Washington Small Business Statistics

4 Min Read
0 Reviews
Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
Disclosure: We earn a commission from some partner links. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Washington state is the tenth-strongest economy in the US. It shows confident annual growth and boasts impressive diversity. Washington is a leading lumber producer and second wine producer in the nation. It ranks high in the production of many fruit and vegetables and livestock products.

A whole bunch of multinational corporations chose Evergreen State for their headquarters. Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco, and Nintendo are to name a few. So, it’s no wonder that WA has a high concentration of billionaires too.

The technology sector is yet another powerful economic driver, with Google and Facebook employing thousands of residents in the Seattle area. Overall, the industry is supported by about 14.000 market players injecting over $75 billion into the state economy each year.

In 2022, Washington takes the second position in the CNBC “Top States for Business” rating after North Carolina. Besides, the state holds the lead in fostering new businesses and raising funds via venture capital which attracts more and more small enterprises (SMEs) to its business arena.

Key Washington Small Business Statistics

  • According to Statista, in 2021, Washington's gross domestic product stood at $492.63 billion. It showed a nearly 5% growth against the previous year and even jumped over the pre-pandemic figure;
  • In 2022, the GDP increase is even more impressive. At $577.2 billion, it demonstrates an 18% bump-up as compared to 2021;
  • A 3.6% annualized GDP growth rate brings WA to the second place nationwide by the state growth rate (IBISWorld);
  • The software publishing sector is the biggest revenue earner in WA, bringing in $64.4 billion. It’s followed by hospitals and new car dealers earning $33.5 and $27.1 billion respectively;
  • Meanwhile, the most active GDP contributors are information, real estate, and retail trade sectors that collectively generate 48.3% of the entire GDP amount;
  • Despite the presence of the big and legendary market players, 99.6% of all businesses in the state are small enterprises that enlist 657.529 entities;
  • Representing nearly 89% of WA exporters, in 2020, SMEs generated 32.6% of the total state export worth $37.6 billion;
  • The professional, scientific, and technical service sector is the leader by the SME count, with 110.646 small entities currently operating in it;
  • The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas industry has the lowest SME count, with 311 small private firms working in this sector;
  • About 24% of the SMEs in WA are employer entities hiring workers, and the majority are smaller companies with 1 to 19 employees on their payrolls;
  • Employment in the SME sector decreased by over 16% in the recent year;
  • Overall, SMEs employ 1.4 million workers ensuring nearly 50% of the total job market in the state;
  • The most active work providers in the SME sector are the following industries:
    • Accommodation and food services: 201.932;
    • Health care and social assistance: 198.836;
    • Construction: 171.577.
  • The minimum wage rate in WA as of 2022 is $14.49, and it’s expected to grow up to $15.74 in 2023;
  • An average hourly rate is $28 resulting in a $57.878 average annual income across the state;
  • At 4.9%, the unemployment rate is somewhat higher than the federal minimum of 3.7%.

Top 10 Industries for Small Businesses in WA

Industry Company Count
Professional, scientific, and technical services110.646
Real estate, rental, and leasing70.106
Transportation and warehousing63.644
Other services (excluding public administration)57.388
Retail trade55.128
Healthcare and social services51.659
Administrative, support, and waste management43.180
Entertainment and recreational services38.112
Educational services22.825

WA Small Business Demographics

  • Female-owned businesses in WA enlist 239.128 entities making up 46% of the total SME count, and around 12% of them have employees;
  • Male-owned SMEs account for 336.461 businesses, and 23% of them are employer companies;
  • Women workers represent 46% of the total labor pool in the private sector;
  • Veterans account for 6.5% of employees and own 7.8% of small enterprises in the state;
  • Immigrants control 21.3% of SMEs in Washington state and maintain 32.7% of the employee pool (Census data);
  • This is how SME ownership is distributed among ethnic groups present in the state:
    • Asians: 62.801;
    • Hispanics: 36.670;
    • Black Americans: 26.364;
    • American Indians and Alaska Natives: 2.789;
    • Hawaiians and Islanders: 1.866.

WA Small Business Formation

  • Starting a Washington LLC or corporation is about filing formation documents with the Secretary of State and paying a state fee of $180 when registering online or $200 when filing by mail;
  • The law calls for LLCs and corporations to maintain a Washington registered agent to stay compliant and ensure due business mail processing;
  • To keep your LLC legitimacy, you’ll have to file a state annual report and pay a $60 fee;
  • The state levies taxes neither over personal nor over corporate incomes and doesn’t collect a franchise tax;
  • A base state sales tax is levied at a flat rate of 6.5%, with local rates varying in location.


  1. Washington Small Business Economic Profile 2022
  2. Washington State - Wikipedia
  3. Washington - State Economic Profile
  4. Washington Small Business Statistics (2022)