complexities of hiring employees or contractors
Using your personal vehicle or home for your business
And any other relative business concerns you may have.
To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (360) 756-5020 or request a consultation online.