San Juan County Economic Development Council | Helping islands businesses to thrive

Create a Business Entity

What form does your business take? Which structure is best for you, your financial providers, your business partners and your target customers? This is the point where you have to spend some money for expert advice and potentially consult with a business attorney, insurance agent and accounting specialist.

Possible business structures in the State of Washington:

  •  Non-Profit
  • Member owned cooperative
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)


Seek out a local business attorney that you know or that a successful business owner recommends. You can always consult the Washington State Bar Association – Check out their track record and reputation.


Also, there are numerous accounting firms, independent CPAs and bookkeepers that can assist you in outlining how to set up your financial systems, structure and accounts. They can also verify your financial assumptions in your plan and provide solid feedback.


Finally, what kind of business insurance do you need? Depending upon your business structure and the type of product or service you are providing, your needs will vary significantly. To identify and obtain a business insurance agent, referrals are usually best from someone you know and respect and who is presently a successful business operator.

Where do you find these services?

Your local Chamber of Commerce can provide information on local suppliers of each of these services.

Research multiple options for each specialist you employ. Talk with them and get to know them. You want these relationships to be strong and to last over several years. Ask for and obtain references of other client-business owners they work with. Interview the references to understand their view of the quality of services delivered by your prospective provider. The individuals that assist you with these services can be critical to your success, or integral in your failure.