Welcome to Start a Business’s guide to the registration of foreign corporations in the state of Washington. This particular jurisdiction demands that all foreign entities file through the use of the online filing system found on the Secretary of State website. The tutorial below illustrates the process from start to finish and can be used for both profit and non-profit corporations. As per usual, foreign entities will be required to submit a certificate of good standing or like document during the registration process in order to prove their validity. The filing fees for foreign corporations will amount to $200 for profit entities and $50 for non profits.

Though we normally recommend that filers perform a Business Entity Search prior to registration, the Washington Secretary of State website has already installed a name availability check in the foreign registration process. However, if you need additional time with which to prepare for filing, it may be advisable to reserve your company name. Reservations in Washington last for a total of 180 days and cost $30.

How to File

Step 1- Navigate to this webpage and click Start New to begin the foreign registration process.


Step 2- Select either the Profit Corporation option or the Nonprofit Corporation option.


Step 3- At the bottom of the same page used to select the entity type, provide the name of your corporation and click Lookup. A list will be generated based on the contents of your submission. If no names match the one you’ve submitted, you will be able to click Continue to advance to the next step. If you are not permitted to use the name, you will be required to search for an alternate.



Step 4- This step will just show you your application ID. Keep track of it if you plan on saving the registration at some point and returning to it at a later date. Click Continue when ready.


Step 5-  Provide here, the contact person’s name, phone number, email address, and physical address before continuing.


Step 6- Provide the corporate purpose, your date of incorporation, location of incorporation, the duration of your term in Washington, and the date on which the corporation began, or intends to begin, doing business in Washington. Click Continue to continue.


Step 7- Provide the principle office location and the mailing address (if different). If required to maintain another office in the home jurisdiction, enter the street address and mailing address of this office as well. At the bottom of the page you must click Attach Certificate to advance to the page on which you will provide your certificate of good standing.


Step 8- Here you can select Choose File and find your PDF or JPEG image of the certificate of good standing on your computer. Click Upload File followed by Continue to proceed.


Step 9-  Supply the nature in which the registered agent will show consent by either selecting that the agent is submitting the application or that the filer has on record a signed document indicating consent. Next provide the type of agent (individual or entity), the name of the individual or entity, and the street address in Washington. If you wish, you may also provide their email address.



Step 10- Add the name and addresses of each governing member of the corporation by clicking the Add Governors link and supplying them on the subsequent page. Once all members have been provided, click Continue.

wa-lp-12Step 11- Type your full name and title as submitter here to sign the document.


Step 12- Review all the information submitted thus far in the application and edit it where necessary. Once all seems completely accurate, you will be able to proceed by clicking Continue.


Step 13- Your shopping cart should read $200 under the Cost heading. Click Continue if everything seems to be in order.


Step 14- To pay the filing fee, enter your card and billing info on this page and click Complete OrderThis will submit your filing fee and application to the Secretary of State for processing. Good luck!


Renewal– All corporations are required to submit an annual report in one form or another to the state government in order to stay in good standing. While nonprofit corporations will be able to file their documents online using the Secretary of State online portal (here), profit corporations will be required to file through the Business Licensing Center (linked at the heading of this paragraph). The filing of the profit annual report will need to be accomplished online with the use of an account set up with the Department of Revenue filing system. The filing fees for corporate annual reports are as follows: profit corporations-$71, nonprofit corporations-$10.