The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is currently taking applications to charter a business development company (BDC).

What Is a BDC?

A BDC is a financial institution charter that can be comprised of banks, thrifts, credit unions, venture capitalists, private entrepreneurs, and even government-sponsored entities (GSEs).

The purpose of a BDC is to lend or invest in small business, agriculture, community development and/or historical preservation throughout Washington State by:

  • Making qualified loans.
  • Investing in qualified projects.
  • Facilitating direct participation loans by third party qualified loan participants.

The new approach encourages sustainability through flexibility and choice. You now have the option of participating as Founder (Promoter and/or Incorporator), Capital Equity Investor, Debt Financer, Lender, or Direct Co-Lender in Participation Loans Facilitated by a BDC. DFI believes that creative business plans may emerge that are market (need) driven.

What Are the Minimum Requirements?

Minimum requirements include:

  • Corporation or LLC: A for-profit Washington State corporation or limited liability company with acceptable articles and bylaws.
  • Incorporators: Five or more incorporators. Three incorporators must be federally insured depository institutions.
  • Mission: Must be dedicated to lending and/or investment for small business, small agricultural, community development, and/or historic preservation.
  • Business Plan: Must demonstrate a reasonable likelihood of safe and sound operation and ability to fulfill its stated goals, consistent with an approved mission.
  • Management: Proposed management must demonstrate the qualifications to fulfill mission and business plan.
  • Capitalization: Core capital must be consistent with the goals of the business plan. Minimum capital-to-asset ratio of 8%.

Guide to Business Development Companies

A free guide to chartering and operating business development companies is available.

How Can I Receive More Information?

If you or your group is interested in forming or participating in a BDC, or you would like more information on chartering and operating a BDC, please contact the DFI Division of Banks at (360) 902-8704 or via email

Pre-application meetings and outreach presentations may be arranged through the Division of Banks.