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Cost to Start an LLC in Washington

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Cost to Start an LLC in Washington

If you’re thinking of starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Washington, it’s a good idea to know in advance how much it’s going to cost. LLC formation fees vary by state, so it’s helpful to do a bit of research and prepare yourself for the necessary steps. 

LLC Costs in Washington

Certificate of Formation$200
Certified Copy – Certificate of Formation$20
Certificate of Good Standing$20
Name Reservation$30
Registered Agent Service$50 – $300
Operating Agreement$0 – $2500
Annual Report$60
Franchise Tax1.5% of gross revenue
Business Licenses and Renewalsvaries – check with state and local government

Washington Certificate of Formation Cost

In Washington, you form an LLC by filing a Washington certificate of formation, which requires a $200 fee. It’s a simple process you can do online at the Washington Secretary of State’s website.  When you file online, your LLC should be approved and formed within two business days. 

If you need a certified copy of the Certificate of Formation, there is a $20 fee. If you need a Certificate of Good Standing, there is a $20 fee. If you’d like the state to hold your LLC name before you register, you can apply here for $30 to reserve it for 180 days. 

You’ll need to mail the form with the fee to:

Secretary of State
Corporation Division
801 Capitol Way S 
PO Box 40234 
Olympia WA 98504-0234

Washington Registered Agent Cost

In Washington, you are required to have a Washington registered agent, also known as an agent of service in process.  A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business.  

In Washington you can be your own registered agent, or it can be another member of the LLC. An individual who is not a member or a professional agency can also serve as the registered agent for your LLC. 

Costs for a registered agent service range from $50 a year up to $300 or more. There are several online services, such as ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent, to choose from.

Washington Business Licenses and Permits Cost

Starting an LLC in Washington requires obtaining the required licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. Fees for these vary, but most costs are minimal.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as, health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments to learn more. 

Business license fees depend on the type of business and the agency issuing the license or permit. On average, business licenses cost between $100 and $300+, plus renewal fees.

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package ($149 + state fees). They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

Washington Operating Agreement Cost

In Washington, your LLC is not required to have an operating agreement in place. But it’s highly recommended, as an effective operating agreement can help avoid disputes and lawsuits that could threaten the stability of your LLC. 

An LLC operating agreement is an important legal document that details who owns the business and provides essential information pertaining to member duties. An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between members and the basics of the working relationships between those members and the managers who oversee daily operations. 

The operating agreement is not filed with the state, but instead remains private. It’s advisable to hire an attorney to ensure your operating agreement is thorough and legally binding. 

Creating an operating agreement is free if you just draw it up yourself (here you can find free Washington LLC Operating Agreement template). Alternatively, you can pay around $100 for guidance from an online business advisory.

This is an extremely important document, so it’s recommended that you use the services of a specialist or legal firm. If you choose to hire an attorney to help you create this document, the price will be around $500 for a single-member LLC and $2,500 for a multi-member LLC

Washington LLC Formation Service Cost (Optional)

Forming an LLC in Washington tends to involve a lot of red tape and paperwork, so for many entrepreneurs just starting out it’s a good idea to hire an experienced service provider. 

Some of the best services for forming an LLC in Washington are ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent. LLC Formation service will take care of all the key steps, keeping you updated while allowing you to focus on launching and growing your business.

The cost of professional services depends on your requirements and LLC formation plan. Most LLC service providers offer different plans/packages and there are many LLC services that offer free LLC formation.

Ongoing Washington LLC Costs

Every state has a different fee structure and timelines for LLC documents and licenses. It’s important to stay up-to-date or your business could face significant penalties. The fees and timelines for Washington are detailed below. 

Annual Fees

You’ll need to file a Washington LLC annual report with your state to keep your LLC in good standing. The fee is $60, and you can file online at the Secretary of State’s website.

Business and Occupation Tax Reports

A business and occupation tax is a fee the state imposes on registered businesses for the right to operate. Washington charges a business and occupation tax of 1.5% of gross revenue. 

Business License Renewal Fees

Some business licenses and permits must be renewed periodically, which may have a small associated fee. In Washington, these include a business license that allows you to collect the required sales tax. 

The initial fee is $19, and the annual renewal fee is $10. Other licenses specific to your business, such as food safety permits, must also be renewed annually. Fees for specific licenses vary. 


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Cost to Start an LLC in Washington