How to Amend a Washington Articles of Incorporation

Unlock the full potential of your business in the vibrant economic landscape of Washington by strategically filing your Articles of Incorporation. Delve into our comprehensive guide below to effortlessly navigate the incorporation process and position your venture for success in the Evergreen State.

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Anyone who runs a small business knows that you have to jump through certain legal hoops to keep running smoothly. One of these is the requirement that you amend your Articles of Incorporation when changes occur within your business. But the last thing you might have time to think about is how to file an amendment to a corporation in Washington. But don’t worry, we are here to help. Read on to learn about amending your Washington Articles of Incorporation, why you might need to do so, and how our compliance services can make the process easy.

What are Washington Articles of Incorporation?

Articles of Incorporation are the building blocks for your company. Your Washington corporation doesn’t come into legal existence until an incorporator delivers the Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State files them in a public records filing system. Once approved, the Articles of Incorporation serve as the legal foundation for your Washington corporation. The physical act by the Secretary of State’s office filing your Articles of Incorporation is proof that you satisfied all of the necessary requirements to form a corporation. 

Still at the formation stage of your Washington corporation? With our help, you can get your Washington corporation going in just a few minutes. Our Washington corporation formation service can have you up and running in no time. 

Step 1: Determine whether you need to change your Washington Articles of Incorporation

A company’s Articles of Incorporation is an important document. This document contains the basic information required by law. By filing the Articles of Incorporation, your company becomes a legal entity. As a result, the company can own property, pay taxes, sue, be sued, and hire employees. The corporate form also protects the individuals who run it and employees from legal liability for the debts of the corporation.

Washington state law requires that any corporation that wants to change the foundation of its corporation or add to the foundation must file Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State. 

Protection of the public is the most important reason Washington requires corporations to file Articles of Amendment. The public has a right to know if a corporation exists and who is behind it. Additionally, the public needs to know the identity of the company’s registered agent to serve the corporation with legal process. Protection of the public further demands that the corporation list certain information publicly for compliance and auditing purposes.

Filing Articles of Amendment when necessary prevents your company from suffering potentially serious penalties. The Washington Secretary of State won’t issue a Certificate of Status — also known as a Certificate of Existence — if your corporation isn’t in compliance with state law.

You will need a Certificate of Status to obtain financing from investors or obtain a loan. Without it, financiers won’t invest or loan your corporation money.  Additionally, you could miss out on growth opportunities, because you can’t operate your corporation in another state without a Certificate of Existence.

Step 2: Review requirements for your Washington amendment

Washington state law requires corporations to file amendments when the company changes information contained in the original Articles of Incorporation. State law also requires your corporation to file an amendment if you add information to the Articles of Incorporation. 

The Washington Secretary of State provides a form for filing Articles of Amendment. Use the form to amend information such as: 

  • The name of your corporation
  • The number of corporate shares
  • Your registered agent 
  • The period of duration for your corporation

You can include other information that you have changed as well. It’s important to be highly specific about the changes you’ve made and attach supporting documents. 

Step 3: Complete a Washington Change of Registered Agent form (if necessary)

Washington’s Secretary of State allows you to use other forms to amend your original Articles of Incorporation in some instances. For example, you can use a separate form to charge your registered agent and another form for resignation of your registered agent. You can also change your registered agent’s information and your principal address in your annual report. 

We have solutions for you to make this process a whole lot easier. With our popular Worry-Free Compliance Service, which includes up to two yearly amendments, you can center your attention on the things that matter most to you instead of stressing about compliance. We also have services that focus on your specific needs, such as Washington registered agent and amendment services.  Our tools make running your business a breeze.

We have the compliance tools you need to help your Washington business thrive

We all need help sometimes. Running a business is no exception. That’s why we’re here to help. We offer an array of services that allow you to form your own business and stay in compliance. We can help you file your state compliance documents quickly, efficiently, correctly, and timely. We will help you remove your doubts and confusion. Check out our Worry-Free Compliance Service, which includes two yearly amendments in the subscription, our registered agent service, and our amendment filing service. 

Washington Amendment FAQs

  • There are several registered entities that need to file amendments to Articles of Incorporation. Those include for-profit corporations and domestic nonprofit corporations, charities, and other corporate forms.

  • Fees change depending on what you want to do. Additionally, the state charges a higher fee for expedited services. You can check with the Washington Secretary of State for the current fee structure.

  • The person designated by the corporation can act on its behalf and can file the amendment — usually, someone on the board of directors such as the corporate secretary or CEO.

  • You can file your amendment online. You can also mail or hand deliver it to the Washington Secretary of State’s office in Olympia.

  • No, it’s not. You can change your business address and registered agent in your annual report. For other changes, you must amend your Articles of Incorporation.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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