Start a Business in Washington

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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This guide on starting your business in Washington provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Washington, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Washington Limited Liability Company

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  • Form LLC2010: Certificate of Formation - Washington Limited Liability Company
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form BLS-700-028: Washington Business License Application
  • Formation: $180 by mail or in-person. $230 expedited by mail or in-person. $200 online.
  • Formation: ~2 months by paper. ~2-3 business days expedited paper or online.

Washington Corporation

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  • Form ProfitArticles2010: Articles of Incorporation - Washington Profit Corporation
  • Initial Annual Report
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form BLS-700-028: Washington Business License Application
  • Incorporation: $180 by mail or in-person. $230 expedited by mail or in-person. $200 online.
  • Initial Annual Report: $10
  • Washington Business License Application: $19, if required
  • Incorporation: ~2 months by paper. ~2-3 business days expedited paper or online.
  • Washington Business License Application: ~2 business days online. ~21 business days by mail.

Washington Nonprofit

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  • Washington Nonprofit Corporation - Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Form BLS-700-028: Washington Business License Application, if applicable
  • URS Charitable Registration, if applicable
  • Washington Charitable Organization Registration
  • Incorporation: $30 by mail. $80 expedited by mail. $50 online.
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Washington Business License Application: $19, if applicable
  • Washington Charitable Organization Registration: $60 ($0 if exempt)
  • Incorporation: ~2 months by mail. ~2-3 business days expedited by mail or online.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Washington

  1. The Secretary of State will issue your Unified Business Identifier (UBI) which is your state id across state departments.
  2. New LLCs and corporations must file an Initial Annual Report within 120 days of formation.
  3. Your business may have to register with the Washington Department of Revenue. There are a short list of qualifiers to determine if you need to register. We'll explain this in detail later.
  4. Every LLC and corporation is required to have a registered office in Washington. We'll help you figure out if you can serve yourself. If not, our office in Spokane can help.
  5. Annual renewal is not the same as renewing your business license. Both are filed with the Washington Department of Revenue. Annual renewal is filed with the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service, who accepts the filing as an agent for the Office of the Secretary of State.

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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