Make It Tacoma
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So you want to start a business?

Congratulations on launching a business in Tacoma! We know there’s a lot to get done, so check out the information below to get started.


No matter what type of business you are starting, you are likely to be looking for quick and useful information to launch your business. City of Tacoma staff is here to help you navigate the steps to starting your business. Want … read more

Start your Business Checklist

To start you off on the right track we’ve created a “Start your Business Checklist”. Keep in mind that it is not intended to include every step you need to officially open your doors. It should be used as a … read more

Financing your Startup

Entrepreneurs are fueled with an independent spirit and that’s true when it comes to financing their ventures too. Approximately 70 percent of small businesses are initially funded from the owner’s pockets or through small loans agreements with family and friends. … read more


You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: location, location, location. Choosing the right place to start your business makes all the difference in the world, whether you’re starting a restaurant or opening an auto parts store. To learn … read more

Zoning + Building Permits

Before deciding on a location, signing a lease, renovating or purchasing a building you will want to make sure that your business location is the right fit. Check with the City’s Planning and Development Services Department on current zoning, land … read more

Licenses + Requirements

Confused about what licenses and permits you need to open your business? Then you’ve come to the right place! To make sure that all your paperwork is in order, you will want to check with federal, state and local agencies for … read more

Green your Business

Did you know that there are programs designed to save you dollars and help the environment at the same time? Many of the local utilities offer rebate programs and free energy audits especially for businesses. For a summary of the … read more

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I get financing to start a new business? The majority of start-up funding comes from the owner’s pockets or through small loan agreements with family and friends. Other options may include business loans from commercial banks or … read more