Washington Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a Washington nonprofit corporation.

Preparing and filing your articles of incorporation is the first step in starting your nonprofit corporation. Approval of this document secures your corporate name and creates the legal entity of the nonprofit. Only after this approval can you apply for 501c, apply for fundraising licenses, open a bank account, and otherwise conduct business.


Incorporating provides many important benefits:

  • Limits the liability of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • Fulfills statutory requirements to register your organization's name
  • Is a prerequisite for applying for 501(c) tax exemption
  • Provides governance and adds credibility to the business or organization

Fast Facts

Agency:Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division

Articles of Incorporation - Washington Nonprofit Corporation


Washington Nonprofit Handbook

Filing Method:


Agency Fee:

$40 by mail. $80 expedited by mail. $60 online.


~2 months by mail. ~2-3 business days expedited by mail or online.


Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act

  • The Secretary of State will issue your Unified Business Identifier (UBI) which is your state id across state departments.
  • Nonprofit professional service corporations are an exception to the above instruction - they should be formed under RCW § 18.100.

Other Helpful Washington Facts

As you are preparing to incorporate, keep in mind the following requirements specific to Washington, keep in mind:

Washington Directors

  • Number: minimum 1
  • Qualifications: None. No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: until successor selected and qualified
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 2 directors

Washington Officers

  • A president, one or more vice presidents, a secretary, and a treasurer are required.
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual, except president and secretary.

Washington Members

  • Members: optional
  • Regular meeting: required annually
  • Quorum: 1/10th votes

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