Apply for LLC in Washington
Find out how to apply for an LLC in Washington for free with this step-by-step guide.
Looking to apply for an LLC in Washington? In this completely free guide we'll show you exactly how you can apply for your LLC in Washington to make sure your new company is formed properly.
Starting an LLC in Washington is Easy
Most states have made it pretty straightforward to actually apply for an LLC, and we'll show you all of the steps you need to cover in this guide.
If this is your first time applying for an LLC in Washington then we recommend that you read through the whole guide because it will make your application process much less painful if you understand all of the necessary steps.
Why Should You Apply for an LLC in Washington?
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a very common and popular business structure. It's very useful for you because it offers you liability protection in case of a lawsuit (hence the name limited liability).
What that means is that if your company were to get sued, your personal assets like your home, any vehicles, and your personal bank account would be protected.
You can also use your Washington LLC to purchase assets like real estate, and keep it separated from your personal assets.
If you are serious about your business venture then applying for an LLC in Washington is a relatively cheap way to protect yourself personally.
Ready to apply for an LLC in Washington? Let's get to the guide.
1. Washington LLC Name
Okay, so the very first step you should always before you apply for an LLC is to check and make sure the business entity name you'd like to use is available for use in your state.
The name of your Washington LLC needs to be unique and distinguishable from other businesses that have already been registered in the state.
To perform a business name search in Washington you can use the Advanced Business Search page.
If there are companies that you think might be too similar in name to your chosen name in the state database, it's good practice to actually call them to confirm.
Your chosen LLC name needs to have a designator at the end of it. To keep it simple and to comply with Washington law, we suggest that you pick one of the following:
- LLC or L.L.C. (LLC is the most common as it is easier to type!)
- LC or L.C.
- Limited Liability Company
Important note: your Washington LLC name CANNOT include a designator that makes it appear to be a different type of business entity. This means you cannot use Inc, Incorporated, LP, LLP, or anything misleading in your name.
To find out more about the designator rules in Washington, see the form section 23.95.300 and section 23.95.305.
2. Washington Registered Agent
The Washington Secretary of State requires all LLC Certificate of Formation filings to have a Registered Agent listed on the form.
A Registered Agent in Washington is a company or person that you choose (and they agree) to receive all notices, mail, and court documents in the event that your LLC is sued or involved in a court case.
You can do this yourself but if you do so, your address will be publicly listed as the Registered Agent for your company. As you can imagine, that's not very private and can lead to issues.
Generally speaking, we recommend that you use a Registered Agent service. This keeps your personal details private and adds that separation between business and personal communications.
If you choose to apply for an LLC in Washington by using an LLC formation service like ZenBusiness, IncFile, or Northwest Registered Agent, they will provide you with one year of registered agent service for free.
3. Washington LLC Certificate of Formation
Washington LLC Fees
- LLC state filing fee: $200
- LLC annual report fee: $60
You can apply for an LLC in Washington by mail.
Washington LLC Operating Agreement
When you apply for an LLC in Washington, an Operating Agreement is a written contract that is used to explain who owns the LLC and how much of it they own.
This is important because it sets out how the LLC is managed, how profits are split, taxes paid, and so on, to avoid disputes with the LLC Members.
You will need an Operating Agreement when applying for an LLC in Washington for both Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs.
Apply for an EIN for Your Washington LLC
Once you have applied for your LLC and been approved, you can then apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
Also known as an FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number, your Washington LLC's EIN number is used to identify your LLC to the IRS for tax and filing purposes.
When you open an LLC bank account, you'll need your EIN number to get the account approved.
Washington Annual Report
The deadline for filing your Washington Annual report is: last day of the LLC’s anniversary month.
Washington State Agencies
Washington Department of Revenue, Business Licensing Service
Hours: 8am – 5pm, M-F
Washington Secretary of State, Washington Corporations and Charities Division
Hours: 8am – 5pm, M-F
Conclusion: How to Apply for an LLC in Washington
Hopefully this guide has given you all of the relevant information you need to go out and apply to form an LLC in Washington. If you notice anything missing from this guide, please do get in touch and let us know so that we can continue to improve and offer you the best free guide to applying for an LLC in Washington.