This tutorial has been designed to help the individual looking to file a new LLC with the Washington Secretary of State. The registration process can be accomplished online for those forming standard limited liability companies and if you scroll down, you’ll noticed that we’ve provided instructions for each step of the online filing service. Both professional and standard LLCs will be able to file through the mail as well with the use of a completed PDF (available below). When starting a new company, the filing fee will cost $180 if filing in the mail or $200 if submitting the form online.

Before you begin registration, it is a good idea to perform a Business Entity Search to ensure that the name you plan on using for your LLC is indeed available for use. If you are filing online, there will be a mandatory preliminary check of your name’s availability at the beginning of the registration process. If you like, you may also reserve your entity name for a period of 180 days, a filing which will cost a total of $30.

How to File (Online)

Step 1- Start off by navigating to this webpage and clicking the Start New button to begin the online registration form.

wa-llc-1

Step 2- The first page will present you with your application ID to be used if you want to finish a partially completed application at a later date. Click Continue to proceed.

wa-llc-2

Step 3-  Here you will be able to perform a name availability check. Supply your proposed business name by typing it into the field. Click Lookup when ready and, if your name is indeed available, click Continue.

wa-llc-3

wa-llc-4

Step 4- Begin by supplying the information of the individual to serve as the contact person for this application. You will need to submit their name, phone number, email address and contact address before continuing.

wa-llc-5

Step 5-  This first part of the application will have you submitting your name and two alternatives (optional). Next, provide the purpose of the LLC and the effective date of formation.

wa-llc-6

Step 6- Enter the duration of the LLC (perpetual, specified amount of time, specified date), the principle place of business and the manner in which the entity will be managed (member or manager). Click Continue when ready.

wa-llc-7

Step 7- The registered agent type, name, and address can be supplied on this page. You will also need to indicate whether the consent will be shown on this form or if there is a signed document on record confirming the consent of the individual or business.

wa-llc-8

wa-llc-9

Step 8- This page will have you providing the name and address of each person forming the LLC. Click Continue when ready.

wa-llc-10

Step 9- All LLCs need to file an initial report within 120 days of formation. This feat can be accomplished online at this juncture and will cost no additional fee. Simply provide the nature of the business and the name and address of each manager/member. If you don’t wish to file this report now, click Click Here to Skip.

wa-llc-11

wa-llc-12

Step 10- Enter your full name into the field after reading the information displayed on this page. Click Continue when ready.

wa-llc-13

Step 11- Review all the information submitted thus far to make sure that it was entered correctly. Once your certain that the form is accurate, you may click Continue.

wa-llc-14

Step 12- Your shopping cart will look similar to the one displayed below only the filing fee should equal $180 and not $200Click continue to proceed to the credit card payment page.

wa-lp-15

Step 13- Enter your payment and billing information on this final page and click Complete Order to make the payment and submit the filing to the Secretary of State.

wa-lp-16

How to File Standard LLC (PDF)

Step 1- Begin the filing process by downloading the PDF for the Certificate of Formation.

Step 2- Once open, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of LLC
  • Address of principle office
  • Effective date of formation
  • Duration of term

WA-Certificate-of-Formation

Page 2

  • Choose between the option of using a commercial registered agent,  noncommercial registered agent or an office/position within the entity to serve as registered agent
  • Registered agent name and address
  • Registered agent signature, printed name, date and phone number
  • The name, address and signature of each executor
  • Date of signing and phone number of executor

WA-Certificate-of-Formation-2

Step 3- Once you’ve completed the forms, you will be able to attach to them a check made out to the Secretary of State for the amount of $180. Mail both items to the office of the Secretary of State (address found below) to complete the paper filing procedure.

Secretary of State : Corporation Division

801 Capitol Way S, PO Box 40234

Olympia WA 98504

How to File a Professional LLC (PDF)

Step 1- Begin by downloading the Certificate of Formation designed for the professional limited liability company.

Step 2- Once open in your PDF viewer, you will be able to provide the following information:

  • Name of LLC
  • Address of principle office
  • Effective date of formation
  • Tenure (either perpetual or give a specific date of dissolution)

WA-Professional-Certificate-of-Formation

Page 2 

  • Whether agent is commercial or noncommercial
  • Name and address of registered agent
  • Signature, printed name of registered agent and the date of signing
  • Name, address and signature of each executor of the form

WA-Professional-Certificate-of-Formation-2

Step 3-  With all information submitted and double checked for accuracy, you will be able to print off the form, provide the requisite signatures, and send it in the mail to the Secretary of State (address below) with the attached filing fee ($180). The fee should be paid for by check or money order made out to the Secretary of State.

Secretary of State : Corporation Division

801 Capitol Way S, PO Box 40234

Olympia WA 98504

Tips

EIN – The EIN (Employer Identification Number) is used to keep track of all legitimate, tax withholding employers operating in the United States. This number will need to be applied for immediately after you’ve finished filing with the Secretary of State. Without one of these identifiers, your business will be unable to perform financial transactions and will be extremely limited in its operations. Take a look at our tutorial linked in the heading of this paragraph to review the manner in which one can apply for such a number. You can also navigate to the IRS website directly or download the Form SS-4 if you wish.

Operating Agreement–  You are not required to draft an operating agreement in the initial stages of formation as there is no state statute that dictates that one must be filed with the Secretary of State. That being said, it is always recommended that such a document be drafted in order to properly organize the internal affairs of the company. An agreement such as this will enable the initial organizers of the business to establish the rules and regulations under which the managing members will be required to operate. Furthermore, without this document, there will be no evidence of the management of the financial and logistical affairs of the LLC. Click on the heading of this paragraph to gain access to the free template we’ve provided in both MS Word and Adobe PDF formatting.

Renewal– Corporations and LLCs alike are required to renew each year in order to stay in good standing with the Secretary of State. In Washington, it is the Business Licensing Center that provides the annual report to renew and it is this department that will send the renewal notice to your registered agent within 45 days of your license’s expiration. When renewing a domestic LLC, there will be a $71 filing fee that can be paid online by credit or debit card. It will also be necessary that you create an online account with the Department of Revenue filing system before submitting your report as it is through this portal that the annual report can be submitted.