Washington Secretary of State - Corporations and Charities Division


Please Note

We are a service company that can help you file with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations and Charities Division. We are not associated with this nor any other government agency. We offer paid services and software to help you file. You are not required to purchase our service to file - you may file directly with this agency without using our service.


Contact Information

Physical address:
Dolliver Building
801 Capitol Way South
Olympia, WA 98501

Mailing address:
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234

Phone: 360-725-0377 or 800-332-GIVE (Washington only)

Web: Home Name search
Email: charities@sos.wa.gov

Licenses

We track the following licenses with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations and Charities Division in order to provide compliance services to our clients. As a client, you see this and other reference data in License Manager in-line with your licenses.

A laptop placed on a desk with our License Manager software on display

Washington Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Corporations and Charities Division
Law:

Washington Revised Code Annotated § 19.09.010 et seq.; Washington Administrative Code § 434-120-100 - § 434-120-185

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Exam Required?Not Set
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Organizations that raise less than $50,000 from the public in any accounting year when all the activities of the organization, including all fundraising activities, are performed by volunteers
  • Appeals for funds on behalf of a specific individual named in the solicitation, but only if all of the proceeds of the solicitation are given to or expended for the direct benefit of that individual
  • Churches and their integrated auxiliaries
  • Political organizations
Law:

RCW 19.09.020 and RCW 19.09.081

Notes:

Exempt organizations can elect to file an Optional Registration for Charitable Organization application with the secretary of state.

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$60 + optional $100 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing.

Turnaround:

1 week

Notes:
  • Some Washington counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
  • If you will foreign qualify in Washington, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  2. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration form and all required attachments to the Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Washington. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.
  3. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration form and all required attachments to the Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • List of other states where registered to solicit

Registration Renewal

Instructions:

Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$40 + optional $100 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing

Due:
  • Annually within 11 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then renewal is due by November 30.
  • There is no official start to the renewal period, so renewals may be submitted as soon as financials become available for the most recently completed fiscal year.
Due Date Extension:

No extensions are available for charitable registration due dates.

Penalties:

There is a late fee of $50.

Notes:
  • The late fee is assessed by the received date, not the postmarked date. The state accepts overnight/express mail at a different mailing address.
  • Attach your annual financial report.
  • The URS is no longer accepted as of September 12, 2014.
Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • List of other states where registered to solicit

Contract Filing

Instructions:

Fundraising Service Contract Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$20

Due:

Before a charitable organization may contract with a commercial fund-raiser for any fund-raising service or activity, the charitable organization and commercial fund-raiser shall complete and file a registration form with the secretary. The registration must be filed by the charitable organization on the form approved by the secretary.

Change of Fiscal Year

Instructions:

Charity Amendment

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$20

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Cancelation

Instructions:

Charity Closure

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:
  • To close out your registration, submit a closure application with the required attachments.
  • Effective 1/1/2023 documents with or without payment received by mail will be returned to the submitter except for the forms provided below under "Mail-in only forms". 

Commercial Fundraiser is any entity that for compensation or other consideration directly or indirectly solicits or receives contributions for or on behalf of any charitable organization or charitable purpose, or that is engaged in the business of, or represents to persons as independently engaged in the business of, soliciting or receiving contribution for such purposes. A commercial coventurer, fundraising counsel or consultant is not a commercial fundraiser.

Washington Commercial Fundraiser Registration

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Corporations and Charities Division
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Exam Required?Not Set
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?Not Set

Initial Registration

Instructions:

Commercial Fundraiser Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$300

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Before you Apply:
  • Provide the organization’s UBI number
  •  Provide the full names of the three people receiving the highest compensation. At least one person is required. 
  • A minimum of one person or officer accepting responsibility for the organization must be provided
  • If the organization has completed a full accounting year complete the Solicitation Report.
    • In the Solicitation Report the accounting year and all financial fields must be completed. If there is no financial
      information to report for a specific line write “0” or a line through that field. If any financial fields are left blank,
      the filing will be returned.
    • If the organization has not completed a full accounting year provide the first accounting year end date only and
      continue to section (13) Types of Solicitation. 
  •  If adding a Subcontractor, provide the Subcontractor Name, registration number, address, and phone number. If there is more than one subcontractor. The attached list must include all information requested above. If a Subcontractor is added they must be listed in the current Fundraising Service Contract(s) on record with our office. If the contract is not current the Charity must submit a Fundraising Service Contract Amendment.

Registration Renewal

Instructions:

Fundraiser Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$225

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required

Contract Filing

Instructions:

Fundraising Service Contract Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$20

Due:

Before a charitable organization may contract with a commercial fund-raiser for any fund-raising service or activity, the charitable organization and commercial fund-raiser shall complete and file a registration form with the secretary. The registration must be filed by the charitable organization on the form approved by the secretary.

Related Government Agencies

Explore other Washington government agencies we can help you stay compliant with:


Order Registered Agent Service

In my opinion, their "Human Touch" element is what really makes this company stand out! I wouldn't go anywhere else!
JanaeLaw Offices of Donald W. Hudspeth, PC
It's awesome to know that Harbor Compliance is looking out for my customers' best interests and will only do what's right for them.
RyanFOUR16 CPA