Washington State is home to forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, volcanoes, beaches and bays. So, it's not surprising that a state with such natural beauty works hard to find a balance between safeguarding the environment, protecting consumers and maintaining a thriving business community. Like most western states, Washington has a fair amount of state and city level licenses. However, it maintains fewer than neighboring Oregon or giant California below that.
In Washington, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.