Common Reasons for Returned Documents

Review the common reasons for returned documents below to prevent a delay in your filing. Our Corporations Team is available to help guide you through each section and answer any general questions for each required module.


Most common reasons for returned documents by service type include:



Authorized signature missing from document

A signature from an authorized individual is required for all filings. The signature, printed name, and title for the authorized person executing the document is required. If filing a Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent, the filing must be signed by the resigning registered agent.

Post Office or Private Mailbox

A Post Office box or Personal Mailbox (PMB) are not acceptable as a physical address for the Principal Office or Registered Agent.


A governor must be a person or business (other than the business itself). A filing that lists its own business name or the governor of the state, Jay Inslee, is not acceptable.



Nature of business missing

Nature of business is required and must briefly describe the type of business they conduct. The nature of business information should answer the question, “what does the business do?”

Incorrect Registered Agent information




Only one type of Registered Agent can be listed with a matching signature from the appointed agent consenting to serve as the Registered Agent.

There are three types of Registered Agents –

  • Individual (first and last name of a person) who will serve as Registered Agent no matter what position they hold.
  • Business (entity name) that will serve as the Registered Agent. This can be the business itself or another business.
  • Office/Position (position title) that will serve as the Registered Agent no matter who holds the position.



Business Name Unavailable


Name availability is subject to review by staff. Filings are reviewed in the order received. Name availability is determined at the time the submission is reviewed

Business Name missing entity designation (Co, Inc, LLC, LP)

Certain business structures require a designation within the name. Please review naming requirements - RCW 23.95.305

Using ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) name in the Business Name (Domestic business types)


DBAs cannot be part of a business name for domestic business types. Tradenames are recorded with the Department of Revenue.


Using or not using a ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) name in the Business Name (Foreign business types)



Foreign Businesses must list the legal business name as it appears on the Certificate of Status/Existence (or similar document) issued by the registering agency in the business’s home jurisdiction. However, if the name of an out of state business is not acceptable or available in WA, a DBA name is required. A DBA name must not be in use by another business and must meet WA business name requirements. RCW 23.95.305

For example, a foreign nonprofit business with ‘Inc’ in the name would need to provide a DBA in addition to the legal business name because designations like ‘Inc’ or ‘Corp’ are not allowed for nonprofit business names in Washington state.

All other DBAs and tradenames are recorded with the Department of Revenue.

Distribution of Assets (nonprofits)

The business must explain to which person(s), organization(s), or causes the assets will be distributed upon voluntary dissolution of the business. To be accepted, the plan must be specific enough to be verifiable.


Most common reasons for returned documents by service type include:



Most Recent Accounting (Fiscal) Year



At the time of re-registration, the solicitation report for the most recently completed accounting year is due.

System Limitations:
If you’re filing near the month of the renewal deadline, the financial year pre-populated in the online form may not be the most recently completed accounting year.

In this case, please upload a completed solicitation report with the most recent financial information before submitting a re-registration online or if the filing has already been submitted, please provide the solicitation report as instructed on the correction letter.
Change of Accounting Year If notes and/or uploads indicate the accounting year is not accurate, the submission will be returned for clarification and possible correction. You can contact this office before submitting a filing if the pre-populated dates do not appear to be accurate.

Solicitation Report (Financial information)




Financial information must meet the below standards.

  • Beginning Gross Assets must match the Ending Gross Assets of the previous accounting year.
  • Revenue: Gross Contributions from Solicitations and Revenue: Gross Revenue from all other Sources must add up to equal Total Dollar Value of Gross Receipts
Gross Expenditures from Program Services must not exceed Total Gross from all Expenditures.

Password PROTECTED PDFs This office does not accept password-protected pdfs. To ensure a smooth and efficient process, we require all uploaded documents be easily viewable and accessible.


Per WAC 434-120-035 online filing for the Charities Program is mandatory. There are some services that are not currently available, due to this there are .pdf fillable forms that can be submitted by mail to our office below for these servicesEffective 1/1/2023 documents with or without payment received by mail will be returned to the submitter except for the forms provided on our Charities All Forms page under "Mail-in only forms". 

Please refer to our Online Instructions Frequently Asked Questions document for more information and troubleshooting.