How to Form a Sole Proprietorship in Washington State

by Wayne Thomas
Forming a sole proprietorship doesn't involve a lot of paperwork.

Forming a sole proprietorship doesn't involve a lot of paperwork.

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Sole proprietorships are the easiest type of business to form in Washington State. As the single owner of your company, you take on all the profits and debts that the sole proprietorship incurs while doing business -- and you retain complete control over how the business is managed. Knowing what steps you need to begin doing business as a sole proprietor in Washington State will help ensure the long-term success of your company.

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State Requirements

Technically speaking, a sole proprietorship is formed whenever the owner starts conducting business. However, to legally conduct business in Washington State you must first select a name and then file a business license application with the state and pay a fee. Once you receive your business license, you may then apply for a federal employment identification number from the Internal Revenue Service. An EIN is for tax purposes and is required only if you have employees, but the number can also be helpful in obtaining a bank account for your business. Further, if you have any employees, you must report these hires to both the state and IRS.