Washington Foreign Entity Registration
If you own an LLC or corporation in another state and wish to do business in Washington, you will need to register your foreign business with the proper Washington State agencies. Whether you have an LLC or corporation, the process, the forms and the fees are the same.
We provide foreign registration service. Our fee is $359, which includes filing with the Secretary of State and one year of Washington registered agent service. We do not file your Washington Business License. To access our foreign registration service, you must first sign up for registered agent service. Once you are signed up, you can add a foreign registration from your online account.
Before You Register in Washington
In order to register a foreign business in Washington, you will need to submit a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state (or province, if you run a Canadian company). You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your local Secretary of State office.
Register a Foreign Business in Washington
File a Foreign Registration Statement
The first step is to file a Foreign Registration Statement with the Washington Secretary of State. This can be done online, which is what we suggest. The Secretary of State prefers online filings, which is why it makes it difficult to even find the actual registration application on its website. The advantage of online filing is that it is automatically expedited and processed in 2 to 3 days.
The Foreign Registration Statement comes with a $180 fee ($200 with the automatic expedite fee).
Note: If you already have a UBI number, you cannot file online. In this case, you can sign up for our Washington registered agent service, and you will be able to access the paper Foreign Registration Statement, which you can print and mail.
You must appoint a Washington registered agent when you file a Foreign Registration Statement. A registered agent is required by state law. We offer Washington registered agent service for $59 a year.
File for Washington Business License
After your foreign registration has been approved by the Secretary of State (and only after), you can apply for a Washington Business License. The name “business license” is a bit of a misnomer. This is actually a registration with the Washington Department of Revenue. Once registered, you will be able to pay state taxes, register employees, and access unemployment insurance coverage.
Nearly every corporation and LLC is required to obtain a Washington Business License. There are very few exceptions. You can see our WBL page to learn more.
You will need to list the Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number issued by the Secretary of State (from your Foreign Registration Statement).
Note: Do not file your Foreign Registration Statement and Washington Business License at the same time. Both agencies have the authority to issue UBI numbers, and if you file at the same time, your company will be issued two conflicting numbers.
After You Register
Once your foreign registration is complete, you will be required to file a Washington Annual Renewal each year. This form can be filed online. There is a $71 filing fee.
In addition to your Annual Renewal, you will be required to meet your Washington Business and Occupation Tax obligations.