How to Determine Washington LLC Costs
- How much is an LLC in Washington?
- Washington LLC Cost: How do I get started?
- What fees go into the total LLC cost in Washington?
- What other Washington LLC fees should I look out for?
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Washington?
- What happens if I can't pay my filing fee to the Washington government?
- Who receives the filing fees for forming my Washington business?
- What is the largest fee I will pay when I form my Washington LLC?
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Washington government?
- How do I form my LLC in Washington?
How much is an LLC in Washington? 💲
Washington LLC Cost
The cost to file an LLC by mail is $180.
The cost to file an LLC online is $200.
All online filings are expedited (2 days).
Paper forms submitted by mail are processed in the order received, but you can expedite processing (2 business days) for $50.
Washington LLC Cost: How do I get started? 🗎
You have to file a Certificate of Formation to start your LLC. We can help make this process quick and easy with our Washington LLC Formation Service. Get started now for only $49.
What fees go into the total LLC cost in Washington? ❓
The average cost to start a business in Washington depends on factors like whether you file all your paperwork at once, what kind of registered agent you use, and what licenses and permits you need. You could see the following fees when you start your LLC in Washington:
Washington LLC Filing Fee 📁
A Washington Certificate of Formation costs $180 but can be processed faster online for an extra $20.
There is no fee if you file your Initial Report at the same time as your Certificate of Formation. Otherwise, it’s due within 120 days and there is a $10 filing fee.
Reservation of Name 📛
You may choose a business name on your Certificate of Formation. If you file a Reservation of Name separately, the fee is $30.
Registered Agent Fee
Free: You can be your own registered agent in Washington, but you have to be available during regular business hours to accept legal notices. To avoid this inconvenience, many businesses pay a small fee to hire a registered agent.
Just make sure the registered agent you choose meets all Washington’s legal requirements. We can help you find the right registered agent for your LLC with our Washington Registered Agent Service.
What other Washington LLC fees should I look out for? 👀
A few other common necessities may add to the cost to start a business in Washington.
Washington requires you to file an Annual Report every year. The fee is $60, though it’s waived if you file your Annual Report together with your annual licensing fees.
When you’re busy running a business, it can be difficult to remember this kind of infrequent requirement. But if you don’t file Annual Reports, Washington may administratively dissolve your company. Let us help you keep up with your compliance requirements with our Worry-Free Compliance Service.
Foreign Registration Statement
If you already have an LLC in another state but want to expand your business into Washington, you need to file a Foreign Registration Statement.
The cost to file a Foreign Registration Statement in Washington is $180.
Foreign Name Registration
To register the name of your out-of-state business in Washington, file a Foreign Name Registration. For LLCs, the cost of this form is $30.
Certificate of Existence ✅
To secure funding, contract with the State of Washington, or do business with other companies, you might have to present a Certificate of Existence for your LLC. The Certificate of Existence fee is $20.
Some businesses find it useful to use a name other than the one registered with the Washington Secretary of State. This name is often referred to as a “Doing Business As” name or DBA. Washington calls these trade names and allows you to register an unlimited number.
Register your trade names for $5 each when you file your Business License Application with the Business Licensing Services within the Department of Revenue.
After you form your LLC with the Secretary of State, you must apply for a business license.
You may also need other permits at the state or local level. Our partners at Avalara can give you a Business License Report that breaks down what specific licenses, permits, and registrations your business needs.
For just $49, we can form your Washington LLC for you in just minutes. No LegalZoom promo code required: Pay just $49 plus filing fees for fast LLC formation in Washington.
Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Washington? 🕙
Yes. If you don’t pay fees, interest, or penalties, Washington may dissolve your LLC.
What happens if I can’t pay my filing fee to the Washington government? 🤷
If you can’t pay your filing fees, Washington won’t file your documents, and you may lose the protection an LLC affords.
Who receives the filing fees for forming my Washington business?🏛
Filing fees go to the Washington Secretary of State, Corporations Division.
What is the largest fee I will pay when I form my Washington LLC? 💸💸💸
The $180 fee for filing a Certificate of Formation is the largest single fee you’ll pay in starting your LLC.
What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC filing fees to the Washington government? 💳
The Washington Secretary of State accepts cash, checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Payments made by credit card may be subject to a processing fee.
How do I form my LLC in Washington? ✍
Now you know the answer to the question, What does it cost to start a business in Washington? Here are the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Name Your LLC
Washington Business Name Rules 🗎
Naming your business can be fun, but the name must comply with Washington law. A Washington LLC’s name must:
- Be different from other LLC names reserved or registered in Washington
- Contain the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Co.,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC”
- Not include any words like “corporation” that suggest the LLC is another business form
The name also can’t contain any words or phrases that violate any state statutes.
Because it can be tricky to find a name that is available and complies with the rules, we offer a Business Name Reservation Service to help you find the right name for your LLC.
Washington Business Name Checker
You also want the name of your business to match your website’s domain name. If your website is too different from your LLC’s name, customers might confuse it with another company or have trouble finding your website.
So before you register your business name, run it through our Business Name Checker to see if the domain name is available.
Choose a Registered Agent 👩🏽⚖️
All Washington LLCs must have a registered agent, and the person or entity you choose has to consent in writing.
What is a registered agent?
The registered agent is the point of contact for your business. This person or entity has to be available during business hours to receive notices, demands, and service of process.
Registered Agent Options
You can serve as your own registered agent or have another noncommercial agent do it for you, but the registered agent must provide a physical street address in the State of Washington.
If you choose a commercial registered agent that is already registered with the Secretary of State, you don’t need to provide an address.
Deciding on a Registered Agent
If you’re just starting up, it can be difficult to have someone in the office all the time. Getting served with a lawsuit in front of clients also could be embarrassing. For these reasons, it’s often best to hire a registered agent.
File Your Certificate of Formation 📝
You need to file your Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State to get authorization to legally operate your Washington LLC. You can file online (with your $200 filing fee) or by mailing it (with your $180 filing fee) to:
Washington Secretary of State
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234
The address for hand-delivered or overnight deliveries is:
Washington Secretary of State
801 Capitol Way S
Olympia, WA 98501-1226
Again, expedited paper filings cost an extra $50.
Create an Operating Agreement
Washington does not require LLCs to have operating agreements, but it’s a good idea to draft one. Most importantly, an operating agreement makes clear that your LLC is a separate entity. This helps provide you with the limited liability you want.
Operating agreements also help avoid misunderstandings about duties and finances.
If you’re looking for ideas for a framework for your operating agreement, our Operating Agreement Template is a good place to start.
Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) registers your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Also referred to as a Federal Tax ID Number, an EIN is necessary to file your taxes if you don’t want to use your social security number. Banks and insurance companies also require an EIN when you open a business bank account or apply for insurance coverage.
If contacting the IRS sounds intimidating, we can take care of the paperwork for you with our Employer ID Number Service.
Check Washington Annual Requirements 🗓
Remember when we said Washington requires you to file an Annual Report and renew your business license every year? If you submit them together, the renewal licensing fee is only $10.
You also need to file a state excise tax return. The Department of Revenue will let you know if you have to file your excise tax return monthly, quarterly, or annually. Depending on how your business is classified, you will need to pay things like:
- Business and occupations tax
- Sales and use tax
Stay Legally Compliant 👮
Remember that you need to let the Washington Secretary of State know if you make changes to your limited liability company. This includes things like changing your business address or switching to a new registered agent. The Secretary of State’s website provides forms covering all these changes.
We can help! 💁
We know starting an LLC and running a business sound daunting, but they don’t have to be. We’re here to support you every step of the way. Our services and resources will help you avoid expensive mistakes and penalties so you can focus on what really matters – growing your business.
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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