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Local Seattle non-profit Ventures (formerly Washington C.A.S.H. provides access to inexpensive business training, capital, coaching, and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential. 


WA Secretary of State

While the specific business structure you choose may vary based on a number of factors, about 80% of the food businesses we run across choose the structure of Limited Liability Company (LLC), and about 20% choose to Incorporate.  Once you have decided on which structure is the best fit for your business, visit the WA Secretary of State website and register there first.


WA State Business License

All businesses in Washington State need a state business license to operate.  Learn more here.

City of Seattle Business License

If you plan to operate in our kitchen or sell or produce food anywhere in the City of Seattle, you also need a city business license.

Get an EIN from the IRS

If you plan to hire employees or open a bank account, you will also need to obtain a free Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. 


King County Department of Public Health

Keep your business on the up-and-up by getting properly licensed.  If you are planning to retail (as in, sell food directly to consumers), get licensed by the King County Department of Health.

King County Permit Login

If you have already paid for your permit but you either have not received a copy or lost your permit and need a new one, you can obtain a copy online instead of waiting for the health department to send you one.  You will need your "PR" number to register for an account. If you don't know your PR number, call King County Environmental Health at (206) 263-9566.

Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)

If you are planning to wholesale your product (as in, sell to a company who is planning to sell it to consumers), you'll need to become a food processor and obtain approval from the Washington State (WSDA) for proper licensing


Food Handler Permits

Anyone who is handling food will need a food handler permit.  They cost $10 and the class, which only lasts about 45-60 minutes, can be taken online 24/7.  Every worker in the kitchen should have one and Seattle Commissary Kitchen requires vendors to provide copies of cards for all food workers to keep on file.

For Mobile Food Vendors

The City of Seattle publishes some great information for mobile food vendors (for example, food trucks).  Read about it here.

If you will be building or getting a food truck, it is important that you are also aware of all of the regulations from the WA State Department of Labor & Industries ("L&I")  


When I Work for Scheduling Employees

While there are a couple of great employee scheduling apps out there, we recommend When I Work because it integrates with the Payroll service that we love and will recommend below.  Check out When I Work to schedule employees, track attendance, and collect job applications.

Gusto for Payroll

Gusto is the best, modern payroll service available on the market for small businesses up to 250 employees.  Gusto makes onboarding new employees and processing payroll a breeze.  When processing with Gusto, you don't have to worry about filing any taxes or other state reporting (New Hire Reports, L&I, ESD, or Federal).  Plus, it makes sending job offers and other essential new employee documents (Employee Handbook and more) extremely easy.  If you decide to sign up, please use our referral link.

QuickBooks for Bookkeeping

Whether you plan to do your own bookkeeping or hire a bookkeeper or accountant, you should consider getting a QuickBooks Online (QBO) account.  This is the most commonly used software for small business and all accountants and bookkeepers should be familiar with using it.

Business Insurance from C Don Filer Agency

Business insurance should not be complicated or expensive.  80% of our kitchen members use a local insurance company in Seattle called C Don Filer Agency (Shari Lofquist is our representative).  Insurance costs are estimated for most of our food vendors to be between $250 and $500 annually.  Call Shari and she will have you insured within 1-2 days (we have even had vendors who call her in the morning and are insured by the afternoon.)

Content and More from PNW SOUL PRODUCTIONS

Looking for great content to create a robust online presence? Check out PNW SOUL PRODUCTIONS for quality photography and video. Other services include website design, social media strategy, and content consulting. This is whom we use primarily!

Branding from Hero Creative Media

If you don't have a logo, photos, promotional video, or a website yet, consider getting a quote from local Seattle firm Hero Creative Media.

Great Food Photography

​If you want to work with a photographer who will make your food look amazing, meet Kayako.

Business Funding

Business Impact NW is a non-profit that specializes in small business loans and education.


If you have time to wait, you can typically get inexpensive printing (business cards, menus, and more) from Vistaprint.  Use code VPBC500 at checkout for a discount on business cards.


If you need something overnight, check out Overnight Printing, a local Seattle printer that is very close to our Stadium location.​ 


Don't go it alone!  Check out these awesome local membership groups.

Foodtrepreneurs Meetup Group

Want to get together face-to-face and do some networking with other Foodtreprenuers?  Attend a monthly foodtreprenuers meeting and get some free, valuable education!

Seattle Made

Seattle Made is an initiative of Seattle's Good Business Network to grow and support our local Seattle manufacturing and producer economy. If your business makes a physical product in the city of Seattle—anything from bikes to biscuits to recycled goods and more—and you want to collaborate with other local producers and manufacturers to find and share the resources you need to succeed, join today!  Membership is free.

Seattle Restaurant Alliance

Seattle restaurateurs can join in on the first Wednesday (unless otherwise stated) of each month between 10-11:30 a.m. for monthly membership updates.  At these meetings, a range of topics relevant to the local restaurant industry is discussed.


Northwest Mobile Kitchens

Northwest Mobile Kitchens (NMK) custom builds high-quality Food Trucks, Catering Trailers, Promotional, and Mobile Business Vehicles. Our commitment to excellence in design, craftsmanship, and culinary knowledge has earned NMK a reputation as the leading builder of mobile kitchens in the Pacific Northwest.

If you have anything to do with food trucks in Seattle, this is an essential resource!  List your food truck on Seattle's #1 favorite food truck resource, where customers can view daily schedules to find and book their favorite trucks.

WA Food Truck Association

The Washington State Food Truck Association was officially launched in April of 2015, as a 501c6 non-profit advocacy organization, hoping to help food trucks succeed in this very competitive industry.  They aim to serve as a central hub of communication & information, a catering referral & information source and provide local and state-level proactive lobbying and advocacy. 

Food Truck Pods

Here is a master list of all the best food truck pods out there, according to Seattle Met. 

Food Truck Parking in Magnolia

Parking can be a challenge for many food trucks.  Here is some secure food truck parking (monthly rental) located in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. 


If you're going to be feeding people, you'll need food supplies.


Packaging, business cards, etc. - you may need it all.


More knowledge is better.​



FareStart provides a real solution to poverty, homelessness, and hunger through their job training programs.  Through restaurants, cafes, catering, and programs that provide meals to social services and schools in the Seattle area, participants in FareStart programs get practical work experience while giving back to their community.  FareStart is a great place to hire trained workers. 


Craigslist is a good place to place job ads.​ 


(206) 451-7323 •

© 2019 by Seattle Commissary Kitchen LLC

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