Updated on: June 24th, 2024

Cost to Form an LLC in Washington ($0 or $200?)

Hire Professionals to Create a Washington LLC (from $0 + state fees)

Forming an LLC in Washington State does come with a $200 filing fee for the Certificate of Formation, but there are additional expenses to consider. These could include procuring a Registered Agent, paying your LLC’s Annual Report fee, and securing your Business License Application fee. While these costs may not necessarily be mandatory prior to establish an LLC in Washington State, they should nevertheless be taken into account as you plan ahead.
You can also spend just $0 + the state fee by using our recommended LLC formation packages.

Ready to start your own LLC? Take a look at our easy step-by-step guide on how to start your own LLC in any state (including WA).

If you want to skip the hassle of starting a Washington LLC yourself, consider using professional help for the best price in the market:

Quick Costs for  Washington LLC Breakdown & Best Options

Who forms the LLC?Total fees

You form the LLC in Washington Yourself
$440 = ($200 Certificate filing fee + $60 Annual fee + $50City Endorsement +$90 Business License  +$30 Name Reservation + $10 Initial report )
by using ZenBusiness$0 + state fees
by using Northwest Registered Agent$39 + state fees
see our other top-rated LLC service providersvaries

Pros and Cons of Forming Your LLC in Washington

PROS

  • Washington is an attractive option to consider when incorporating an LLC, as Washington law offers several advantages to all LLC owners.
  • Washington offers Expedited Service in which the Washington Department of Revenue will process most Washington LLC formation documents in five or fewer business days compared to other states that may take several weeks.
  • Another plus for Washington is that unlike some other states, Washington does not require owners of limited liability companies to be Washington state residents.
  • All this allows Washington LLCs to start doing business more quickly.

These factors make Washington a great option for launching your LLC without the burden of a long waiting period and numerous extra requirements.

CONS

  • Forming an LLC in Washington can be a beneficial choice for businesses, however, it comes with some potential drawbacks.
  • When choosing to form your LLC in Washington, you may have to pay a fee for biennial reports and an annual business license tax.
  • There are also requirements and processes that may seem complex when forming your LLC or keeping it in good standing.

Potential entrepreneurs should actually consider their situation carefully before making the decision to incorporate their business in Washington, as similar climates can be found in other locations that could potentially reduce required costs and simplify bureaucracy.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Washington?

Washington LLC Online Filing Fee ($200)

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Starting an LLC doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need is the low cost of $200 in order to file your Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State online and voila! You’ve got yourself a brand new LLC.


Washington Annual Report Fee ($60)

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Washington requires Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) to submit an annual report and franchise tax on time with the Secretary of State. You can easily accomplish this by visiting the Washington Secretary of State website for submission, which is due every year in a timely manner by the month’s end when your LLC was established. A $25 penalty will be applied if you fail to meet that deadline.

Visit the website of Secretary of state for more information.


Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Washington ($200 or $180)

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To expand your business into Washington, but already have an LLC registered in another state? You’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign entity in Washington. This process is simple and straightforward, making sure that you are not only legally compliant with the law but also able to take advantage of all the benefits offered by running a successful business.

Registering a Washington foreign LLC is surprisingly affordable. Choosing to do it online costs $200, but if you mail the Foreign Registration Statement in, that amount can be reduced to just $180! It’s easy – simply complete your filing by mail and start taking advantage of all the benefits offered by setting up shop in Washington state.


Washington Registered Agent Services ($39 or $125/year)

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Washington mandates that all LLCs must indicate an individual or organization as its Registered Agent when filing their Certificate of Formation. Thankfully, there is no extra charge associated with listing this entity!

A Washington Registered Agent essentially functions as the recipient for any lawful documents and notices from the state on behalf of your LLC – they should possess a valid street address in Washington and be available for contact during regular business hours. While you may opt to use yourself or someone in your inner circle as your LLC’s registered agent and save the registered agent fee, it might be wise to consider hiring a professional RA service instead who can handle such matters expeditiously and efficiently.

Here are our recommended Agent service providers:

  • Northwest Registered Agent services is the perfect choice for those seeking to establish a new business and gain access to a registered agent, with full LLC creation package starting at only $39 + state fees

OR:


Washington LLC Operating Agreement ($0)

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Drafting a Washington LLC Operating Agreement is an integral step in forming the Limited Liability Company. This contractual agreement captures information concerning Ownership, Management and Profit Distribution across both Single-Member and Mutli-Member entities.

It should be kept with all business records while also providing each Member with their own personal copy of it. While most websites will charge from $50-$200 for these types of agreements, investing in this essential document up front can save you a great deal in time, hassle and money down the line!


Washington LLC EIN Number ($0)

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An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit code used to identify your business for tax purposes and open an LLC bank account. It is also known as a Federal Tax ID Number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). If applicable, it can even be utilized when hiring employees. There are several websites that charge service fees in order to obtain an EIN number for LLCs, but the truth is you can get one free of cost!

It’s quick, straightforward, and without cost to obtain an EIN for your Limited Liability Company from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. The online application can be completed within a few minutes – no sweat!


Washington LLC Business License Application ($90)

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Washington LLCs must acquire a State Business License prior to engaging in any business activity, and conveniently pay just one fee of $90 which is good for life.

Obtaining a City or Specialty Business License may come with an initial fee, however, you must remember to renew your licenses every year in order for them to stay active.

The term “state business license” may be a bit perplexing, yet it not only serves as an actual business license but also functions as a “bulk registration” application that registers your LLC for taxes and other vital components. Furthermore, when you apply for this State Business License, you will most likely receive a City Business License (this varies from city to city) and Specialty Business License (which is dependent on the industry).

Obtaining a business license is essential for employers to register their Washington LLC with the Department of Labor and Industries, as well as the Employment Security Department. Plus, if your organization wishes to conduct its operations under a name different from its legal title, you can effortlessly register for Trade Name or DBA through this same application process.


City Business License, aka “City Endorsement” (varies $40-$50 per year)

Washington necessitates that most LLCs obtain a City Business License. If your company is located in the Puget Sound region, you can go through FileLocal for this process; otherwise, it may be possible to incorporate the license into your State Business License Application.

Depending on where you’re located, the cost of a City Business License will vary. A few cities don’t charge anything – all that is necessary to do is register your business. Some places may ask for a fee of around $5 or $10, while others could be up to $100-$150! On average though, initial fees and annual renewal fees range from approximately$40-50 per year.


Other LLC Filing Costs (optional)

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

Initial Report ($10 or $30)

An initial report is mandatory for all LLCs, but if you register your business online the cost of this document is waived. Should you prefer to send in physical documents with your registration application, filing an initial report can be included as well at no extra cost. by mail for $10 or online for $30.

LLC Name Reservation ($30)

Secure your desired business name for up to six months by filing a name reservation form and paying the $30 fee– before forming an LLC.

Foreign LLC Name Registration ($30)

To secure their name, foreign LLCs must file a foreign name registration and pay a modest $30 fee. This straightforward process makes it simpler than ever to ensure your business stands out from competitors!

Trade Name ($5)

When creating an LLC in Washington, registering a Trade Name (DBA or “doing business as”) is not necessary. You can just operate under the name provided during registration. However, if you’d like to use another name for your business activities, you have the option of including it on your Business License Application for only $5 -a small price to pay for all the benefits that come with having a unique company brand!

Costs Change Often. Where Can I Find the Most Up-to-date Cost & Tax Info?

If you reside in Washington and are looking to start a limited liability company, the secretary of state website is your best source for updated cost and fees. It’s important to obtain the Washington certificate and file an initial report that will include business insurance so that your LLC is compliant with all legal requirements. A visit to the website will give you step-by-step instructions so that you can figure out what type of filing needs to be done and how much it will cost. For all Washington residents looking for LLC formation, the secretary of state website should be your go-to source for reliable information.

Visit the website of the Secretary of state for more information.


Cost of Filing Formation Certificates

WashingtonDomestic LLCForeign LLC
Online Filing$200 $200
Annual Report$60$60
Name Reservation fee $30$30
By MailBy Mail: Fill out the application form, and send it to Secretary of State Corporation Division 801 Capitol Way S P.O. Box 40234 Olympia, Washington 98504-0234. Costs $180.


By Mail: Fill out the application form, and send it to Secretary of State Corporation Division 801 Capitol Way S P.O. Box 40234 Olympia, Washington 98504-0234. Costs $180.


How to Easily Start Your Own LLC in Washington?

You can follow these basic steps for starting your own in Washington once you are done going through the Washington LLC cost.

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

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It is essential to adhere to Washington’s laws when naming your LLC. The name must include one of these terms: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or the abbreviation for either, i.e., “L.L.C.” Furthermore, make sure that it does not coincide with any other entity registered in the Washington Secretary of State business name database before you register yours!

Secure your desired business name for the next six months by filing a Name Reservation with Washington’s Secretary of State. As this is a process that must be done through mail, it’s essential to begin making arrangements now before time runs out!


Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

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If you form a Washington LLC, it is essential to have an Agent for Service of Process in the state that agrees to accept legal documents on your business’s behalf if needed. This agent can be either an individual or another registered corporation/LLC operating within Washington State borders and must possess a valid physical address located in the same region as well. With this arrangement, you can take assurance that all legal matters concerning your company are handled effectively and professionally! But its totally fine if you want to be your own registered agent.


Step 3: File a Certificate of Formation (aka Articles of Organization)

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To form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Washington, you must submit a Certificate of Formation to the Secretary of State.


Step 4: Prepare an Operating Agreement

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Even though an LLC Operating Agreement is not obligatory in Washington, it’s highly recommended. This internal document outlines the rights and duties of both managers and members while also describing how your LLC will be run. It also safeguards your limited liability by clearly showing that your business has its own separate identity from you as an individual or other parties. If there’s no operating agreement present, then state law will decide how operations are handled for the company instead. Importantly, this agreement does not need to be submitted with the Certificate of Formation either for filing purposes!


Step 5: Annual Report (Annual Renewal)

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Washington LLCs and foreign companies sanctioned to do business in the state must send an annual report (also known as annual renewal) to the Secretary of State. Your first yearly renewal is due within 120 days after you registered your company, while subsequent ones are dependent on the date established by the Secretary of State. 45 days prior to that deadline, a notice will be sent from them notifying your Registered Agent about this requirement.

File your Initial Report and Annual Report with ease – simply submit them online or mail in a copy. The small fee of $60 to file makes this process effortless!


Get Professional Help in Forming an LLC in Washington

It can be difficult and time-consuming to form a Washington LLC all by yourself.
That’s why we decided to give you a few of the best options for professional services that can help you start an LLC in no time & with 0 effort!

#1 – Create an LLC in Washington Using Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest has vast experience in creating LLCs and Corporations. They by far have the best support and client satisfaction rate. We’ve used and tested them ourselves and can guarantee that they’ll do an exceptional job for you.
You can read our full & extensive Northwest review here.

$39+State Fees

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Rating: 4.9/5
Review count: 4850+

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Form an LLC today with Nortwest. They have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4150+ verified reviews. They will include 1 year of free registered agent service!


#2 – ZenBusiness Will Form an LLC in Washington

ZenBusiness is one of our top-rated LLC services as well. They have a super value-to-price ratio. And it’s perfect for those who are looking for the cheapest option to form their LLCs. When we tested their service — they’ve done a great job, so we can honestly recommend them.
To know more about them — read our full ZenBusiness review here.

$0 + State Fees

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Rating: 4.8/5
Review count: 4830+

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Form an LLC today with ZenBusiness for only $0 + State fees. They Have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4830+ verified reviews.


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