Are you looking to start a business in Washington? Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular choice for entrepreneurs in the state. An LLC is a flexible and simple business structure that offers personal liability protection and allows for pass-through taxation. In this article, we’ll explore how to open an LLC in Washington and the important things to consider when doing so.
It’s important to consider factors such as your business plan, industry-specific requirements, and local business regulations when starting an LLC in Washington. By taking the time to properly structure and form your LLC, you can lay the foundation for a successful and protected business venture.
Three Things To Be Aware Of When Starting Your LLC
The video below covers the following three things you must know when setting up your LLC.
- Commingling Funds
- Registered Agent
- Piercing the Corporate Veil
If you are unfamiliar with these terms, please watch the video below.
Table of Contents
7 Steps to Create an LLC in Washington
Washington State offers a favorable business environment with numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. If you’re considering starting a business in Washington, forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) can be a great option. An LLC is a flexible business structure that offers the owner’s liability protection and allows them to keep their personal assets separate from the business assets. In this answer, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to create an LLC in Washington.
- Choose a name for your LLC that is not already in use.
- File your Articles of Organization with the Washington Secretary of State’s office. The Articles of Organization should include the following information:
- The name and address of the LLC
- The name and address of the registered agent
- The purpose of the LLC
- The names and addresses of the LLC’s members
- Create an LLC operating agreement that outlines the structure, management, and ownership of the LLC.
- Obtain any necessary business licenses and permits for your LLC.
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
- Register with the Washington Department of Revenue and obtain any necessary tax registrations.
- Open a business bank account for your LLC.
Creating an LLC in Washington is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few simple steps. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can form an LLC that offers you and your partners the protection and flexibility you need to operate a successful business in the state of Washington.
Costs to Open an LLC in Washington
If you’re thinking about starting an LLC in Washington, it’s important to understand the costs associated with forming and maintaining your business entity. While the process of forming an LLC in Washington is relatively straightforward, there are certain expenses that you will need to budget for in order to ensure that your business is compliant with state laws and regulations. In this answer, we’ll discuss the costs you should expect when opening an LLC in Washington.
- Initial filing fee: To form an LLC in Washington, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. The filing fee for this is $200.
- Registered Agent fee: Every LLC in Washington is required to have a registered agent who can accept legal documents on behalf of the company. If you choose to hire a registered agent, you will need to pay an annual fee of around $100-$200.
- Operating Agreement fee: While not required by law, creating an LLC operating agreement is highly recommended to ensure that the LLC is structured and run according to the wishes of its members. The cost of creating an operating agreement can vary, but you may expect to pay a few hundred dollars for a lawyer’s services or use online services for free or low-cost templates.
- Business license and permit fees: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits from local and state authorities. These fees can vary significantly depending on your industry, location, and the type of license or permit you need.
- Annual report fee: Every LLC in Washington is required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. The fee for filing an annual report is $60.
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Starting an LLC in Washington involves some initial costs that you should consider as you plan to launch your business. However, the benefits of forming an LLC, such as limited liability protection and tax flexibility, can far outweigh these costs over time. By understanding the expenses associated with forming and maintaining an LLC in Washington, you can ensure that you are prepared to meet these costs and build a successful business in the state.
Files needed to open an LLC in Washington
Starting an LLC in Washington requires the completion and submission of several legal documents. In this answer, we’ll discuss the files you’ll need to open an LLC in Washington.
- Articles of Organization: This is the primary legal document needed to form an LLC in Washington. It includes the name and address of the LLC, the purpose of the LLC, the name and address of the registered agent, and the names and addresses of the LLC’s members. This document can be filed online or by mail with the Washington Secretary of State’s office, and there is a $200 filing fee.
- Operating Agreement: While not required by law, an LLC operating agreement is a crucial document that outlines the structure, management, and ownership of your LLC. It is highly recommended to have one, and it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your business.
- Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits from local and state authorities. These documents can vary depending on your industry, location, and the type of license or permit you need.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN): You’ll need to obtain an EIN from the IRS if you plan to hire employees or open a business bank account.
- Annual Report: Every LLC in Washington must file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. This report must include the LLC’s name, principal place of business, registered agent’s name and address, and names and addresses of the LLC’s members.
To open an LLC in Washington, you’ll need to submit several legal documents, including the Articles of Organization, an operating agreement, any necessary business licenses and permits, an EIN, and an annual report. These files ensure that your LLC is established properly and is compliant with state laws and regulations.
Bizee (formerly Incfile) is our preferred choice for LLC formation because they provide all of the services your new business needs while being transparent with pricing. They also offer a free registered agent service for the first year, even in their free package.
Check out a behind-the-scenes of what managing your LLC looks like in your dashboard in this Bizee review.
Things to consider when opening an LLC in Washington
If you’re considering opening an LLC in Washington, there are several factors that you’ll need to take into account to ensure that your business is established correctly and is positioned for success. In this answer, we’ll discuss some of the key things you should consider when opening an LLC in Washington.
- Choose a name for your LLC: Your LLC name must be unique and not already in use by another business in Washington. You can check the availability of your chosen name on the Washington Secretary of State’s website.
- Select a registered agent: Every LLC in Washington is required to have a registered agent who can accept legal documents on behalf of the company. You can hire a registered agent service or act as your own registered agent as long as you have a physical address in Washington.
- Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Depending on your business activities, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits from local and state authorities. Be sure to research the requirements for your industry and location.
- Determine the management structure of your LLC: Will your LLC be member-managed or manager-managed? Member-managed LLCs are run by the members themselves, while manager-managed LLCs have designated managers who run the business.
- Create an operating agreement: While not required by law, creating an LLC operating agreement is highly recommended to ensure that the LLC is structured and run according to the wishes of its members.
- Obtain an EIN: If you plan to hire employees or open a business bank account, you’ll need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
- Consider tax implications: LLCs in Washington are subject to certain taxes and fees, including the Business and Occupation tax and the Annual Report fee. Consult with a tax professional to understand the tax implications of opening an LLC in Washington.
By taking into account factors such as choosing a name, selecting a registered agent, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, determining the management structure of your LLC, creating an operating agreement, obtaining an EIN, and considering tax implications, you can set your LLC on the path to success.
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Opening an LLC in Washington can be a straightforward process if you follow the necessary steps and considerations. By choosing a unique name, selecting a registered agent, obtaining necessary licenses and permits, creating an operating agreement, obtaining an EIN, and understanding the tax implications, you can establish your LLC correctly and set your business up for success. So why wait?
For more information on starting an LLC in Washington, be sure to visit other resources on our website. Our articles on the various steps involved in forming an LLC, as well as information on the benefits of an LLC, can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your business.
Additionally, our guides on registering for taxes, obtaining an EIN, and creating an operating agreement can help you navigate the legal requirements of starting an LLC in Washington. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand an existing business, forming an LLC in Washington can be a great choice. For more information and support as you begin this process, be sure to visit our website and take advantage of our comprehensive resources.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general legal information, does not constitute professional legal advice for your situation, and should not be interpreted as creating an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
Where Do I Even Begin with Starting a Business?
This depends on where you’re at in your journey.
Step 1 is deciding what type of business you want to start.
Step 2 is filling out the BizBuddy Pathway for your business.
Step 3 is legally forming your business.
Check out the FAQs below that match up with where you’re at in your process
What Type of Business Should I Start?
If you’re unsure of what kind of business you want to start, you need to assess your situation. Things like your skills, available time, passion(s), money, and risk tolerance all factor into your decision. This post on What Business to Start is a great place to assess your situation and find the right fit for your unique situation.
What is the BizBuddy Pathway?
Research says that 92% of people with a business idea will never start a business. There are no shortages of ideas… execution is the scarce resource. The BizBuddy Pathway is a simplified approach for you to lay out your business journey.
Think of it like writing a book. The Pathway is like coming up with the title, storyline, and chapters, so you have the outline of where to begin. This is how you become the 8%.
How Do I Legally Form a Business?
It’s not as difficult as you think. That’s because in the U.S. small businesses accounted for 62% of all new jobs created between 1995 and 2020. That’s why you hear people say small business is the backbone of the economy. Check out this Guide on How to Legally Form a Business (in the U.S.). It will give you a full understanding of what goes into forming your legal entity and the options available to you. If you’re unfamiliar with terms like “Piercing the Corporate Veil” you’ll want to check out that guide.
How Do I Grow My Business?
Congrats. You’re already in the game and looking to grow. BizBuddy was founded by Eric Worral who started his first business at 13 years old (sealing driveways). That was well over 20 years ago when he had to figure out how to get new customers. No matter what business you’re in you need paying customers. This is a Guide on How to Get More Customers for Your Business. It’s a comprehensive overview of how to think about your category of business and the marketing strategies to implement. Onward and Upward!