How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Washington?

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in Washington is $200. This fee is paid to the Washington Secretary of State when filing the LLC’s Certificate of Formation.

We recommend Northwest ($29 + State Fees) to help form your LLC.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Washington?

Washington LLC Online Filing Fee: $200

The main cost to start an LLC is the $200 fee to file your LLC's Certificate of Formation online with the Washington Secretary of State.

For a look at LLC costs in every state, read our other Cost to Start an LLC and How to Form an LLC guides.

Initial Report: Varies

All LLCs must file an initial report. If you register your LLC online, the initial report is included at no extra cost. If you register your LLC by mail, you can either file the initial report by mail for $10 or online for $30.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Washington

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Washington, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Washington.

The cost for registering a Washington foreign LLC is $200 online or $180 by mail. You can register a foreign LLC in Washington by filing a Foreign Registration Statement. This can also be done by mail.

Optional LLC Formation Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation

Reserve your name for up to 180 days prior to LLC formation by filing a name reservation form and paying the $30 filing fee.

Foreign LLC Name Registration

Foreign LLCs can register names by filing a foreign name registration and paying the $30 filing fee.

Trade Name

File a Business License Application and pay the $24 filing fee to register a trade name other than your legal LLC business name. This can also be done by mail.

Ready to Start Your Washington LLC?

Explore our LLC formation services review to find the best service for you.

Washington Ongoing LLC Costs

Maintaining a successful limited liability company (LLC) in Washington entails understanding and fulfilling the ongoing requirements and costs associated with compliance and legal standing. 

Here are the primary ongoing requirements for a Washington LLC:

  • Annual Report: Washington LLCs are required to file an annual report. This report serves to update the state with essential information about the LLC, including its ownership and management. The filing fee for the annual report is $60.
  • Registered Agent: Though a required appointment by the state, there is no state-mandated fee for electing or maintaining a registered agent in Washington State. You can, however, choose to outsource the role to a professional service for a yearly fee (usually $100–$200).

By meeting these ongoing requirements and adhering to the applicable regulations, you can ensure the legal and financial well-being of your Washington LLC.

How to Register a Washington LLC Yourself

Setting up your own LLC in Washington is easy. By following the steps below, you can register your Washington LLC yourself.

Recommended: Using an LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees) saves time and ensures compliance. Besides the low cost, we like their streamlined approach and excellent customer service.

Seven Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Washington

Step 1: Name Your Washington LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: File the Annual Report
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your Washington LLC

When you name your Washington LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Washington
  2. Meets Washington naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Washington guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Washington.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in Washington must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Washington registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Washington
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

In Washington, your registered agent must consent to appointment by signing the Certificate of Formation.

Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire Northwest to form your LLC. $29 (plus state fees).

Get Started

Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation

The Washington Certificate of Formation is a document that is filed with the Washington Secretary of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing a Certificate of Formation is $200 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Certificate of Formation, visit our How to File the Washington Certificate of Formation guide.

File a Washington Certificate of Formation

OPTION 1: File Online With the Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Certificate of Formation by Mail

Washington Certificate of Formation

State Filing Cost: $200 online and $180 by mail, payable to the Secretary of State

Mailing Address:
Secretary of State
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 40234

Office Address:
Secretary of State
Corporations Division
801 Capitol Way S
Olympia, WA 98501

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement, known in Washington as a limited liability company agreement, isn’t required for Washington LLCs, but it’s a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Washington LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Step 6: File the Annual Report

Washington requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Washington Secretary of State Corporations and Charities Division.

Annual reports can be filed online or by mail, along with a $60 filing fee. The filing deadline is the end of the month in which you formed your LLC with the state.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Maintaining your Washington LLC's compliance involves meeting certain federal, state, and local regulations. This includes obtaining requisite licenses and permits, meeting tax requirements, and abiding by employment laws. 

Here is a summary:

  • Acquire the necessary business licenses and permits. The specific licenses needed will depend on your business type. Our Washington Business License guide provides more details. Consider using a professional service to navigate your business's licensing requirements.
  • Keep up to date with your Washington LLC taxes. For businesses selling physical products, registration for a seller's permit through the Washington Department of Revenue website is usually necessary. If you're hiring employees, register for Unemployment Insurance Tax with the Washington Employment Security Department. Most businesses in Washington also need to pay a Business & Occupation Tax based on gross income, which is handled by the Washington State Department of Revenue. 
  • Pay federal taxes. Although Washington doesn't impose an individual income tax, your federal income tax must be reported via Form 1065 (multi-member LLC) or Form 1040 Schedule C (single-member LLC).
  • When hiring employees, ensure that:
    • New employees are eligible to work in the US.
    • Employees are reported as "new hires" to the state
    • Workers' compensation insurance is provided
    • Employee taxes are withheld
    • Workplace compliance posters are visibly displayed

Additional resources, such as sample job descriptions and payroll service reviews, can be found in our Hiring for Your Small Business Guide.

Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

Washington LLC Cost FAQ

What documents are needed to form an LLC in Washington?

To form an LLC in Washington, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. The submission can be done online or by mail. The cost of filing by mail is $180, whereas online filing is $200.

How does the registered agent role work in Washington?

In Washington, a registered agent is required for your LLC. This is an individual or entity that agrees to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of your business.

Can an LLC in Washington operate under a different name?

Yes, in Washington, an LLC can operate under a trade name or a "doing business as" (DBA) name. This allows the company to conduct business under a name other than the one registered with the Secretary of State.

What are the annual reporting requirements for an LLC in Washington?

LLCs in Washington are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The fee for this is $60.

How can utilizing an LLC formation service in Washington be beneficial?

LLC formation services can greatly simplify the process of creating an LLC in Washington. These services handle all the paperwork and filing, saving you time and ensuring that everything is submitted correctly. Additionally, they often offer useful ongoing services, such as compliance reminders and registered agent services.

How can I check the availability of a business name in Washington?

You can check the availability of a business name in Washington through the Business Search tool provided by the Washington Secretary of State's office.

What is a Certificate of Existence in Washington?

A Certificate of Existence in Washington is a document issued by the Secretary of State that verifies your LLC's compliance with all state regulations and its good standing. This certificate may be required by banks, potential business partners, or other relevant entities when your LLC needs to prove its legitimacy.

Article Sources

Washington Department of Revenue:

IRS - Employer ID Numbers:

Washington Secretary of State:

Small Business Administration - Apply for licenses and permits:

Chamber of Commerce - Washington Chamber of Commerce List: