How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Washington? (2023)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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The Washington Secretary of State reports a year-over-year increase of 20% in new LLC registrations, reflecting the state's growing attractiveness to entrepreneurs and the continuous expansion of its business environment.

As a Master’s degree holder specializing in tax law, I will explain in detail how long it will take you to form a limited liability company in Washington and the options available.

The processing time may be influenced by factors such as the method of filing, the volume of applications being handled, and the time of year.

Additionally, consider enlisting the assistance of a top-notch LLC service in Washington, as they can assist you in filing the necessary documents for your Washington LLC formation.

Quick Summary

  • It takes 4 to 6 weeks to form an LLC in Washington if you filed by mail and only 5 business days if you opt for online process.
  • The state of Washington covers expedited filing by mail (3 business days) and in person (same-day) for a fee of $100 and $150 respectively.
  • The Washington Secretary of State reports a year-over-year increase of 20% in new LLC registrations, reflecting the state's growing attractiveness to entrepreneurs and the continuous expansion of its business environment.
  • Since I’ve helped a lot of clients form an LLC in Washington, the timeline of the process can vary based on several factors.


What is The Fastest Way to Start an LLC in Washington?

Reaching out pen to write signature on LLC form

The fastest way to start an LLC in Washington is by filing an expedited application in person.

In my experience, if you pay the $150 fee and your request is received before 3:30 p.m., it will be processed the same day, usually within one hour.

Remember that the fees are non-refundable, and you can pay them through multiple payment methods such as cash, check, money order, and American Express.

Statistics from the Secretary of State's office show that around 70% of newly formed LLCs in Washington choose to use a registered agent service, highlighting the importance of professional support in business compliance and administration.

Learn more about the cost of an LLC in Washington.

LLC Processing Time in Washington

Clock and laptop

The Washington Secretary of State offers several ways to file for forming an LLC. They include the following:

1. Expedited Washington LLC Processing Time By Mail (2 business days + $100)

The fee for expedited filings is $100 per entity. I always emphasize that if you want to file via mail, all you need to do is enclose the $100 per entity in addition to the filing fee and write "EXPEDITE" in bold letters on the outside of the envelope [1].

Mailed expedited filings are generally processed within two business days.

2. Non-Expedited Washington LLC Processing Time By Mail (2 to 6 weeks)

Standard filing may take 2 to 6 weeks on the average, since the filings are processed based on when they were received.

My clients’ attest that, based on their experience, the timeline would depend on how much the agency is processing during the time of application.

Non-expedited Washington LLC processing time by mail entails a fee of $180 [2].

3. Washington LLC Processing Time Online (5 business days)

If you’re considering opening an LLC in Washington, I would advise that you pay a $200 fee to file online so that your LLC processing time will take no longer than five business days.

"Remember, LLCs have ongoing filing and reporting requirements. Ensure you have the resources and understanding to comply with these regulations."

- Jon Morgan, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

Factors Influencing the Formation Timeline of Washington LLCs

Comparing two different files about processing time for an LLC in Washington

Several factors may prolong the actual process of forming your LLC, these include the following:

  • Weekends and holidays: The filing process may take more time if the LLC application has been filed just before the weekend or during the holiday season since government agencies do not conduct business during this time. I’ve always advised my clients to file on a Monday to have their LLC approved much quicker.
  • Volume of transactions: Standard or expedited times may also be extended due to the volume of documents being processed by the agency during that time.
  • Documentation: The submitted documents must contain all necessary information for the filing process to be completed. All the requirements should be met, including the fees that have to be paid.

Related articles:

FAQs

Where Can I Check the Status of My Washington LLC Formation During the Processing Period?

You can check the status of your Washington LLC formation during the processing period by postal tracking, email or through online notifications on your online account.

Is There a Difference in Processing Time for Domestic and Foreign LLCs in Washington?

There is no difference in processing time for domestic and foreign LLC in Washington.

References:

  1. https://www.sos.wa.gov/corporations-charities/frequently-asked-questions-faqs/fee-scheduleexpedited-service
  2. https://www.sos.wa.gov/corporations-charities/business-entities/limited-liability-companies-llc-online-and-paper-registrations

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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