How To Set Up An LLC In Washington State

Once you’ve completed the Certificate of Formation and have gotten it approved by the Secretary of State, you’ll want to take the following steps in completing the establishment of your LLC.

Obtain a Business License

To legally operate in the state, you must have a valid business license. Your LLC can obtain the business license from the Department of Revenue. It generally takes up to ten business days to process the request, though it can take up to three weeks for companies that need city or state endorsements. Application fees vary based on the type of business you have and what endorsements are required.

Create an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement outlines how the business will go about running day-to-day operations. It isn’t required but is an important step in making sure that all members of the business understand their roles and responsibilities in the company. It also sets the foundation for how the company’s mission will be accomplished.

The operating agreement generally contains:

  • Members’ names and contributions
  • How profits and losses get distributed
  • Holding meetings and voting rights
  • How to admit new members and deal with departing members
  • Management of the LLC
  • Dissolution procedures

Once the operating agreement is complete, place it in the company records book with the formation certificates from the state.

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Go to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and obtain a free EIN. This is a tax identification number used for tax purposes and to get a bank account. Most LLCs are required to get an EIN.

File an Initial Report

Washington State requires that any new LLC file an Initial Report with the Secretary of State within 120 days of formation. This is the first annual report filed with the state. There is a $10 fee to file this report, whether by paper or electronically. You can expedite its filing by paying an extra $50 fee. Washington LLCs must also file an annual report each year.


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