Resources & Support

Business Consulting

We connect small businesses to consulting resources that help sharpen management skills and explore new opportunities for growth. These resources are available for a wide range of businesses - from the early stage entrepreneur looking to launch their company to the established business looking to attain the next level of growth.

  • Receive no cost 1-on-1 business consulting with a particular focus on business planning, financial management and marketing
  • Access classroom training and counseling, with specialized assistance available for early stage, low-income and immigrant owned entrepreneurs

Business Advocacy

There are a number of organizations dedicated specifically to advocating for businesses in Seattle. In addition to advocacy, these organizations also provide valuable tools for current and prospective businesses.

Check out our Business District Organizations map to find an organization in your neighborhood.

Find a Location

Finding the perfect location requires careful planning and research. Check out our Business Decision Engine tool. It's an interactive tool that provides essential market intelligence for entrepreneurs and existing businesses. Additionally, it is a useful tool that can help you identify the perfect location for your business. 

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DO YOUR RESEARCH

Learn about zoning, transportation, community facilities, and other opportunities that may affect where you chose to locate your business.

Know Your Lease Before You Sign

Once you’ve selected a space and you understand what is required to make the space uniquely yours. You’re ready to negotiate a lease! Make sure you fully understand what you are negotiating and what you and your landlord are responsible for in the lease. For example, who will be responsible for building maintenance? Will you be allowed to sublet your space? Will you be provided tenant improvements? Will it be a triple net lease or a gross lease?

Helpful Tool: Use the Commercial Lease Checklist to help make sure you have all the required permits and licenses.

"Six Commercial Lease Terms Every Small Business Owner Should Know"

Commercial Lease Checklist: Summary

Commercial Lease Checklist: Full Version

Navigating City Government

Navigating the City's regulatory process can be lengthy and confusing. We are here to help. The small business team will advocate on behalf of small businesses to ensure that their input is considered on regulatory and policy issues. The following describes different ways in which we support small businesses on problem solving and advocacy issues:

  • City Permitting: Obtaining a permit can sometimes be complicated. Our team can help find answers and resolve complicated questions. For more information on permitting, visit our Rules & Regulations page.
  • Managing Construction Impacts: We can help advocate on behalf of businesses to help ease any impacts that may come as a result of construction. Additionally, we help small business owners prepare for future projects that may impact their business.
  • Utility Saving & Recognition: City programs can provide assistance identifying potential energy, water, pollution, and solid waste reduction and cost savings. Learn more.
  • WMBE Certification: The City's commitment to communities we serve is to include Women- and Minority-owned Businesses (WMBEs) in our contracts. Learn about the City's efforts and register your WMBE business with the City's online business directory. 
  • OMWBE Certification: Women- and minority-owned business can apply for certification from the Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (OMWBE). Certification may help do business with federal, state, and city agencies as well as private sector entities with Supplier Diversity programs.
  • New Laws Affecting Businesses: New local laws have been passed that impact business. We can help find answers and support businesses.