How To Form an LLC In Washington

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1. Choose a Name for Your Washington Limited Liability Company

Check for an Available Name for the LLC in Washington: For you to form an LLC in Washington, you will need a name for your LLC that is not in use by another LLC in the state. Before you file Certificate of Formation, search online databases and other records to make sure that the name that you want to use is not already in use. A good place to start is the database of business entities on the official website of the Washington Secretary of State at Washington LLC.

Reserve a Name for Your Washington LLC: Though it is not required, you might want to reserve a name for your LLC by submitting an application to the Secretary of State. You can download the application at Washington LLC. The filing fee is $30.00 and the name remains reserved for a period of 180 days.

Filing for Trademarks Protection and Doing an LLC Name Search: In your search for an available name, you may find that the name that you want to use is available in Washington, but in use by an LLC is another state. It is a good idea to consult an attorney so that you can learn what restrictions there may be on your use of the LLC name that you have chosen. For additional information about choosing a name for your LLC, go to how to choose a name for your llc___.

Washington LLC Name Requirements: In Washington, it is a requirement to include the designation "LLC," “L.L.C.,” or "Limited Liability Company” in the name of your LLC. The “C” in “LLC” must stand for “Company,” not “Corporation.” It is good to note that LLCs are set up differently than corporations and are a distinct kind of business entity.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Washington

For you to form an LLC in Washington, you will need a registered agent. Your LLC needs a registered agent to act as an agent for service of process and to receive tax forms, official documents, and legal notices. An adult resident of Washington may serve as your registered agent, or you may choose to take advantage of the services of a corporate services company. These companies provide registered agent services for LLCs and corporations for a fee of around $75.00 to $150.00.

3. File a Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements for the Certificate of Formation: The Certificate of Formation that you file for your Washington LLC needs to include the name of your LLC, the street address of your principal place of business, the name, address, and signature of your registered agent, and the name, address, and signature of each executor. You can download a form for this document at Washington LLC.

Other Washington Legal Provisions: It is a good idea to consider including additional provisions in your Certificate of Formation. A lawyer can help you to include the additional provisions that are the most advantageous for your LLC.

Where to Submit the Certificate of Formation for Filing: Send your signed Certificate of Formation to the Secretary of State. Corporation Division, 801 Capitol Way S., P.O. Box 40234, Olympia, WA 98504-0234.

Filing Fee: The filing fee for a Certificate of Formation in Washington is $180.00. There is an additional fee of $50.00 for expedited service.

4. Form a Washington Limited Liability Company Agreement (Operating Agreement)

After you have filed a Certificate of Formation to form your LLC, the next step is to create an LLC Agreement that will govern the day-to-day operations of your LLC. Every LLC Agreement is different. You can customize your LLC Agreement according to the specific needs of your company. You should start by asking yourself what the purpose of your LLC is. Did you form your LLC to run a manufacturing company, a retail store, a technology start-up, or some other kind of business? You should ask yourself questions about the day-to-day operations of the LLC. Who will invest the initial capital? Will you seek outside investors? Will the members be organized as a board or as a committee? How will new members be admitted? How will money be distributed? Will there be any prohibitions on transfers of interests? What will the powers of the executives and the managers be? There are many other questions you could ask about your LLC. Creating an LLC Agreement can be complex. It is a good idea to consult a lawyer and an accountant when it is time to create your LLC Agreement so that you can be sure to comply with all state requirements and federal tax laws. 

Along with creating your LLC Agreement, prepare to make securities filings for your LLC, obtain an EIN from the IRS, and obtain for a business license. You may choose to take advantage of the services of a corporate services company for help in making these filings for your LLC. For information about applying for a business license in your city, go to

5.  Qualify Your Washington LLC to Do Business in Other States

For you to do business in states outside of Washington, you need to register your LLC or obtain a certain qualification. If the main office of the company is located outside your home state, you need to qualify your LLC before you do business in that state. Most states require that you pay taxes in your home state whenever you do business in other states. For information about qualifying your LLC to do business in other states, go to [Qualifying to Do Business in Other States].

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Taxes in Washington

You need to file an annual report for your LLC. You can file this report online at Washington LLC . Every year you also need to file a tax report and pay the required taxes for your LLC. For information about the taxes that will apply to your LLC, go to the official website of the Washington State Department of Revenue at Washington LLC.

You will face various important decisions while you are in the process of forming an LLC in Washington. It is a good idea to consult an accountant and an attorney so that you can feel confident that forming an LLC is the right choice for you and that all your paperwork is being processed correctly.

This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advice.  This information is derived from various sources and should not be relied on as an official source of information. All information should be independently verified. You should consult a legal or accounting professional before incorporating your business. 

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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