Small Business Assistance

Business Diversity Subcabinet

Supporting small and diverse businesses in state contracting is a priority for Governor Jay Inslee and the state of Washington. In July 2015, Gov. Inslee chose 12 of his cabinet agencies, including the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, to form a Business Diversity Subcabinet. The subcabinet is tasked with increasing ways for small and diverse businesses to participate in Washington state contracting opportunities.

Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises

The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) is the sole certifying entity of minority and women owned businesses for the state of Washington.OMWBE exists to fulfill its mission to educate and empower small and disadvantaged businesses in small business and procurement opportunities.

  • Certification: State-certified firms are eligible to participate in contracting opportunities with state and local governments. Some private sector companies recognize and use OMWBE’s state certified firms for their supplier diversity goals.
  • Directory of Certified Firms: Locate and notify certified firms of upcoming procurement and contracting opportunities.
  • Linked Deposit Program: Any firm currently certified by OMWBE can enroll in the program to get access to capital with an interest rate reduction up to two percent (2%).

Washington State Department of Commerce

The Washington State Department of Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington. The agency administers a diverse portfolio of more than 100 programs and several state boards and commissions, all focused on achieving one clear and simple mission: to grow and improve jobs in Washington.

Department of Enterprise Services

Enterprise Services develops and oversees about 1,000 contracts for various goods and services, ranging from vehicle purchases to office supplies to fuel and more. The department offers thousands of vendors and contractors access to open and competitive business opportunities to achieve the best results for state agencies, cities, counties and non-profit organizations.

A Social Security Number (SSN) is not needed to do business with the state of Washington. Instead of an SSN, a vendor can obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN). To obtain an EIN, a vendor does not need a SSN.

Download the statewide vendor registration form, which allows vendors to do business with Washington, here.

The best way to get registered to do business with Washington is to get registered in WEBS. WEBS puts the vendor’s name in a searchable database, which can be used by state agencies and municipal governments to find approved vendors. WEBS also allows vendors to bid on contracts, which is how vendors get on the master contract.

Washington State Department of Transportation

The federally-funded Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Support Services Program was put in place to help DBEs wishing to work on WSDOT highway projects. Support services are available only to DBEs who are certified in the highway construction industry to include: construction companies, consultants, manufacturers and regular dealers.

Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance

The Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) helps people navigate Washington’s business and environmental regulations.

  • Doing Business in Washington: Helpful information to plan, start, and grow your business, as well as resources on taxes, permits, and reports for established businesses.
  • Small Business Guide: A resource that outlines the steps for starting and operating a business in Washington State. Available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
  • Small Business Liaisons: The Small Business Liaison Team(SBLT) consists of representatives from 27 agencies. SBLT listens to businesses then drives action to make it easier to do business in Washington state.

Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Washington PTAC guides companies through the entire process of applying for and fulfilling government contracts, from helping you determine what kind of products and services government needs, to registration, bidding and more.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) aids, counsels, assists and protects the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.