LLC Cost in Washington | How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC


Steve Bennett
Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert
Hi there, I'm Steve. My mission is to empower the next generation of online entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. My business insights are based on real-world experience, ensuring that aspiring entrepreneurs can confidently start and run their own businesses.

All Posts by Steve Bennett →
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Staff
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
LLC Costs in Washington

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Washington is a popular choice for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to protect their personal assets and enjoy flexibility in their business operations. LLC formation costs vary from state to state, and it is essential to understand the costs involved in forming and maintaining an LLC in Washington.

If you would like to know more about the Washington LLC Cost, read the whole article until the end. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge on how much an LLC Costs in Washington. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

How to Start an LLC?

Before we dive into the LLC Cost in Washington, you should know the step-by-step process of starting an LLC, including selecting a unique business name, appointing a Registered Agent, filing the necessary documents, and fulfilling any additional requirements, such as obtaining licenses or permits that are specific to your industry or location.

Here are the steps in starting an LLC in Washington:

  • Step 1: Choose a Unique Business Name
    The first step in starting an LLC in Washington is to select a unique business name for your company. The name should be distinguishable from any other registered businesses in the state. You can check the availability of your desired business name by searching the state’s business name database. Once you’ve found an available name, you may need to include “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” at the end of the name to comply with state requirements.
  • Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
    A Registered Agent is someone who will receive official legal and tax documents on behalf of your LLC. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in Washington and be available during normal business hours. You have the option to appoint yourself as the registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service.
  • Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation
    To officially form your LLC, you need to file the Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State or the appropriate state agency. The Certificate of Formation typically requires basic information about your LLC, such as its name, address, Registered Agent details, and the name and address of the LLC’s members or managers.
  • Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
    Once your LLC is formed, it’s highly recommended to create an operating agreement in Washington. Although not required by Washington law, an operating agreement is a crucial internal document that outlines the ownership, management, and operating procedures of your LLC. It helps establish clear guidelines and expectations among members, and it can be especially useful in the event of disputes or disagreements in the future. The operating agreement can be customized to fit the specific needs and goals of your LLC.
  • Step 5: Obtain Required Licenses and Permits
    Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific licenses or permits at the federal, state, or local level. Research the licensing requirements in Washington and apply for business licenses in Washington related to your industry or activities. Common examples include professional licenses, health or safety permits, and sales tax permits.
  • Step 6: File for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that is used to identify your LLC for tax purposes. Even if you don’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is typically required if you plan to open a business bank account, hire contractors, or file certain tax forms. You can easily apply for an EIN in Washington through the IRS website.
  • Step 7: Comply with Ongoing Requirements
    Once your LLC is established in Washington, it’s important to stay in compliance with any ongoing requirements. This may include filing periodic reports, paying Annual Report fees, and renewing licenses or permits. Familiarize yourself with the specific obligations for maintaining your LLC’s good standing in Washington.

Remember, starting an LLC in Washington involves some specific steps and requirements that may differ from other states. It’s advisable to hire an LLC Services in Washington that specializes in business formation to ensure that you follow all the necessary procedures accurately and efficiently. We reviewed the Best LLC Services for you to check out.

LLC Cost in Washington

It is crucial to consider the costs associated with the formation and maintenance of your business. The costs of establishing and operating an LLC in Washington can vary based on several factors, including the initial formation fees, ongoing compliance requirements, and optional expenses.

Initial LLC Costs

When starting a limited liability company (LLC), knowing the initial costs associated with forming and registering your new business entity is essential. Understanding and preparing for these expenses can help you budget effectively and set your Washington business on a path to success. Some common initial costs associated with forming an LLC include Certificate of Formation filing fees, Registered Agent fees, and additional services, such as business name reservation fees.

Certificate of Formation Filing Fee

The first step in forming an LLC in Washington is to file the Washington Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State. This document officially creates the LLC and includes essential information about the business, such as its name, address, and Registered Agent.

This document includes essential information about your LLC, such as:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The address of your LLC’s principal office
  • The name and address of your Registered Agent
  • The purpose of your LLC (optional in some states)

You can typically file the Certificate of Formation online, by mail, or in person. A filing fee is associated with this process, which costs around $200. You can also file by mailing it to Washington Secretary of State, which is located at Secretary of State, Corporations Division. P.O. Box 40234.

Recommended: Filing formation papers is easy and hassle-free if you hire a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom ($0 + State Fee)

Registered Agent Fee

An LLC in Washington must designate a Registered Agent who will be responsible for receiving legal and government documents on behalf of the business. You can act as your own Registered Agent or appoint someone you know. Professional Registered Agent in Washington typically charge an annual fee ranging from $50 – $150.

In Washington, your Registered Agent must:

  • Be a resident of Washington or a business entity authorized to do business in the state.
  • Have a physical address in Washington (P.O. boxes are not acceptable)

Choosing a reliable and responsible Registered Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business.

We reviewed some of the Best Registered Agent Services in Washington and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$299 Per Year

  • Free LLC Formation

  • RA service in all states

  • Legal consultation

$125 Per Year

  • Flat price for RA service

  • LLC formation package

  • Fast service

Business Name Reservation Fee

If you have a specific business name in mind and want to ensure it is available when you are ready to file your Certificate of Formation, you can reserve the business name with the Washington Secretary of State.

In Washington, your LLC name must:

  • Include the words “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.
  • Not contain any words or phrases that are prohibited by state law
  • Be distinguishable from the names of other businesses registered in the state

However, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 180 days. You must file a name reservation application in the Washington Secretary of State to keep the name.

The online name reservation fee is $30, while the mail name reservation fee is $30. You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for a DBA (doing business as). If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in three methods, online, by mail, and in-person filing. However, before filing Washington DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA, which cost $24.

Recommended: Embark on your entrepreneurial journey confidently and affordably with LegalZoom’s DBA service, the beacon that guides businesses to credible branding and comprehensive compliance. Discover how effortless success can truly be!

LegalZoom ($99 + Filling Fees)

Ongoing LLC Costs

After you know the initial costs of forming an LLC in Washington, you should also know the ongoing costs once you have filed for an LLC. Here are the involved costs that you need to know.

Annual Report Filing Fee

To keep your LLC in good standing, you must file Annual Report with the Washington Secretary of State. The Annual Report provides updated information about your LLC, such as changes in address, members, or Registered Agent.

In Washington, the Annual Report fee costs $60 which can be paid every 1 year (last day of the anniversary month).

Franchise Tax or Annual LLC Tax

Some states require LLCs to pay an annual franchise or LLC tax, separate from the Annual Report filing fee. Franchise tax, or annual tax, is a fee imposed by Washington on businesses, including LLCs and Washington Corporations, for the privilege of operating within their jurisdiction. This tax is separate from income taxes and is usually based on factors such as the company’s net worth, assets, capital, or a fixed dollar amount, depending on the Washington’s specific tax regulations.

Washington LLC Taxes To Be Paid

The State of Washington is one of those rarest states in the United States that does not levy any personal income tax on businesses. However, the business LLCs must file other taxes with the State authorities.

  • Sales Tax: A sales tax is a government-imposed tax on the sale of goods and services. It is generally added to the price of a product or service at the point of sale and paid by the consumer. The tax is collected by the retailer or service provider, who then remits the collected tax amount to the relevant government authority. In Washington, the sales tax rate is 6.50%.
  • State Income Tax: Considering other taxes in Washington, you should pay for the state income tax, with a rate of 0%; Washington has no state corporate income tax.
  • LLC Federal Self-Employment Tax: Federal self-employment tax rates are the same across all states. Self-employment taxes are imposed on self-employed individuals or members of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
  • Property Tax: The property tax is fixed at 1.03% of industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural, and all other properties.

Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your Washington business and the location of your operations, you may need to obtain permits and business licenses in Washington. The costs of these licenses and permits will vary based on your specific business and location. In Washington, the business license ranges from $50 – $300. However, research the requirements for your LLC in Washington and budget for these expenses accordingly.

Optional LLC Costs

Here are the optional costs you must consider if you will form an operating agreement or hire a professional service.

Operating Agreement

Although not required by law, it is highly recommended that LLCs create an operating agreement in Washington. This document outlines the LLC’s ownership structure, management, and operating procedures. Hiring a business attorney to draft an operating agreement can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000, or you can use online resources and templates to create one yourself.

Professional Services

You may hire professionals such as attorneys, accountants, or business consultants to help you establish and run your Washington LLC. These services can provide valuable expertise and guidance but come at an additional cost. Consider the potential benefits and weigh them against the costs when hiring professional assistance.

You may check out the Best Business Attorney Services in Washington that offer their professional services to form your business.

Can I Set Up an LLC For Free?

It’s impossible to set up an LLC entirely for free, as state filing fees and other costs are associated with establishing an LLC. However, you can save money by handling the formation process instead of hiring a professional service. Here are some steps to help you minimize the cost of setting up an LLC:

  • Choose your LLC’s name and check for availability in your state. This can generally be done through the Secretary of State’s website.
  • Prepare and file the Certificate of Formation yourself. Washington offer an online filing option or downloadable forms on their websites. By completing this process independently, you can avoid paying additional fees for a professional service.
  • Act as your own Registered Agent if permitted within Washington. It allows the business owner to serve as the Registered Agent, saving you the cost of hiring a professional registered agent service.
  • Create your own Operating Agreement using online resources and templates. Although not required in every state, an Operating Agreement is highly recommended to outline your LLC’s ownership structure and management. By drafting this document yourself, you can save on legal fees.
  • Research and apply for any required licenses and permits on your own. Depending on your business type and location, you may need specific permits or licenses. These costs can vary, but handling the application process yourself can save you the expense of hiring a professional service.

While you can’t set up an LLC for free, taking a do-it-yourself approach and minimizing the use of professional services can help you save money during the formation process. However, handling these tasks requires time and effort, and there may be additional legal or financial risks if mistakes occur.

FAQs

What are the filing fees for registering an LLC in Washington state?
The filing fee for registering an LLC in Washington state is $180.
Are there any ongoing fees or taxes for an LLC in Washington state?
Yes, in Washington state, LLCs are required to pay an annual report fee of $60, and they must file an annual report.
Can I register my LLC online in Washington state?
Yes, you can register your LLC online through the Washington Secretary of State’s website.
Can I reserve a name for my LLC in Washington state before I register it?
Yes, you can reserve a name for your LLC in Washington state for a fee of $30.
How long does it take to register an LLC in Washington state?
LLC registration in Washington state can take anywhere from 1-5 business days, depending on the filing method and the workload of the Secretary of State’s office.
Do I need to have a registered agent for my LLC in Washington state?
Yes, you need to appoint and maintain a registered agent to receive legal documents and notices on behalf of your LLC in Washington state.
How much does a registered agent service cost in Washington state?
The cost for registered agent services in Washington state can vary, but on average, it can range from $99-150 annually.
Can I be my own registered agent in Washington state?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent for your LLC in Washington state as long as you are a resident of the state and have a physical address where you can receive legal documents.
Can two LLCs have the same name in Washington state?
No, two LLCs cannot have the same name in Washington state. You can check name availability online before registering your LLC.
Do I need to file an operating agreement for my LLC in Washington state?
Although an operating agreement is not required by law, it is highly recommended to have one in place to outline your LLC’s internal operations and procedures.
Is an LLC required to have a business license in Washington state?
Yes, LLCs in Washington state are required to have a general business license in order to operate legally.
How much does a Washington state business license cost for an LLC?
The cost for a business license in Washington state can vary depending on your location and the type of business you have, but it typically ranges from $19-95.
Do I need to pay state taxes for my LLC in Washington state?
Yes, LLCs in Washington state are subject to state and federal taxes, including state sales tax if you sell tangible goods.
Can an LLC in Washington state be taxed as an S corporation?
Yes, an LLC in Washington state can elect to be taxed as an S corporation by filing Form 2553 with the IRS.
Are there any additional fees for changing the name of my LLC in Washington state?
Yes, if you want to change the name of your LLC in Washington state, you will need to pay a fee of $30.
Can I file a paper application to register my LLC in Washington state?
Yes, you can file a paper application to register your LLC in Washington state, but it may take longer to process.
Is there a deadline for filing my LLC’s annual report in Washington state?
Yes, annual reports for LLCs in Washington state are due by the end of the anniversary month of its formation.
How much does it cost to withdraw an LLC in Washington state?
The filing fee for a Certificate of Termination in Washington state is $30.
If I already have a business registered in another state, can I register it as an LLC in Washington?
Yes, you may register your existing business as an LLC in Washington state.
Can I change the structure of my LLC from sole proprietor to multi-member in Washington state?
Yes, you can change the structure of your LLC in Washington state by filing an amendment.
Are the fees for LLC registration/filing different for non-profit LLCs in Washington state?
The fees for non-profit LLCs in Washington state are the same as for regular LLCs.
What is the minimum required capital for opening an LLC in Washington state?
There is no minimum capital required to open an LLC in Washington state.
Can I ask for expedited processing of my LLC registration in Washington state?
Yes, you can pay an additional $50 fee for Expedited Service to have your LLC registration processed in 24 hours.
Do I need to file an annual report if my LLC has no activity in Washington state?
Yes, you must still file an annual report even if your LLC has had no activity during the previous year in Washington state.
Can an LLC in Washington state be a benefit corporation?
Yes, an LLC in Washington state can also register as a benefit corporation.
Can a single member LLC in Washington state choose to be taxed as an S corporation for federal tax purposes?
Yes, a single member LLC in Washington state can elect to be taxed as an S corporation for federal tax purposes.
What is the fee for changing the registered agent for an LLC in Washington state?
The fee for changing the registered agent of an LLC in Washington state is $30.
Can I add new members to my LLC by filing an amendment in Washington state?
Yes, you can add new members to your LLC by filing an amendment to your original Articles of Organization.
Are there any penalties for not filing my LLC’s annual report on time in Washington state?
Yes, if you fail to file your LLC’s annual report on time in Washington state, you may be subject to a late fee and may eventually have your LLC dissolved.
What is an LLC in Washington?
An LLC is a legal business entity formed in Washington, allowing members to operate their company under limited liability protection.
How much does it cost to form an LLC in Washington?
The cost to form an LLC in Washington is $200, which can be paid online or by mail.
What are the annual fees for an LLC in Washington?
The annual LLC filing fee in Washington is $60.
Are there any additional fees when registering an LLC in Washington?
No, there are no additional fees when registering an LLC in Washington once the $200 registration fee is paid.
How long does it take to form an LLC in Washington?
It normally takes around 5 to 7 working days to form and register an LLC in Washington.
Can I form an LLC in Washington if I am not a resident there?
Yes, residents and non-residents can form LLCs in Washington.
Can I file for an LLC in Washington over the internet?
Yes, individuals can file for an LLC in Washington via the Secretary of State’s online registration system.
Are there any paperwork requirements for starting an LLC in Washington?
Yes, individuals are required to file Articles of Organization with the Washington Secretary of State to start an LLC in Washington.
Can I dissolve my LLC if it has no debts or outstanding legal matters?
Yes, you may dissolve your LLC if it has no debts or outstanding legal matters related to the business.
Who issues the certificate of formation for an LLC in Washington?
The Washington Secretary of State issues the certificate of formation for LLCs in Washington.
Can I reserve the name for my LLC before I form it in Washington?
Yes, you can reserve an available name for up to 180 days before forming your LLC in Washington by submitting a Name Reservation Application to the Washington Secretary of State.
What happens if someone uses my LLC name in Washington?
It is advised to trademark your LLC name to protect it, but you can also pursue legal action if someone uses your LLC name in Washington without authorization.
Am I required to use a specific format for my LLC name in Washington?
Yes, LLC names in Washington must include “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” in the name.
What is a Washington registered agent, and do I need one for my LLC?
A registered agent is a person or entity that can accept legal documents on behalf of an LLC in Washington, and having a registered agent is a requirement for forming an LLC in the state.
Can I act as my own registered agent for my LLC in Washington?
Yes, you may act as your own registered agent or use a service or person who has a physical street address located in Washington.
Are there any ongoing business requirements for my LLC in Washington?
Yes, LLCs in Washington are required to file an annual report and pay an annual fee every year by the due date. The fee and due date may vary depending on the entity type.
Can I change the name or address of my LLC in Washington after forming it?
Yes, you can change your LLC’s address or legal name in Washington by filing an amendment document with the Secretary of State.
Can I apply for Washington LLC online?
Yes, you can apply for an LLC in Washington online through the Secretary of State’s website.
Are there any residency requirements for LLC registration in Washington?
No, residency rights required for the registration of LLC in Washington.
What is the first step before forming an LLC?
Before forming an LLC, individuals need to register through the Secretary of State or engage assistance from an expert to register properly.
What taxation options do I have in Washington for my LLC?
LLCs in Washington can choose S Corporation tax treatment, which enables the company to avoid tax at the corporate level.
Can I form a multi-member LLC in Washington?
Yes, you can create LLCs through complex allocating structures in Washington.
Can an LLC issue shares in Washington?
LLCs cannot issue shares in Washington, as shares of ownership are offered only by corporations on the markets.
Do you need a statement about Washington residency while applying for an LLC in the state?
There isn’t a need for a statement about residency rights while applying for an LLC in Washington.
What is the tax rate an LLC operating in Washington State?
The tax rate for an LLC operating in Washington State is somewhere between 0.4% – 1.5%.
Are there any other ongoing requirements to maintain my LLC in Washington besides annual reports?
No, just filing an annual report and paying the associated fees within the provided timeframe is an ongoing requirement.
Can I file for expedited LLC formation in Washington?
Yes, expedited LLC formation and registration services are offered in Washington, which entail additional costs.
Are there any filing fees associated with dissolving an LLC in Washington?
No, there aren’t any filing fees for dissolving an LLC in Washington. However, subscriptions and excise tax liabilities should be cleared.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting Your Business LLC in Washington

First and foremost, one of the most effective ways to save money while starting your business LLC in Washington is to create a comprehensive budget. By having a detailed understanding of your projected expenses and revenues, you can identify areas where you can cut costs and make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources. By carefully monitoring your finances, you can avoid overspending on unnecessary expenses and ensure that your business stays on track financially.

Another way to save money while starting your business LLC is to prioritize essential expenses and avoid unnecessary luxuries. Instead of investing in expensive office space or high-end equipment, consider starting small and scaling up as your business grows. Additionally, consider alternative options such as working from home or utilizing co-working spaces to cut down on overhead costs. By adopting a minimalist approach to starting your business, you can save money on initial expenses and focus on building a strong foundation for your company.

In addition, it is important to shop around and compare prices when purchasing essential supplies and equipment for your business. By researching different vendors and negotiating favorable prices, you can save money on essential items such as office supplies, technology, and marketing materials. Additionally, consider buying used or refurbished equipment to save even more money while still meeting your business needs.

Furthermore, consider leveraging technology to streamline your business processes and save on operational costs. By utilizing cloud-based software and automation tools, you can increase efficiency, reduce manual labor, and save money on hiring additional staff. Similarly, consider digital marketing strategies such as social media advertising and email campaigns to reach customers cost-effectively and maximize your marketing budget.

Additionally, consider seeking out cost-effective ways to fund your business startup. Instead of relying solely on personal savings or loans, explore alternative funding options such as crowdfunding, investment partnerships, or small business grants. By diversifying your sources of funding, you can reduce financial risk and ensure that your business has the financial resources it needs to succeed.

Lastly, consider seeking out advice and support from business mentors, industry experts, and networking events to help guide you through the process of starting your business. By learning from the experiences of others and surrounding yourself with a supportive network, you can gain valuable insights, avoid common pitfalls, and save money by making informed decisions that align with your business goals.

In conclusion, starting a business LLC in Washington can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By taking proactive steps to save money and manage your finances wisely, you can build a strong financial foundation for your business and increase your chances of long-term success. By adopting a strategic and cost-conscious approach to starting your business, you can minimize financial stress and focus on what truly matters – growing your business and achieving your entrepreneurial dreams.

Conclusion

Forming and maintaining an LLC in Washington involves various costs, including initial filing fees, ongoing annual report fees, and taxes. Understanding and planning for these costs is essential when establishing your LLC. Additionally, consider any optional expenses, such as hiring professional services or drafting an operating agreement, to ensure the success and longevity of your LLC in Washington.

Leave a Comment