15 Fascinating Washington Small Business Statistics


The Evergreen State has a gross state product (GSP) of $618 billion, placing it 10th in the nation and it continues to grow by 6.5% every year. The minimum wage as of January 1, 2021, was $13.69 an hour, the second highest of any state or district in the country behind Washington, DC, at $14 an hour.

Some of the noteworthy businesses headquartered in the state include Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Nintendo of America, T-Mobile, Costco, Starbucks, Colliers International, Valve, and Nordstrom. Due to the high concentration of multinational companies in Washington, perhaps it's no surprise that the state also has a high number of billionaires living in it.

As of March 2021, both the first (Jeff Bezos of Amazon) and the second (Bill Gates of Microsoft) wealthiest people in the world, called the state home. Others include Microsoft's Paul Allen, Craig McCaw of McCaw Cellular Communications, James Jannard of Oakley, and Howard Schultz of Starbucks.

Washington's technology industry has around 14,000 businesses that add more than $75.2 billion to the state economy annually, which represents 17.4% of the state's economy. Among these are small businesses (SMBs) that must compete with a high concentration of large companies for access to top talent.

Let’s have a look at some small business statistics from the state of Washington:

  • There are 630,819 small businesses that represent 99.5% of all state businesses.
  • Washington has a low unemployment rate of 4.6%, which is higher than the national average of 3.6%. This means that, while the state economy demands a significant number of jobs, small businesses shouldn't expect the same level of fierce competition in the labor market as found in other states.
  • Forming a corporation in Washington requires you to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $180.
  • Many small businesses offer B2B (business-to-business) services that the state's larger companies need. This offers a reliable and deep-pocketed customer base for these SMBs.
  • There are 91,902 self-employed minorities in Washington. That’s 14.6% of all small business owners in the state.
  • Small businesses employ a total of 1.4 million workers who account for 50.7% of the entire state labor force.
  • When forming an LLC (limited liability company) in Washington, you need to file your Articles of Formation with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $180 by mail or $200 when filing online.
  • There are 11,315 small business exporters in Washington that account for 18.7% of the state’s $73.6 billion worth of total exports.
  • Employment in the private sector went down 16.3% during the 12-month period ending in April 2020.
  • Three industries claim the highest number of small business employees:
    • Health care and social assistance — 193,247
    • Accommodation and food services — 191,384
    • Construction — 161,599
  • Washington does not have a personal income tax nor does it levy a corporate income tax or franchise tax. There is, however, a base sales tax of 6.5%.
  • The median income for self-employed individuals at their own incorporated businesses is $57,000. That’s $30,000 more than those without incorporated businesses.
  • In 2018, banks in Washington issued 136,306 loans under $100,000 while reporting under the Community Reinvestment Act. The total value of the loans was $2 billion.
  • The following five industries have the largest share of small businesses:
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services — 105,883
    • Other services (except public administration) — 68,716
    • Real estate, rental, and leasing — 67,463
    • Retail trade — 57,077
    • Construction — 55,339


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