Business & Finance

Increase your knowledge and skills in finance and investing, and find local small business resources. 

Free to Bellingham Public Library Cardholders

ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry
Full-text business magazines and newsletters that track world-wide business conditions, trends, management techniques, corporate strategies, and industry-specific topics.

ProQuest Research Library: Business
A research platform comprised of scholarly journals, professional and trade publications, and magazines covering business and finance topics.

Reference USA
Business and residential contact information for over 25 million U.S. and Canadian businesses, organizations, agencies and over 267 million consumers.  Pick one of the databases in the directory, and then use the “Custom Search” options to modify your searches.

Value Line
Investment-related data, news, and analysis for stocks and mutual funds. Investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies.

Recommended Websites

Annual Credit Reports
Free annual credit reports accessible through this website.

Owned by Dow Jones and Company, this is a comprehensive investment research website. Includes historical securities performance.

Mutual funds and stock information and ratings.
Government guidance on how to find financial security.

U.S. Small Business Administration
An independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy.

Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP)
Provides entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business.

Small Business Resources in Bellingham, Whatcom County and Washington

Are you an entrepreneur? The library has outlined resources in Bellingham and Whatcom County that offer assistance to small business owners. Download our Small Business Resource Guide, or click the featured resources below:

Guides from Government Agencies

Small Business Guide – Washington State
Steps that a small business needs to cover including creating a business plan, business structure, and business name.

Small Business Liaisons – Washington State
Contacts for small business assistance in 25 different state agencies. Names, phone numbers, and email addresses are provided.

Small Business Resource Guide
A directory of business resources in Washington and northern Idaho produced by the Seattle District Small Business Administration.

Washington BusinessHub
All Washington State government agencies that deal with small business can be accessed through this gateway website.

Business License and Tax Resources

Business Licensing Service – Washington State
A one-stop service that takes care of your basic state registration and licensing requirements.

Business Licensing Wizard
Get a customized Guide Sheet from the Department of Revenue based on your type of business, location, ownership type, and if your business will have employees.

New Business Tax Basics
Produced by the Department of Revenue, this guide covers tax basics for businesses, ways to file your tax return, recordkeeping requirements, audit information, and sample forms.

Small Business and Self Employment Tax Center
The IRS website has a section just for small businesses including information on starting, operating, and closing a business, employment taxes, forms, and more.

State Business License Application
The Department of Revenue’s online application for business licensing.

Resources in Bellingham and Whatcom County

bai (formerly Bellingham Angel Investors)
A group of accredited investors who share a common interest in seeking investment opportunities in early or middle stage companies in the Pacific Northwest.

Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry
The Chamber offers a variety of benefits to its members including networking and training opportunities, being listed on the Chamber’s directory, and group medical insurance.

Choose Whatcom
A gateway site to local agencies and resources that help small businesses.

Downtown Bellingham Partnership
A nonprofit championing the health and vitality of our community through promoting commerce, culture, and celebration.

Guide to Loan Programs and Financing Options in Whatcom County
A comprehensive list of loan programs and financing options, with emphasis on those serving Whatcom County businesses.

Historic Fairhaven Association
Support for businesses located in Fairhaven including mutual exchange of discounts for employees, beautification projects, inclusion in a business directory on their website, options to advertise on site, and opportunities to participate in events.

NW Catalyst Fund
An innovative, community-minded funding solution with the goal to fortify economic activity in renewable resources and environmental sustainability in our region.

SCORE: Counselors to America’s Small Business
SCORE is sponsored by the Small Business Administration and offers free business counseling, mentoring, and training. SCORE Chapter 591 serves in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties.

Small Business Development Center at Western Washington University
Advisors offer confidential, no cost assistance in: developing a business plan, obtaining financing, managing cash flow, handling human resource
concerns, marketing research, and buying or selling a business.

Sustainable Connections
A non-profit network of independently owned Whatcom County businesses and supporters that facilitates sustainable economic development by providing education, connections, and market development.

TAG: Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington
A regional trade association that supports the technology industry by offering education, networking opportunities, and advocacy.

Whatcom Community College Community Education: Business Courses
Education and training for owners and employees of small businesses, including marketing, start-ups, and use of social media.

WorkSource Whatcom
The Employment Security Department partners with WorkSource Business Services to provide tools and resources to employers, free of charge.