Last updated: May 20, 2023

If you want to set up a limited liability company (LLC) in Washington, you should be aware of the resources and costs it would take.

To help you with this, our team of experts spent months researching the requirements and costs of starting up an LLC in Washington, and their findings show that it is a simple process.

This article will provide detailed information on how to set up an LLC in Washington.

Quick Summary

  • An LLC in Washington costs $180 if filed through email and $200 if processed online.
  • All LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Washington Secretary of State, which costs $60.
  • The business tax rate in Washington is 0.015% of the gross income from your LLC’s activities.

How Much Does An LLC Cost In Washington?

Using a calculator to compute and writing LLC Cost in Washington

An LLC in Washington costs $180 to file by mail, which will be processed in the order received.

However, an extra $20 is charged if you file online, and it is processed in two business days.

As you read further, we will reveal other extra costs you should note when starting an LLC in Washington.

Washington LLC Filing Fee

The Washington LLC filing fee is $180 for the Certificate of Formation. This filing is done by mail and is processed in the order it is received.

You can also file online, which will cost you $200 and is normally processed in two business days.

Washington Registered Agent Service Fee

Shaking hands with a registered agent

A Washington registered agent service fee costs around $50 to $300, depending on the services you need and the company or individual you choose to work with.

Having a registered agent for your business is very important. A registered agent is an individual or entity who receives legal documents and other proceedings, such as annual reports, on behalf of your business entity.

This registered agent must have a physical address to receive notifications. Usually, this physical address must also be in the same state where the business is, in this case, Washington.

If you don’t want to hire a registered agent to cut costs, you can become your agent or ask a close friend to become one.

However, you or your friend must be willing to perform all the expected activities of a registered agent.

If you wish to resign as a registered agent, you must file with the Secretary of State’s office by providing a statement of resignation and following the procedures outlined. Alternatively, you can file online using the corporations and charities filing system.

Should you wish to change or update a Washington registered agent, you must go online and file a statement of change for free, so long as your business is registered with the Washington Secretary of State.

Washington Business And Occupation Tax

Close up image of calculating business and occupation tax

The Washington Business and occupation tax is a gross receipts tax that is measured based on your business's gross income.

Washington does not have an income tax, so it applies the business and occupation tax to the gross income from activities rather than the cost of doing business.

Washington has a business and occupation tax rate, which varies based on classification.

An LLC's business and occupation tax rate is 0.015 since it falls under the classification of services and other activities [1].

Usually, the business and occupation tax rate is reported and paid on the excise tax return or by electronic filing.

However, if your business is new, you must register with the Department of Revenue first. Once you do that, you will receive information about filing.

Note that monthly excise tax returns are due on the 25th of the following month; quarterly excise tax returns are due by the end of the month following the close of the quarter; and the due date for the annual excise tax returns is April 15th.

Other LLC Filing Costs

Looking through a sheet of Filing costs

Below is the list of other LLC filing costs you might incur while setting up your LLC in Washington.

1. Name Reservation

You can reserve a company name in Washington for just $30 if you are not ready to start your Washington LLC but already have a name for it. Before that, make sure you look up an LLC in Washington to check if your desired name is available.

Once you pay the $30 fee, your name reservation will be valid for 180 days from filing. Once 180 days elapse and you haven’t used the name, it will be available for other interested businesses.

You can also expedite your name reservation for $50. To do this, you must fill out the form and send it through mail to the Secretary of State with the word “EXPEDITE” stated clearly on the outside of the envelope.

2. DBA

Handing off money to a person

You will pay a $5 fee for the DBA registration and the business license application processing fee, which is non-refundable [2].

DBA, otherwise known as “trade name,” is a Washington LLC cost for an LLC operating under a name different from the one registered with the office of the secretary of state.

You can register infinite trade names, but you should know that doing so does not stop other businesses from using the name.

To register a trading name, you must file a business license application online with the “My DOR” link.

3. EIN

The employer identification number (EIN) is the federal tax identification number used to identify a business entity, open a business bank account, etc. 

It is also important that you have an EIN since an LLC is one of the entities that are required to have one.

To get an EIN for your LLC, simply apply online, and you will be given one by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) immediately for free.

4. Certificate Of Existence

Writing signature on a certificate of existence

The Washington Certificate of Existence is a document that shows that your business is fully functional and performs annual reports with the Washington Secretary of State.

To get a Washington certificate of existence, you need to pay the filing fee of $20 or $70 if you wish to expedite the certificate.

After that, ensure that your UBI number is present in the Certificate of Formation, then you enter this number in the secretary of state’s online document order form.

Once this is done, you should expect your Certificate of Existence within two weeks or two days if you choose the expedition process.

5. Annual Report

The annual report fee is $60 per year. Once your business is up and running in Washington, you will be asked to file an annual report by the Washington Department at the end of the month your business was formed and approved to keep your business in the state’s Good Books.

6. State And Local Business License

Showing a document file while having a discussion

You need a state and local business license for your business. For the state license, you only need to complete the Washington state business license application and pay a $50 fee, after which you will be given an LLC business license and a UBI number.

You may also need to get a local license in the city in which your business is located.

The cost, however, varies and could be anything from $200 and above.

FAQs

What Is The Cheapest Way To Get A Washington Foreign LLC?

The cheapest way to get a Washington foreign LLC is by handling the formation process yourself and becoming your own registered agent.

What Is the Lifespan Of An LLC?

The lifespan of an LLC is estimated to be 30 years. However, this will depend on the state where the LLC is located.

Do LLCs Pay Tax In Washington?

Yes, LLCs pay tax in Washington, and this tax is called the business and occupation tax calculated based on the gross income from business activities. Other business entities pay this same tax in Washington too.

Do You Need Professional Help With Your LLC In Washington?

Washington is among the most expensive states for LLC formation, with a filing fee starting at $180.

However, if you fill that the fee is quite on the high side, you can hire the services of a reliable service provider who will significantly cut your Washington LLC startup costs while offering essential registered agent services to get you started.

If trying to adhere to all the regulations to create an official company organization sounds overwhelming, these best Washington LLC formation services are available to assist you with the entire procedure.


References:

  1. https://dor.wa.gov/taxes-rates/business-occupation-tax/business-occupation-tax-classifications
  2. https://dor.wa.gov/manage-business/grow-business/register-trade-names

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