Washington State LLC Articles of Organization – How to Register?

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If you are forming an LLC in Washington State, then this page’s content would be vital. As you learn how to start an LLC, you will realize that the bulk of your initial work and LLC cost comprises filing Washington State articles of organization, which we will elaborate on this page.   

What Are Articles of Organization?

Articles of Organization, also known as an LLC certificate or Certificate of Formation in some states, is a document filed with the secretary of state to form an LLC.

Each state has a different requirement to fill out a form. Articles of Organization usually includes the following:

  • The name of the LLC,
  • the effective date of the LLC,
  • the company’s principal office,
  • the business purpose,
  • the duration of the business, 
  • a copy of the LLC’s name registration certificate, and
  • the name and address of the registered agent, organizers, and
  • at least one member of the company.

You can file Articles of Organization online, by mail, or in person.

Note that the certification of formation is a legal requirement, not to mention, the core of your LLC formation. It even makes up the bulk of your Washington State LLC cost. Without it, you have no LLC. So, take the time to complete and file this certificate.

How to File Washington State Articles of Organization?

These are the simple steps to follow in filing Articles of Organization in Washington State.

Step 1: Find Forms Online

Go to the Washington State Secretary of State to download the Articles of Organization form for your LLC or to log into the online service.

Step 2: Fill Out Form

When filling out the form,  you must have reserved an LLC name. Do a name search. Go to Washington State LLC Name Search to check whether your chosen business name is available to use in this state.

You must attach a copy of your Name Reservation to your filled-out Articles of Organization form when filing. You also need to nominate a registered agent. Here are 3 of the best LLC services on our list.

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Step 3: File Formation Certificates

File your formation certificate either online or by mail by filling out a form and sending it to the Secretary of State Corporation Division 801 Capitol Way S P.O. Box 40234 Olympia, Washington 98504-0234.

Steps to Register Article of Organization Online

Time needed: 5 minutes.

If you want to start your business LLC in the State of Washington, the basic step is to register your Washington Limited Liability Company with the Secretary of State office. You can file either through online or offline methods. When your application is processed through online mode, you also get the benefit of immediate processing. The cost of registration is $200. The formation guide below will help you in filing your Articles of Organization application.

  1. Access the Official website of the Washington Secretary of State

    The Official website of the Secretary of State of Washington consists of an informative page dedicated to Corporations. This page provides a one-stop solution to different business filings and registrations through online mode. On this page, scroll to the heading ‘Washington Limited Liability Company’ and click on the first link ‘File Online!’.washington-certificate-of-formation

  2. Login/ Create your account

    The SOS Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System page will open up next. You will see a Customer login box on the screen. If you have an account on the SOS portal, then enter your User ID and Password and click on the ‘Login’ tab. If you do not have an account, then click on the ‘Create a User Account’ tab for Account Creation.washington-certificate-of-formation

  3. Start to file your application

    Now, log in to your account on the SOS business portal. On the user homepage, select the option of “Create or Register a Business” from the toolbar. Select the type of business as “Domestic” and then select the option of “Limited Liability Company” from the list. Now, read all the instructions carefully before you start to fill in all the details in the application form. Do not leave out any mandatory information.

  4. Review the details

    Before you finalize your application, recheck all the details entered by you in the application form. Every detail should be correct and accurate to your knowledge.

  5. Make the payment

    Once you have completed your application, you can proceed to the payment gateway page. Pay $200 as the online filing fee for your application. Once you have submitted the application form successfully, you will receive a notification from the Secretary of State office confirming your application with the office.

Washington Articles of Organization Filing By Mail

If you opt for an offline method while filing your application, you can do that as well by sending your application through the mail. Follow the instructions below to file by mail.

  • You can access the Application forms on the Corporation page on the Washington Secretary of State website by clicking on the ‘Complete Paper form’ under Washington Limited Liability Company heading. You can also download the Application form PDF here.
  • Read all the instructions attached to the application form carefully and proceed to fill out the application form.
  • You can attach the name reservation certificate with the application form.
  • Review all the information entered by you. Do not miss out on providing details under the mandatory fields.
  • Issue a money order or check for $180 as the filing fee for your application, payable to the “Secretary of State”. For expedited service, you can include an additional $50 in the total amount.
  • Arrange the documents together and mail to the address, Corporations & Charities Division, PO Box 40234 Olympia, WA 98504-0234. You can drop your application in person to the following address: Corporations & Charities Division, 801 Capitol Way S Olympia, WA 98501-1226.

Cost of Filing Articles of Organization in Washington

Though online mode is generally preferred over offline mode due to user-friendly access and easy updates. The State of Washington has different rates for registration for the different filing methods. Here is the cost of filing formation articles in Washington,

  • Online filing costs $200.00
  • By mail filing costs $180.00

Where Can You Find Your Washington LLC Articles of Organization

Articles of Organization for Washington LLC can be accessed through the Washington Corporations and Charities System. You can also download the PDF from the Washington Corporations Division website.

Creating an LLC in Washington is a simple and fast process. However, you will need to complete several state and federal requirements before you can actually start your business. One of these requirements is filing your Washington LLC Articles of Organization. This document will detail the legal formation of your business and provide basic information about it. You can order a certified copy of your articles of organization by mail, online, or in person. If you prefer, you can also download state-provided PDFs.

Your Washington LLC Articles of Organization also include the name of your LLC, the name of the person who is forming the LLC, the name of your registered agent, and the date of formation. If you have a specified end date for your LLC, you must also specify this date. You may also enter your default address into the business purpose section. If you have an alternate address for your registered agent, you will have to enter that address.

The registered agent is the entity that will accept official mail, tax forms, and other government correspondence from your Washington LLC. A Washington LLC’s registered agent must be a Washington resident or a corporation that is registered to conduct business in Washington. The registered agent’s office should be located in Washington. If your business does not have an office in Washington, the registered agent can be an individual or a family member. The registered agent’s office should be open during normal business hours. The registered agent’s physical address should be listed on your Certificate of Formation.

Once you have your Washington LLC Articles of Organization, you will need to file your initial report within 120 days of formation. If you are filing for expedited processing, you will need to pay an additional $50 fee. This will expedite the process to two business days instead of the normal five business days.

When you file your initial report, you will also be required to list your LLC’s Governor. This is the person who is in charge of the LLC’s operations. If you have more than one Governor, you will need to make sure that all members have their own Governor. You also may be required to provide a list of the members. You may also need to provide an operating agreement for your LLC. Regardless of the requirements, it is highly recommended that you provide a written operating agreement for your LLC. This document can help to settle potential litigation that may arise over a financial agreement.

An LLC in Washington must also provide an annual report. An annual report is due by the end of the month in which your registration anniversary falls. If you fail to file your annual report by the deadline, you will risk being dissolved. You can also set your Washington LLC to automatically shut down at a future date. This can save you a lot of time and hassle at a later date.

You can order a certified copy of your Washington LLC Articles of Organization online or by mail. You can also order a certified copy of your Certificate of Formation online, by mail, or in person. If you have questions about your Washington LLC’s Articles of Organization, you can contact the Corporations and Charities Division of the Washington Secretary of State. The division is located at 801 Capitol Way S in Olympia.


What are Articles of Organization?

Articles of Organization is a legal document that will officially make your LLC into existence. This document is needed specifically for Washington State in forming an LLC business structure.

What information do the Articles of Organization application need?

The application form for the Articles of Organization needs to include the LLC name, date of establishment, the company’s registered office, business purpose, how long the business will exist, and a copy of the LLC’s name registration certificate.

What is the recommended method of filing Articles of Organization, online or by mail?

Filing by mail or in person is neither highly recommended nor required; waiting an extra week for your LLC to be approved isn’t that bad. The LLC approval you send in will be returned by mail. Online filing, meanwhile, is more convenient as you won’t have to stay in a queue.

In Conclusion

Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation is the most important document for your Washington LLC. Before you submit/file the document make sure to provide proper and correct information about your company. If you have any questions, share that below in the comment section.

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