LLC Cost In Washington State - How Much To Pay In Fees & Taxes in WA

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Last updated February 1, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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Are you wondering how much an LLC is in Washington? In this article, we'll break it down:

  • How much to start an LLC in Washington?
  • What are the annual LLC fees in Washington?
  • What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Washington?

We'll also talk about taxes, licenses, and other additional costs that may be essential to you.

If you want to start a limited liability company in Washington on your own, you can also check out the step-by-step guide.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Washington?

When people talk about LLC costs in Washington, they usually mean the basic expenses for registration and annual reports.

Basic expenses consist of:

ServiceCost
Washington state filing fee for LLC if filling online$200 
Washington state LLC filing fee for LLC filing by mail$180 
Initial report $10 (online) or $30 (by mail)
Annual report$60 (annually)
LLC name reservation$30 
“Doing Business As” (DBA) Name$24 
Certified Document Copies$20 
Certificate of Existence$20 

For a foreign LLC, the registration prices and the fee for sending the report are the same.

Address for mailing the documents:

801 Capitol Way S PO Box 40234 Olympia,

Washington 98504-0234

Washington LLC Online Filing Fee: $200

It is most convenient to file your Certificate of Organization online. The cost of starting an LLC in Washington is $200.

Advantages of this choice:

  • Document processing time is 2-3 days (7 to 10 days if mailed);
  • The initial report is included in the cost of registration (if sent by mail, for the initial report, you would pay a fee of $10 or $30).

That's the reason why we recommend saving time and money and filing the necessary documents online.

In Washington State, the LLC Certificate of Formation (Articles of Organization) form is very simple and includes the following information:

  • Name and address of the company;
  • Effective date and expiration date (indefinite or until a specified date);
  • Name and address of the registered agent’s office.

If you submit your data online, you will be prompted to pay by credit card right away in the last step.

Washington Annual Report Fee: $60

Every LLC in Washington State should file an annual report with the Secretary of State within one month of the registration anniversary. For example, if your company was formed on May 15, you have to file your annual report by June 15.

There is a $60 annual LLC fee in Washington.

On the report, you need to confirm your company information or update it if necessary. Usually, this can be the address and phone number of the company office, as well as the registered agent's information.

If for some reason, you fail to file your annual report on time, the fine is $25. Repeat violations may result in your company being dissolved by administrative action.

Registered Agent (Statutory Agent, Resident Agent) Fee

A registered agent (RA) is a representative of your LLC who will receive correspondence from the state government, tax authorities, and the court if a lawsuit is filed against you.

In Washington state, a registered agent can be:

  • An individual, as long as the person is of legal age and has a permanent residence address in Washington State;
  • An entity registered in the state that has an office in Washington State.

You can be a registered agent for your LLC. Often, this decision is made by business start-ups because it is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Washington.

The services of a professional company allow you to avoid a lot of problems. You get:

  • Privacy. The RA's address and name are publicly available on the Washington Secretary of State's website;
  • Free schedule. You don't have to be at the address listed during business hours five days a week. Your registered agent will do that;
  • Convenient service. You'll receive notifications, and your scanned documents will be available to you at any time in secure cloud storage;
  • Additional services. Often, companies include a reminder calendar for important dates, such as annual report deadlines, consultations, etc.

You can save time and money if you use an LLC registration service from one of the popular providers. The price for professional help starts at $39. But at the same time, you get one year of RA’s assistance for free. Usually, such services cost between $99 and $300 per year.

Our ranking will help you choose the best registered agent in Washington State.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Washington

For foreign companies, Washington LLC fees are no different than the fees for registering and filing reports for local entities. So, you may either incorporate a foreign LLC or start a new company when you expand your business.

The cost to start an LLC in Washington for foreign companies is $200 online or $180 if you send the documents by mail.

Remember, if you mail the Articles of Organization, you will have to pay a separate fee for the initial report processing.

Cost to Form a PLLC (Professional LLC) in Washington

If your business requires professional licensing in Washington State, you need to register a PLLC instead of a regular company.

According to RCW 18.100.030, this list includes the following professions:

  • Certified Public Accountants,
  • Chiropractors,
  • Dentists,
  • Osteopaths,
  • Physicians,
  • Podiatrists and surgeons,
  • Chiropodists,
  • Architects,
  • Veterinarians,
  • Lawyers, etc.

For a complete list of licensed professions in Washington State, check it on the official Washington State Licensing (DOL) website.

In order to start a PLLC, you have to:

  • Have a professional license for each member and professional staff member;
  • Make sure you do not require prior approval. If necessary, obtain the appropriate paperwork;
  • Submit the PLLC Articles of Organization to the Washington Secretary of State for registration. 

If sending online, the PLLC cost Washington is $200. If mailing the documents, $180 + a fee for the initial report.

The cost of the annual report, name reservation, getting a DBA, and other PLLC costs are no different than for a standard LLC.

Business Entity Income Tax

Once you register an LLC and begin operating, you will need to pay federal and state taxes, as well as some fees to your local county government. Below, you will find information about the main business taxes.

State Income Tax

LLC annual fees in Washington do not include income tax on LLC owners, regardless of the amount of income you will pay yourself. You will only pay this tax at the federal level.

In some cases, companies have to pay business and occupation taxes. The amount of taxes depends on your profits. In addition, some companies are subject to a utility tax.

State Sales and Use Tax

Any seller of tangible goods or company providing services in Washington State collects taxes at the time of purchase and then pays them to the Washington State Department of Revenue.

The state sales and use tax rate for LLCs in Washington is 6.5%.

Federal Self-employment Tax

The federal self-employment tax is paid by all LLC members and managers. This tax is also often referred to as the Medicaid or Social Security taxes.

The federal self-employment tax rate in Washington is 15.3%.

Federal Income Tax

At the federal level, LLCs are "pass-through" companies by default (unless you specifically choose a different tax scheme). This means that your company, as an entity, does not pay income tax.

Instead, you are required to include all income received from the LLC on your personal tax return. The amount of taxes is calculated based on your income and expenses.

Taxes on Employees and Employers

If your LLC has employees, you have to pay taxes on employees and employers. This is a federal tax. The rate is calculated based on the employees' salaries, their number, and other factors.

Business License Renewal Fee

In Washington State, you may need three levels of licenses:

  • Federal (professional licenses);
  • State (business license and other permits in Washington State);
  • Local (city or county level permits).

Professional licenses are obtained by specialists who provide specific services. You can see a list of them above in the section on PLLC registration.

Local licenses vary by county. You can find out if you need any permits by sending a request to your local governing authorities.

Let's take a closer look at the Washington State business licenses. You'll need one if your company meets at least one of the criteria:

  • Your business needs a permit from the city or county;
  • You will be using a DBA to do business;
  • You plan to hire employees within the next 90 days;
  •  You sell a product or service that is subject to state sales tax;
  •  Your LLC's gross income is $12,000 a year or more;
  •  You will pay taxes or fees to the Department of Revenue;
  •  You buy or process specialty wood products.

Thus, a business license will be needed for most LLCs in Washington State.

You can get this license online or by mail.

When you apply for an LLC business license, Washington fees are $90. A business license in Washington State is more than just a permit to conduct certain activities. You also get a "mass registration" application at the same time.

If you need a permit from your local government, you will be registered with the right service. If you're hiring employees, you get registered with the Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Employment Security, etc

Other LLC Filing Costs

You may think that you already know how much an LLC costs in Washington. But in fact, there are some other types of costs you should consider. They're not mandatory but are very much in demand. So study them as well.

LLC Name Reservation

You can register an LLC without prior name reservation. But in this case, make sure that the name is available for registration on the day the documents are filed with the Washington Secretary of State for processing.

But there are situations when it's important to retain the name you've chosen, and you need to do some other things before registering your business. For example, contract with a registered agent or deal with other organizational issues.

You can reserve the LLC name for up to 180 days. The fee is $30.

"Doing Business As" (DBA) Name

If you want to use a name other than the official LLC name for marketing purposes, "Doing Business As" (DBA) registration is available to you in Washington State.

To do so, you have to apply to the Washington Secretary of State and pay a $24 fee.

Certified Document Copies

Certified Document Copies may be needed in a variety of situations, such as if investors or business partners request them. You can order a set of certified documents at any time and receive them after paying the $20 fee.

Certificate of Existence

A certificate of Existence (otherwise known as a certificate of good standing) is most often required by banks or lending institutions when considering your business loan request.You can also obtain this document at any time by requesting it from the Washington Secretary of State's website and paying a $20 fee.

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