Start an LLC in Washington State
To start an LLC in Washington, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. This officially creates your Washington LLC, but it is only the first step. You must also acquire a Unified Business Identifier (UBI) and file an Initial Report with the SOS. A Washington registered agent must be appointed to receive service of process on behalf of your Washington LLC.
If all of this sounds like a bunch of gibberish, don’t worry. Forming an LLC in Washington State is easier than it seems at first. If you want to handle your Washington LLC filings yourself, you can use our DIY Guide below to help you through the formation process.
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of filing a WA LLC Name Reservation, filing a WA Certificate of Formation, applying for a Washington Business License and submitting an Initial Report, you can easily hire us to take care of your Washington LLC formation.
Here’s what we charge:
Honest Transparent Pricing: Where Your $$ Goes
|Washington State Filing Fee||$200|
|Our Incorporation Service Fee||$100|
|One Year Registered Agent Service||$59|
"My first company, I made all kinds of mistakes. Put the wrong name on the filing, sent it to the wrong agency. I was a mess. They came back rejected, and I had to start all over again. I hired WCRA the second time around, and they got everything right. Great service!"
Vince G.Seattle, WA
At Washington Commercial Registered Agent LLC, we don’t believe in add-on prices. We have one low rate for our LLC formation package: $359 (which includes state fees and our annual registered agent service fee of $59).
Compare to the Competition: Other sites will charge $50 to $75 per document. Others hit you with expedite filing fees. Here’s a secret: every online filing submitted to the WA SOS is automatically expedited and processed in 2-5 business days at no extra charge. Those expedite fees you’d pay with the other guy is how the competition pads its bottom line.
LLC in Washington: How It Works
Order Washington LLC
Sign-up today and our team will immediately get started preparing and submitting your Certificate of Formation. We guarantee our filings, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. The Washington Secretary of State’s office typically processes online filings for LLCs in two to five business days.
Access Your Client Account
You can access your client account instantly. From here, you’ll see every document we file on your behalf, and you can order additional filings whenever you want. As your Washington registered agent, we accept official business documents on behalf of your company, and this is where you can access them once we’ve uploaded them to your account.
Activation by the Secretary of State
The Secretary of State will activate your LLC in two to five business days. You’re in business!
We Submit Your Initial Report
Once your Washington LLC is activated, our team will submit your Initial Report (required by law). You will receive a confirmation email that the IR has been accepted and processed.
We Provide Ongoing Compliance Support
We will act as your Washington registered agent for the next year. Any official documents, state notices and service of process that come to our office will be accepted and uploaded into your client account for you to view. Next year, you can renew for the same $59 we charged this year. We have no “introductory” prices. We don’t increase our prices next year.
Contact Us Today!
Have questions? We are dedicated to our customers and we do not outsource our service team. You can always reach a real human being right here in Washington ready to answer your questions and work with you to form your LLC.
Or send us an email.
We check our messages constantly and respond within a single business day.
"I’d never owned a business before. I had enough to focus on getting inventory together, setting up payment processing, everything. I didn’t have time for state paperwork. Washington Commercial Registered Agent took care of everything. I never had to worry. They did a professional job beginning to end. Thanks guys!"
Lucy N.Bellevue, WA
DO IT YOURSELF
WASHINGTON LLC GUIDE
Look, at Washington Commercial Registered Agent LLC, our bottom line is the success of your business. We trust that you know what’s best for your company, and maybe what’s best isn’t hiring us to handle everything for you. If that’s the case, good for you. We admire the DIY entrepreneurial spirit.
Which is why we have provided a Washington LLC formation guide below. While it isn’t legal advice, it is pretty handy, if we do say so ourselves.
NAME YOUR COMPANY
What are the name restrictions in Washington?
You must include in your company name a business identifier: Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Co., LLC, or L.L.C. You cannot register a name that is already in use by another entity within the state.
Want to see if your name is available?
Note: Our name check utilizes the Secretary of State database but should not be considered absolute. Submitted filings that have not yet been processed may register the name you want before you have a chance to file.
FILE A CERTIFICATE OF FORMATION
To form a Washington LLC, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State and pay the filing fee. Paper filings cost $180. Online filings are charged $200.
What is a Certificate of Formation?
A Certificate of Formation is a legal business document that officially creates your Washington LLC. It lists basic information about your company, such as your Washington LLC name, your principal business address, and your Washington registered agent.
What is a Washington registered agent?
A Washington registered agent is designated to accept legal documents, service of process and official notifications on behalf of your company. Every registered agent is required to maintain a physical location within the state where certified mail can be delivered. Your agent’s job is to ensure compliance with state law.
How long does it take to process?
Generally, the Secretary of State will process mailed documents within 25 business days. Online processing is between two and five business days.
WRITE AN OPERATING AGREEMENT
What is an Operating Agreement?
A Washington LLC Operating Agreement is a business document that outlines the ownership and management of your company. In it, you will designate your initial members, their membership contributions, and their ownership share. You will also delegate management responsibilities and determine how administrative procedures will be handled.
Do I file my Operating Agreement?
No. An Operating Agreement is an internal document. It is not filed with any government agency.
APPLY FOR A WASHINGTON BUSINESS LICENSE
What is a Washington Business License?
In spite of its name, a Washington Business License isn’t actually a license. It is a registration with the Department of Revenue which is required for nearly every business in the state. Any company that will hire employees or pay state taxes is required to have a Washington Business License.
Many cities in Washington require their own city licenses, and the WBL will register your company in many of these cities. A WBL also allows your company to register for industrial and unemployment insurance, minor work permits, and trade names.You should not confuse the Washington Business License with the licenses or permits required by various professions and industries, which are acquired through the WA Business Licensing Service.
How do I apply for a Washington Business License?
You can apply either online or by mail with the State of Washington Business Licensing Service (part of the Department of Revenue). Mailed filings are processed within three weeks. Online submissions are processed within 10 business days.
Not all businesses are allowed to file online. The BLS maintains a list of companies that must submit a paper form.
Important Note: Be sure to file your Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State before filing for your WBL. Both the Department of Revenue and the Secretary of State can issue a Unified Business Identifier (UBI), and if you submit the filings in the wrong order your company will likely be issued two UBIs, one from each agency.
How much does the application cost?
There is a fee of $19 for processing an WBL application. However, depending on what additional registrations you make (such as registering a trade name) the fee may increase. As well, the fee will increase in accordance with the city license fees if your business is located within certain municipalities in the state.
FILE INITIAL REPORT
After you start an LLC in Washington, you are required to file an Initial Report with the Secretary of State. This report is due within 120 days of formation. After this first report, you will be required to file an Annual Report each year, which will be due by the last day of the month in which you registered.
Can I file an Initial Report online?
Yes, if you formed your LLC online. After the formation is complete, you can access the SOS Initial Report page. Use your Application ID and Unified Business Identifier (UBI) issued during your formation to file the Initial Report.
Additional Washington Business Requirements
BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT
If you intend to process monetary transactions for your Washington LLC, you will need to open a business bank account. It is from this account that you will take in business income and pay for company expenditures, such as paying employees.
What do I need to open a business account?
You will need to contact the bank branch where you intend to open the account. Every bank has its own unique requirements. At the least, the bank will need documents demonstrating that your Washington LLC exists, such as a copy of your Certificate of Formation and LLC Operating Agreement.
EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN)
What is an EIN?
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service for the purpose of paying federal taxes. You must apply for an EIN with the IRS. Once the EIN is acquired, you will use this number for federal withholding for employee wages, as well as paying federal income taxes.
How much does an EIN cost?
You can obtain an EIN for free through the IRS website.
Am I required to have an EIN for my LLC?
Not necessarily. If you have employees, then yes. If you do not, it depends on what kind of business you are in (any company filing an Alcohol, Tobacco or Firearms tax return, for example, must have an EIN). You can visit the IRS webpage to determine if you need an EIN for your business.
SPECIALTY STATE BUSINESS LICENSE
Not every Washington LLC needs a special business license. Certain industries are regulated by the state government, as well as particular professions. Private investigators and embalmers, for example, need special permits and licenses.
To determine if you need a specialty Washington State business license, and to apply for a license, you can visit the Washington State Department of Licensing website (this should not be confused with the Business Licensing Service, which is part of the Department of Revenue).
What does a special state business license cost?
The cost of state licensing depends upon the business you are engaged in. The licensing fees for taxi services are different from the licensing fees for cigarette vending machines. You will need to check the fees with the Department of Licensing.
After you form a Washington LLC, you will be required to file an Annual Renewal each year with the Secretary of State. There is a $71 filing fee. The report can be filed by mail or online. It is recommended that you file online.
Why do I have to renew my license each year?
The Annual Renewal is simply an update of basic information about your company, such as your LLC name, principal business address, and Washington registered agent. The annual update allows the Business Licensing Service to keep current records concerning your LLC.
When do I file?
The due date for your Annual Renewal is the last day of the month in which your LLC registered with the Business Licensing Service. If you registered and formed your LLC in October, then you must file annually by October 31.
What if I file my Annual Renewal late?
Late filings will be assessed an additional $25 fee. Continued failure to file will result in your LLC being dissolved by the Secretary of State.