Start Your Business

Congratulations on your decision to start a new business! To help bring your dreams to reality, we have created a simple 10-step guide to launching your business.

1. Develop a Business Plan

A good business plan will help guide you through the process of starting and managing your business. In addition to being a practical guide, business plans will also help you to attract business partners and secure funding through financial institutions. 

  • To see what should be included and how you can begin writing your business plan, the Washington Business HUB provides an 8-step guide to business planning
  • The City maintains information about Burien-area spending habits that can help with your market assessment. Please contact us for more information.
  • To learn more about local sources of financing for your business, please refer to our Financing.
2. Site Selection

It is no secret that location is an important ingredient in the success of a business. We are happy to assist you in finding the perfect location for your business. First, if you have not enlisted the services of a real estate broker, check out our site selector tool  to browse currently available commercial properties. Once you have an idea about the possible locations, contact city staff  to ensure the property has the right zoning and infrastructure to meet your needs.

Pro Tip: Always check with the city government offices before you sign your lease or purchase the property. Ask about zoning, required permits, and permitting timelines so you do not face unexpected costs. City staff are happy to assist to ensure your success.

For more information or answers to common questions about site selection, please refer to our site location/expansion page

3. Get your Team Together (Professionals)

Having the right group of professionals to advise you on issues from site selection to financing can help you avoid some common mistakes and misconceptions of starting a business. While every situation may call for a different group of experts, most prospective businesses can benefit from reaching out to the following professionals for advice:

  • Real estate brokers
  • Architects
  • Financial professionals

Pro Tip: Select an architect and contractor who have experience working with the City of Burien and with your type of business; doing so can save you valuable time and money in the permitting process and will get your business up and running faster.

4. Obtain the necessary permits

Now that you have committed to a site and understand the zoning and building requirements for your property, the next step is to get your site ready for move-in. To do so, you will likely need to make some improvements to the building you have selected. Depending on the type of improvements you will be doing, you and/or your team may be required to obtain one of the following permits: 

  • Building Permit
  • Electrical Permit
  • Mechanical Permit
  • Plumbing Permit
  • Fire Protection Permit
  • Sign Permit

We suggest you or your hired professional team contact the Community Development Department at (206) 248-5520 for assistance or visit the permit center for more information and forms related to permitting.

If your site requires new construction or extensive renovations we advise you and your team to talk with community development staff to setup a pre-application meeting.

5. State Registration and License

As part of your business plan you should have specified a business structure for your new business. Depending on the structure you selected, the next step in starting your business  registering your business through the Office of the Secretary of State. To complete this step, visit the Secretary of State’s online information center and begin filling out forms for the appropriate business structure.

To get a business license, you must register your business with the Washington State Department of Revenue  and with the City of Burien.

6. Hire Employees

Successful business are made by those who help to run them. If you are considering hiring employees, there are some additional responsibilities you will need to take on. From finding and training qualified workers, to navigating, reporting, and complying with taxes and regulations, the can to help your business bring on new team members. In addition to general tips for hiring employees, the Washington Business Hub also has a specific page for payroll-related questions.

7. Advertise Your Business

Congratulations! Now that you have gone through all the hard work of getting your business set up, it is time to tell your business story and let others know you are here. The City of Burien can help.