How to Start a Business in Washington (Step by Step Guide)

Are you thinking about starting your own business in Washington? If so, then you have come to the right place!

On this page, you can find step by step DIY instructions on how to incorporate your business in Washington. From selecting the business entity type to forms to be filled, we have covered it all.

Let’s get Started

The first step in setting up your business is to select the business structure.

Broadly there are 4 types of business entities that can be registered:

  1. Limited Liability Company (Most Popular)
  2. Corporation
  3. Sole Proprietorship
  4. Partnership

Each business structure differs on the basis of taxation, asset liability and estate planning. We have written a detailed tutorial on how to choose a business entity type for your business here.

Below we have given a broad outline of the steps involved in registering an LLC or Corporation in Washington.

Clicking on each step, opens up a detailed guide on how to complete it.

How to Start an LLC in Washington

Agency ResponsibleWashington Secretary of State – Corporations Division
Form(s) to be filledCertificate of Formation
ModeMail or Online or In-person
Name ReservationOptional, Fee $30 for LLC/Partnership/Corporation & $20 for Non-Profit & (Online)
Filing FeeOnline: $200, Mail or in-person: $180, Expedited: $230
TimeBy mail: 2 months, with expedite option: 3 days
LawRCW § 25.15.076


Summary:

  1. Search for business name availability
  2. File for Business name reservation (Optional)
  3. Select a Registered Agent
  4. Fill Certificate of Formation
  5. Prepare an Operating Agreement
  6. Get an EIN Number (IRS Form SS-4)
  7. Obtain TAX ID number
  8. Obtain business permits and license
  9. (Ongoing) Annual Renewal

How to Start a Corporation in Washington

Agency ResponsibleWashington Secretary of State – Corporations Division
Form(s) to be filledArticles of Incorporation
ModeMail or Online or In-person
Name ReservationOptional, Fee $30 for LLC/Partnership/Corporation & $20 for Non-Profit & (Online)
Filing FeeOnline: $200, Mail or in-person: $180, Expedited: $230
TimeBy mail: 2 months, with expedite option: 3 days
LawWashington Revised Code RCW 23B.02.050

Summary:

  1. Choose Business Name
  2. File for Business Name Reservation (Optional)
  3. Select Registered Agent
  4. Fill Articles of Incorporation form
  5. Create Bylaws
  6. Get an EIN Number
  7. Obtain TAX ID number
  8. Obtain business permits and license
  9. (Ongoing) Annual Renewal



References:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=25.15
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=23B

Last fact-checked on 25/07/2018

Washington Business Name Reservation

In this article, we will be discussing steps involved to reserve a business name in Washington. Generally, Name Reservation is done to protect the business name from being registered by someone else till the time business is officially registered. Name reservation requests are handled by Washington Secretary of State. The business name can be reserved for the period […]

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