Business Resources

Doing Business in
Benton City

Business Support

Doing Business in
Washington State

Business Financing

Doing Business in Benton City

Benton City requires all businesses located within the city limits, or who conduct business within the city limits, to be licensed with the City.  Applying for a Business License in Benton City is a relatively easy process, but does depend on the location and the prior use of the property.  We encourage new business owners to start a dialog with City Staff regarding the details of your project.  Please contact City Hall at (509) 588-3322 to discuss your project.

The requirements for establishing a new business location in Benton City will vary depending on the type of business and the zoning.  It will usually involve land use applications and reviews. Again, BCEDC urges all new businesses to hold a pre-application meeting with the City, so that all aspects of the process and review timeframes will be understood prior to starting a project.  Please contact City Hall at (509) 588-3322 to set up the meeting.

The Benton City Municipal Code can be found on the City website for additional information.

For additional information you may contact Randy Rutledge (509) 947-7332 or by email at

Business Support Services

The Benton City Economic Development Council works with Certified Business Advisor Bruce Davis at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Kennewick to assist you in starting and improving your small business.  The Washington State SBDC is a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington State University and other Washington Institutions of higher education and economic development organizations. Contact BCEDC for a referral, or contact Bruce directly at 509-735-6222 or

Mid-Columbia SCORE Tri-Cities – SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide.

7130 W. Grandridge Blvd, Suite A
Kennewick, WA 99336
509-735-1000, ext. 235

WorkSource Columbia Basin provides “one-stop shopping” for both job seekers and employers. They offer a variety of workforce employment, training, development, and recruitment services.

815 N. Kellogg Street, Suite D
Kennewick, Washington 99336

Tri-Cities Business Builder web portal brings Tri-Cities area resource providers together to answer common questions for business at any stage.  The is a collaboration of the regional economic development organizations and includes resources from non-profit organizations, local and state government, colleges, and PNNL.

Doing Business in Washington State

The Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Service can provide a Business Licensing Guide customized to the needs of your business.

The mission of the Washington State Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) is to help people navigate Washington’s business and environmental regulations. Their online visual ‘Roadmap’ to license and register businesses in Washington assists a new small business owner in navigating general licensing and registration requirements.

ORIA’s Small Business Guide is available online with sections on Plan, Start, Open, Run, Grow, and Close to help businesses in various stages of the business lifecycle. The guide is also available as a downloadable document.

The ORIA Information Center is a free service that answers questions about local, state and federal permits and regulatory requirements and can research project-specific questions.

The state’s Access Washington portal provides links to helpful information to plan, start, and grow your business, as well as resources on taxes, permits, and reports for established businesses.

Washington State tax structure

Washington is one of the few states that does not impose a corporate or personal income tax. With the exemption of farming and the sale or rental of real estate, virtually all businesses in Washington are subject to business and occupation (B&O) tax. The B&O tax is based on gross receipts. The rate of tax varies depending on classification based on type of business activity. Major categories and their rates are:

Retailing 0.00471
Extracting, Extracting for Hire 0.00484
Manufacturing 0.00484
Wholesaling 0.00484
Service & Other Activities 0.015

Property taxes are one of the primary funding sources for local governments. Rates vary thoughout the state, primarily depending upon voter-approved special levies. Personal property taxes are only levied on the assets of businesses.

Retail sales tax applies to most items and services sold to consumers in Washington (with exceptions for food, food ingredients, and prescription drugs). Use tax is paid by the consumer when the retail sales tax was not collected by the seller/service provider. There are both state and local components of the tax. The combined sales and use tax rate in Benton City and Benton County is currently .083.

Business Financing

There are a range of funding opportunities available to businesses in Washington State and in Benton County.  Business owners are encouraged to contact BCEDC so that we can help you evaluate your financial needs and introduce you to funders who can help you succeed.

Benton-Franklin Council of Governments (BFCG) – serving as the Economic Development District for the region, BFCG administers the following loan programs:

U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)  – provides investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency – loans, grants, and technical assistance to support essential public facilities and services as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. Rural Development targets communities in need and empowers them with financial and technical resources.

Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 Loans – financing the purchase, renovation and construction of owner-occupied commercial real estate and equipment for for-profit businesses.

Washington State CERB Grants

The Community Economic Revitalization Board oversees grants to local and regional municipalities for infrastructure improvements including roads, power projects, domestic and industrial water projects, storm and sewer water projects, telecommunications and port facilities.

Washington Small Business Credit Initiative

Securing funding can be difficult for small businesses in this post-recession economy. In 2010, Congress passed the Small Business Jobs Act to improve access to funds so businesses can grow and add new jobs. This initiative empowered Washington State’s Department of Commerce to work with private financial institutions to create four programs for funding small business.

  • Capital Access Program (CAP) – targets small businesses that need $5,000 up to $1 million. Participating lenders are encouraged to make loans to small businesses that fall just short of conventional business loan requirements.
  • Craft3 Fund – a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that lends to small businesses in underserved communities, partnering with smaller lending firms as needed. Ideal for viable existing businesses, they can fund needs from $250,000 to $5 million.
  • W Fund – a venture fund that invests in early-stage companies in the life sciences, biotech, medical device, alternative energy and information technology fields.
  • Collateral Support Program (CSP) – helps small businesses secure SBA 504 financing with their lenders when collateral support is a concern. CSP will place cash deposits with the lending institution as additional collateral support to help lenders approve the necessary bridge loan required to achieve SBA 504 approval. SBA 504 loans can provide financing for real estate as well as heavy equipment.

Washington State Department of Revenue tax incentives overview

Washington State Department of Revenue tax credit programs

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