A Washington certificate of good standing verifies that a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation was legally formed and has been properly maintained.
In our Certificate of Good Standing Washington guide, we will discuss the requirements for good standing and exactly how to get a certificate of good standing in Washington.
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How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in Washington?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of existence in Washington, by requesting it from the Secretary of State.
There are two main steps for getting your certificate of good standing:
What is a certificate of good standing? A certificate of good standing is a state document that verifies your business was legally formed and has been properly maintained.
Step 1. Make Sure Your Washington Business is Compliant
To qualify for a Washington certificate of existence, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in Washington, you must follow federal, state, and local licensing guidelines. This can include regulations like health permits and building permits.
You can find out more about state licensing requirements with the Washington State Department of Licensing website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of Washington state tax. This can include sales tax, withholding tax, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax.
Washington does not have a state withholding tax, but businesses must pay a Business and Occupation Tax.
All Washington LLCs and corporations must file an annual report. This report verifies the business’s basic information including its principal office address and registered agent information.
The annual report is filed each year with the Secretary of State. It is due by the end of the month in which the business was formed. It can be filed online or by mail. The filing fee is $60.
Step 2. Order Your Washington Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a Washington certificate of existence from the Secretary of State. This can be done online.
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in Washington?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of existence to run your business in Washington, there are several instances where you may need to get one. These include:
- Purchasing business insurance
- Applying for business loans
- Opening a business checking account
- Registering to do business in other states
Washington Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is a Washington certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In Washington, a certificate of good standing is known as a certificate of existence.
Certificates of good standing are also known as certificates of status or certificates of compliance.
How do I get a certificate of good standing?
You can get a Washington certificate of existence by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate online.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In Washington, ordering a certificate of existence costs $20.
How soon do you need a certificate of good standing?
Because many banks and insurance companies will want a business’s certificate of existence in order to do business, we recommend getting one as soon as possible.
How long is the certificate of good standing valid for?
A Washington certificate of existence does not have an expiration date. However, requesters — such as banks, creditors, and foreign business states — often have their own guidelines for a certificate's validity.
What does a certificate of good standing mean?
Obtaining a Washington certificate of existence means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
Washington businesses often need a certificate of existence in order to do business outside of Washington, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
Washington businesses are not legally required to obtain a certificate of existence. However, your business may choose to get one if you decide to do business outside of Washington or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
After ordering your Washington certificate of existence, it will be available immediately to view online.