Summary of Registration and Renewal Requirements
This is a summary of registration and renewal requirements for Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies. For specific statutes governing these entities, see Title 23 RCW and Title 23B RCW (profit corporations), Title 24 RCW (nonprofit corporations), and Title 25 RCW (partnerships & limited liability companies).
Please remember, state law holds the corporation or other business entity responsible for the timely completion of all paperwork. You can avoid delinquency notices and costly penalty fees by completing all reports by the required deadlines.
Domestic organizations (those formed in Washington) must file organizing documents with the Corporations Division at the Secretary of State's Office for review and approval before legal existence can begin. Two copies of the organizing documents (one with original signature) and fees should be sent directly to the Corporations Division.
Foreign organizations (those formed in a state other than Washington or in a foreign country) must submit two completed copies of an application for a Certificate of Authority to do Business in Washington. The application must be accompanied by proof of good standing issued by the state or other jurisdiction where the organization was originally formed.
A nonprofit corporation, such as a religious, social, charitable, or educational organization, must file two sets of Articles of Incorporation with the Corporations Division.
Limited partnerships beginning business in Washington must file a Certificate of Limited Partnership with the Corporations Division. Previous corporate and partnership certificates issued by county clerk's offices throughout the state have been transferred to the Secretary of State for centralized filing and access.
All corporations and limited liability companies, and out of state limited liability partnerships doing business in Washington must have a registered agent with a Washington State address. The registered agent may be an individual or any other organization registered by the Corporations Division to do business in Washington.
The registered agent receives license renewals and other notices and forwards them to the organization. The agent also accepts legal papers served on the business entity. The organizing documents or application to do business in Washington must contain or be accompanied by a statement signed by the registered agent indicating consent to serve.
Licensing, Renewals and Fees
The majority of organizations registered with the Secretary of State must annually pay an annual report fee and/or submit a list of officers and directors to the Corporations Division .
For corporations that are for profit, the annual corporate license renewal/annual report fee is $50 plus a handling fee of $9.
For nonprofit corporations, there is no annual corporate license renewal fee, but there is an annual report fee of $10.
Limited liability companies must annually pay a license fee and file a list of members and managers.
Limited liability partnerships must annually pay a license fee of $50.
For further assistance with your Washington business requirements, please visit the Doing Business in Washington Index.