Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program


Please Note

We are a service company that can help you file with the Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program. 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: 360-725-0378 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 - Charities Program 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.

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Washington Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program
Law:

Washington Revised Code Annotated §19.09.020 and following; Washington Administrative Code §434-120-100 through 434-120-175

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:4/10/20

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.

Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Charitable Organization Registration / Renewal (Including the WA State Combined Fund Drive)

Instructions:

Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$60 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing. ($0 if exempt)

Turnaround:

1 week

Notes:
  • The URS is no longer accepted as of September 12, 2014.
  • 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
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Form:

Charitable Organization Registration / Renewal

Instructions:

Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$40 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing

Due:

Renewal is due annually 11 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then renewal is due by November 30.

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
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Contract Filing

Form:

Fundraising Service Contract Registration

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.

Fact Checked:8/5/19

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Charitable Organization Amendment

Filing Method:

Mail or online.

Agency Fee:

$0 by mail or $20 online.

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Form:

Charitable Organization Closure

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, submit a closure application with the required attachments.

Fact Checked:7/14/20

Washington Commercial Fundraiser Registration

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Bond Requirements:

$25,000

Fact Checked:8/7/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Commercial Fundraiser Registration

Agency Fee:

$300

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Registration Renewal

Form:

Commercial Fundraiser Renewal

Agency Fee:

$225

Due:

Annually

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:12/15/16

Contract Filing

Form:

Fundraising Service Contract Registration

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.

Fact Checked:8/14/20

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