Business Startup

Washington LLC Formation Checklist

The Washington Secretary of State has created a streamlined process for businesses to create limited liability companies. If you’re forming a LLC in Washington, the following Washington LLC formation checklist might be helpful to review to ensure you consider the steps for proper LLC formation:

1) Check the Business Name. Before settling on a business name, you’ll want to make sure that the name is available and conforms with statutory requirements. An easy way to check if your name is available is by running a business search here.

LLC Checklist

2) Certificate of Formation. Prepare and file the Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State to “create” the LLC. You can file the Certificate of Formation online here. When you file your Certificate online, you can also file your initial report. The initial report provides the Secretary of State with vital information it is required to keep track of.

3) Operating Agreement. Starting January 1, 2016, operating agreements may be oral or implied. Because of the importance of defining and understanding each members’ rights and responsibilities in operating the LLC, members of a LLC should consider consulting with a business attorney to draft a written operating agreement and any other applicable agreements, such as an interest (membership unit) vesting agreement.

4) Master Business License. Once you receive your UBI number from the Secretary of State (after you file your Certificate of Formation), file your master business license application with the Department of Revenue to receive your master business license. You can do that online here.

5) Local Business Licenses. You’ll want to check with your local county and cities for each business location you have to see if they have licensing requirements for your type of business.

6) Tax Identification Number. Apply for your tax identification number, also called an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. You can do that online here.

Be aware that, changes to the law governing limited liability companies go into effect on January 1, 2016. You can read about those changes here. Also, remember that a checklist simply helps you consider major items generally applicable to all businesses; you should ensure you meet all requirements for your particular business.

If you would like to learn more about the Washington LLC formation checklist, the upcoming changes to Washington’s Limited Liability Company Act, limited liability companies, or LLC operating agreements, please contact us today.

 PhotoMariela Morales | Flickr


Charlene Angeles

Charlene makes time to enjoy the outdoors and has explored Washington's Big Four Ice Caves.

146 N Canal Street, Suite 350   |