How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Washington?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves some necessary expenses. Some of these costs are payable to the WA Secretary of State, while others are due to the federal government or other additional state entities. Here are some common requirements and fees.

Please note that Washington business license and permit fees may need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Washington LLC Fees

You’ll need to file as an LLC with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee when you first formally form your business. Here are the current Washington LLC fees and filing times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$200* 3 Weeks 7 Business Days
State Fee $200*
State Filing Time 3 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 7 Business Days

*includes $20 online filing fee

When you form your LLC with Incfile, we charge you this fee and forward it to the Washington Secretary of State when we file your formation paperwork.

Incfile can file your formation paperwork for you for free — just pay the required Washington LLC filing fee
Washington allows you to expedite the formation of your LLC to 2 business days.

Just pay an additional fee.

Employer Identification Number

Every LLC in the U.S. should obtain a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. It's available at no cost from the IRS, or you can have Incfile obtain an EIN for you.

Foreign LLCs

When you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a foreign LLC.

Washington Foreign LLC Registration

Before you can move your business from another state into Washington, you must obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Office of the Secretary of State. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Washington Foreign LLC, you must complete a Foreign Entity Registration and pay a processing fee of $180 and an additional $20 if you file online. The state may have additional requirements so contact the Washington Secretary of State for more information.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Washington LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.

This process will likely entail completing an application and paying a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Incfile provides complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Annual Report Requirements

Most states — including Washington — require businesses to file an annual (or other periodic) report with the Secretary of State. When you file your annual report, you’ll need to pay a fee of $60. Here are the Washington annual report filing requirements:

Here are the annual filing requirements for Washington:

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

Last day of anniversary month of organization or qualification.

Filing Fee

$60
Incfile can also complete and file your Washington annual report on your behalf

Washington Business License and Permit Requirements

It’s your responsibility as a business owner to make sure you have the proper state, federal or local business licenses to operate your LLC. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The industry your LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

2

The location of your LLC (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Spokane)

3

The type of business you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

Running your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, state and local governments

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC will need
  • The applications you'll need to file with the state, regional and federal licensing authorities

Operating Agreements

The state of Washington doesn't require you to have a Washington LLC Operating Agreement in place.

An Operating Agreement is a document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas. It's usually filed alongside your Articles of Organization.

This document can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.

If you’re interested, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you form your Washington LLC.

You can make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.

Other Potential Washington LLC Fees or Requirements

You may need to pay and meet several other fees and requirements during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, as listed below.

Obtaining a Trade Name or DBA

If you want to establish a Washington DBA (trade name), you must apply for a business license with the Department of Revenue and pay a filing fee of $90 with an additional $5 for each trade name to be registered.

Incfile can file your Trade Name or DBA forms on your behalf

Changing the Registered Agent

Your LLC needs an Washington Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you file your Articles of Organization. You can also switch to a new Registered Agent later at no cost by filing updates online with the Washington Secretary of State Corporations and Charities Division.

Have Incfile serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your LLC with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your LLC

If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a business name for 180 days with the Washington Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $30. First, perform a Washington business search and learn about business name rules to ensure you choose a name that meets all the state requirements.

Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Washington LLC at the time of its formation. Over time, these facts may change. If they do, you'll need to file an Amended Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State for a filing fee of $30. You can do this yourself or have Incfile file it on your behalf.

You may want to file an Information Change form when you:

  • Alter the stated business activities of your LLC
  • Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
  • Change the business address of your LLC

Getting a Washington Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations will request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need a Certificate of Good Standing or Status from the Washington Secretary of State. You can obtain one by ordering a Certificate of Existence online, and paying a fee of $20.

Incfile can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf

The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay in Washington. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your Washington LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Washington Business Tax page.

FAQs About Washington LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When Forming My LLC?

Incfile will charge you this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your Washington business.

Where Do I Get Business Licenses and Permits for My LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • The type of business you run
  • Where your business is located
  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your LLC needs to be compliant.

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