If you’ve recently started a corporation in Washington, then you probably know that it’s important to stay compliant with all applicable state laws. One item that’s especially important to remember is a Washington initial report.
All Washington-based corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) must file a Washington initial report with the Washington Secretary of State’s office within 120 days of filing their Articles of Incorporation.
While filing an initial report isn’t particularly hard, it’s easy to forget about. At the same time, failing to file an initial report can lead to serious consequences.
What is an initial report?
A Washington initial report functions to provide the state with the vital information of every recently formed corporation. It is a document that discusses basic details, like the contact information for the business’s key personnel. Washington differs from many states in that it requires both Washington LLCs and all Washington-based corporations to file initial reports.
It’s absolutely essential that you file your Washington initial report on time. If you don’t file an initial report on time, you’ll have to pay a delinquency fee. On top of that, the Washington Secretary of State can administratively dissolve your business.
Initial report requirements
You don’t need to submit your business’s initial report along with your Articles of Incorporation. Instead, Washington gives businesses 120 days after their date of formation to file an initial report.
However, your initial report only satisfies Washington’s requirement for one year. After that, you’ll have to submit an annual report.
You can mail your Washington initial report to the Washington Secretary of State’s Office at their Corporations & Charities Division. You can also file it electronically through Washington’s online filing system.
What information is required in an initial or annual report?
A Washington initial report must include the following information:
- The name of the business, as recorded with the Secretary of State of Washington
- The name, street, and mailing address of the business’s registered agent
- The street address and mailing address of the business’s principal office
- A brief description of the nature of your business
Additionally, you’ll need to include the names of the business’s key leaders. For example, a corporation would list directors, while an LLC would list certain members or managers, depending on its structure.
The initial report must also list your business’s unified business identifier (UBI) number. A UBI number is a nine-digit number that identifies a business in Washington State. Your business will receive its UBI number after you apply to obtain a license to do business in Washington State.
Finally, you’ll need to have a person with the appropriate authority to sign and submit the report. This authorized person could be an officer, director, or registered agent.
In Washington, your business needs to file an annual report every year after incorporating. Similar to initial reports, the purpose is to keep the state aware of any changes to the corporation’s vital information.
Annual reports must be filed on or before the last day of the business’s month of incorporation. That means that if your business was originally incorporated in January, you’ll need to submit your annual Report each year before January 31st.
The Washington Secretary of State refers to this annual report due date as the “expiration date.” To confirm your business’s expiration date, search for your company on the Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System.
While Washington annual reports take only a few minutes to file, forgetting to file can cause you serious headaches. To help you out, ZenBusiness offers a simple, convenient annual report filing service. With this tool, you can forget about worrying whether your business is behind on its annual report and focus on pursuing your business goals. This service is also included in our Worry-Free Compliance plans, along with other filings to keep your business state compliant.
We’re Here to Help
At ZenBusiness, we’re committed to helping new business owners reach their business goals by offering them a variety of tools and services. Whether you want to change your business structure, start a Washington LLC or corporation, or enlist the help of a registered agent service, we’re here to help!
Filing Your Washington Initial Report FAQs
Is an initial report the same as the annual report in Washington?
They are very similar, but still distinct filings. Essentially, an initial report is just the first annual report that your corporation must file with the State of Washington, but it must be filed within 120 days of incorporation.
Do I need a lawyer to file an initial report in Washington?
No, the report can be filed by any authorized person within the business. Or you can use ZenBusiness’s annual report filing service.
How much does it cost to file an initial report in Washington?
Fees are subject to change. You can find the current initial report filing fee schedule at sos.wa.gov.