Business Friendly

In Burien, economic development is a priority. Since the city’s incorporation in 1993, the community has remained committed to developing an environment where businesses can flourish. From transportation improvements, including the Burien Transit Center which opened in 2009, to the walkable downtown core surrounding Burien Town Square, to job creation in the Northeast Redevelopment Area (NERA), strategic City planning has enabled businesses to start-up quickly, with room to grow.

City staff are ready to assist you in getting your business off the ground, or taking your existing business to the next level. The Counter Assistance Program gives businesses the opportunity to speak with a planning or economic development team member Monday–Friday between 9 a.m.–noon to discuss your business needs. Economic development team members can be reached at [email protected], Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Woman sitting in front of man at a computer.

Low tax rate and streamlined processes keeps business costs low

At 0.001, the business & occupation tax rate in Burien is less than half of that in the City of Seattle. In fact, only two cities in Washington have lower business tax rates. And if your gross sales are less than $200,000 annually, in Burien you pay nothing. Compare for yourself:

Business and Occupation Tax Rates





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Burien understands that locating your business here means you are making an investment. In return, Burien keeps the cost of doing business low and unlike other cities, Burien does not interfere in your daily operations with excessive regulations. Burien has no city minimum wage or employee scheduling laws, for example. For those interested in constructing a new building, design review is done in-house and without public committees, saving developers and property owners valuable time in the permitting process.

“The City of Burien is great to work with. One of the fastest lease ups we’ve experienced.” — Legacy Partners, development company responsible for the Town Square Condominiums

A City that listens

Soon after City incorporation, the Burien City Council realized the importance of involving the business community in policy discussions regarding economic development. In 1995, the Council created the Burien Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP) to provide guidance and direction to the City Council on Burien's future economic development, review and make recommendations for improvement to the economic development component of the City's Comprehensive Plan, and to advise the City Council on other economic opportunities and business interests.

A City that is responsive

“You wouldn’t get this type of service in a larger city.” This is what we hear often when making business visits through our robust Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program. We believe being responsive to the needs of our business community is the most critical economic development function we serve. From the more than 250 businesses we visit annually to our walk-up counter assistance program at City Hall, we make Burien businesses our priority. If you have questions about locating your business here, let us know.

A City that values partners

Burien understands the importance of leveraging regional partnerships to give our resources more impact. We are actively engaged in growing our influence in the region, and value the economic development partners that help our businesses grow and our community amplify its voice. Our valued partners include: 

Discover Burien logo Highline College logoPort of Seattle logoSBDC logoSeattle Southside Chamber of CommerceSeattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority logoSoundside Alliance logo Greater Seattle Partners logo.



The City of Burien has a robust history of partnering with the private sector on new development. A new job center in Burien (NERA) resulted from the city government partnering with the Port of Seattle, and WSDOT to provide timely infrastructure investments that support the attraction of private sector development and over 750,000 square feet of new commercial space. The City took the lead on developing similar partnerships for mixed use development in the downtown, providing $9M in street investments (in 2017 dollars) to support downtown redevelopment. For further information on incentives available through a public private partnership, please contact the Economic Development Manager, Chris Craig.

Other incentive information can be found here:

Updated May 16, 2022