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Understand your Tax Obligations

As a new business owner, you will likely be required to pay ongoing business-related taxes. If you have employees, you will also be required to pay employment taxes. A useful online resource for learning about your  tax obligations is the  Washington State Small Business Guide. It is always a good idea to consult an accountant or tax attorney for assistance on paying business taxes. 

1. Federal Requirements

Visit the Internal Revenue Service’s business information page for details about your federal business income tax requirements by  business structure (sole proprietorships, partnerships, most LLCs, and S-corporations). 

2. State of Washington Requirements

Washington State does not have a personal or business income tax. Instead, its tax structure includes the Business & Occupation Tax, sales and use taxes, property taxes and a variety of industry-specific taxes.  The Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) administers over 60 different taxes. Once you complete a State of Washington Business License Application, you will receive additional information for your business, such as how to handle sales tax, business and occupation taxes, or how to set up employee quarterly reports forms. 

3. City of Tacoma Requirements 

All businesses registered with the City of Tacoma are required to file a Business and Occupation (B&O) tax return, whether or not payment is due. More information can be found on the City of Tacoma B&O tax page. You can also contact the City of Tacoma Tax & License Division directly at 253.591.5252 or