From writing your business plan to filing your paperwork with the state, it takes a lot to run a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation in the state of Washington. And, every year, you have a crucial responsibility to take care of: filing your Washington annual report.
With so much to do to manage your time, grow your profits, and scale your business, it’s easy for this state-required report to fall through the cracks. Failing to file has serious consequences, though, from late fees to the state dissolving your business entity structure.
Here is a brief guide for filing your Washington annual report, and what you will need to complete one.
What is a Washington annual report?
Washington annual reports verify and update key baseline information for corporations or LLCs. They also are key to keeping your business in good standing in the state of Washington.
In recent years, Washington has changed how businesses file their reports. Businesses used to file with the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR). Although the DOR is the place to turn to for applying for a business license or paying state taxes, it’s no longer where you file annual reports.
The Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS) maintains the Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System (or CCFS for short). Annual report reminders or other notices come from the secretary’s office, and you can turn to the OSOS’s CCFS website to confirm, view, or print your filing.
Washington Annual Report for Corporations vs LLCs
Washington corporations and LLCs both need to file annual reports with the Washington Secretary of State, and you can use the same PDF form or online filing process.
For either business structure, you’ll update and/or confirm information about your business, such as the nature of your company and contact information for your registered agent.
After you originally form your corporation or LLC, you’ll also need to file an initial report and pay a $10 fee within 120 days of entity formation. An initial report is an annual report that you file during your first year of business.
Where do I file my Washington annual report?
The state of Washington prefers online filings, but other options are available. No matter how you file your annual report, your filing is due by the deadline specified in your annual filing reminder from the state. This due date will correspond to the last day of the calendar month in which you originally filed your company’s creation with the state.
The fastest reporting option is the online portal for the Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System (CCFS). You can also file express annual reports, with or without changes to your company’s information.
You can start your online filing process by creating a free user account or logging in to your CCFS account.
Or, you can even file your report without logging in. Simply look up your company by UBI number or business name, and you can complete either your express annual report without changes or your express annual report with changes.
File by mail
To file by mail, download, print, and complete the PDF annual report form. Note that if your report is received after the expiration date, Washington will assess a $25 delinquency fee.
Expedited processing is available for an additional $50 on top of the $60 filing fee.
When you mail your Washington annual report form, include a money order or check payable to “Secretary of State.”
Mail your report and payment to the Corporations and Charities Division:
- Physical/overnight address: 801 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501-1226
- Regular mailing address: PO Box 40234, Olympia, WA 98504-0234
File in person
If the above options aren’t available for you, the Washington Corporations and Charities Division has limited in-person services available. Requests for in-person service must be received by 4 p.m. daily, and these times may be limited during the holidays or because of office closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However you file your Washington annual report, please remember that filing fees can’t be refunded. Plus, the information in the report is a public record, searchable and viewable by anyone.
When is the Washington annual report due?
Washington assigns reporting deadlines based on the month in which you originally created your company with the state. For example, if you filed your Washington LLC on May 20, 2019, your annual report will be due every year by the end of May.
If your report isn’t filed by the annual deadline, the state of Washington will assess a $25 delinquency fee. You’ll also receive notice of the state’s intent to dissolve your company as a legal business entity.
Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington is currently suspending delinquency fees. This is subject to change, though, and filing the annual report is still required.
How much does the Washington annual report cost?
Whether you file online, in person, or by mail, filing your Washington annual report costs $60. Report processing can be expedited for an additional $50 fee.
What information do I need to file my Washington annual report?
In order to file your report, you’ll need the following up-to-date information on hand (and more details are available in the annual report instructions):
- Entity name
- Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number (your state-issued 9-digit business registration number used by the state of Washington)
- Registered agent name and contact information (if you’ve changed agents, there will also be an area where you can update your registered agent’s name and contact information)
- Whether or not your registered agent is a commercial registered agent
- Principal office address: This is the physical address where you maintain company records (no P.O. boxes). The address can be outside Washington State.
- Principal mailing address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Name(s) of entity governor(s): These are the individuals or entities who govern your company and are authorized to make decisions for your business
- Nature of business: Describe the business your company does in the state
- Controlling interest(s), such as real property, stock transfers, or executed option agreements, if any
- Authorized person’s original or digital signature, name, title, and date of completion
If you changed registered agents outside of your annual report timeframe, you must also file that change with the state by completing and submitting the Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent form.
Your company must submit other changes by filing an Amended Report and paying the $10 filing fee. Amended reports are filed by mail: Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations and Charities Division, 801 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98504-0234.
What happens after you file your annual report?
When filing online, you can pay your annual report filing fee with American Express, Visa, or MasterCard. Once you’ve filed your online report, it should be processed immediately, and you’ll be notified by mail or email if there are any issues.
Annual reports filed by mail may require up to 12 business days for processing.
However you file, once your annual report is processed and your filing fee is paid, the CCFS will show your business’s current information. Your “Business Status” will also show as “ACTIVE,” verifying that your company is in good standing and may conduct business in the Evergreen State.
What if you miss the deadline to file your Washington annual report?
Your annual report is due every year, by the end of the calendar anniversary month in which you originally formed your business. Meeting your annual report deadline and filing requirement is crucial to your company’s continuing operation in Washington.
If you miss your filing deadline, Washington will levy a $25 penalty, which will need to be paid in addition to the $60 annual report filing fee.
Once 120 days have passed since your filing deadline, Washington will dissolve your company, effectively shutting down your business in the eyes of the state. Dissolution strips away your LLC or corporation status. That could make it difficult to continue everyday operations, manage banking transactions, or seek outside funding.
If the state dissolves your business, it is possible to have your company reinstated to active status. Washington’s Reinstatement FAQ can walk you through the details.
Who do I contact if I have issues filing my Washington annual report?
While Washington’s online system and range of filing options are intended to help you file your annual report smoothly, sometimes problems happen. If you need help or need to report issues filing, contact the Corporations and Charities Division:
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (360) 725-0377
- Street address: 801 Capitol Way S, Olympia, WA 98501
- Mailing address: P.O. Box 40234, Olympia, WA 98504-0234
As an alternative, your annual report can be filed by any party you authorize. For example, your LLC’s operating agreement could specify that one of the members is responsible for filing the report.
Filing Your Washington Annual Report FAQs
How much does it cost to file an annual report in Washington?
Annual report filing fees are $60. Expedited processing is available for an additional $50 fee. Late filings are subject to a $25 delinquency fee. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the delinquency fee is waived. Filing is still required, and the fee may be reinstated at any time.
Are there any fees or penalties if I don’t file my Washington annual report?
Reports filed after the deadline are assessed a $25 late fee. Your business will also no longer be considered active in Washington State.
The state will dissolve your company 120 days after your filing deadline has passed, removing your status as a corporation or LLC. If your company is dissolved, you may be able to return it to active status by fulfilling the state’s reinstatement requirements. Reinstatement is retroactive and leaves no gap in business status.
What happens if I don’t file my annual report at all in Washington?
If you don’t file your annual report, the Secretary of State’s office will send a notice that your entity is going to be dissolved. If your company has not filed its annual report and paid all fees due, then 120 days after the filing deadline, the state of Washington will dissolve your entity as an LLC or corporation.
Do Washington annual reports need original signatures?
Mailed or in-person reports will require original signatures. For online reports, follow the online instructions to digitally sign your report before filing.
Who can file a Washington annual report?
A Washington annual report can be filed by any authorized party, such as an LLC member, director, or a third-party registered agent service.
Are new businesses in Washington required to file an initial report?
Yes. In addition to the annual report, your new company must file an initial report after you have officially formed the entity with the state.