There are three ways to incorporate your business in Washington:

  1. Hire a lawyer to do the job for you (the most expensive option)
  2. Walk in to the Secretary of State office and do it by yourself
  3. Use a professional incorporation company, like Active Filings.

WA Articles of Incorporation Requirements

The Articles of Incorporation is the formation document you file with the Washington Secretary of State to register your corporation with the state (LLCs file Articles of Organization). In Washington, you can file Articles of Incorporation by mail, fax or in person (it will take the SOS weeks to process your filing or you can do a 1-day online expedite). If you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business, we are authorized to file online with the state, and we’ll form your LLC or corporation in 1 business day.

To complete your Washington Articles of Incorporation, you’ll need to include the following information:

Company Name The corporate name must include the word “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company” or “limited” or abbreviation “corp”, “inc”, “co”, “ltd”. The name must not imply a purpose other than the purpose stated in charter. The name must be distinguishable from the name of any other domestic corporation or of any foreign corporation authorized to do business in state. Name must not include certain enumerated words indicating that it is bank or savings and loan or any other words or phrases prohibited by any state statute.
Company Purpose List the reason for forming the corporation or the business/activity which the corporation will engage in.
Authorized Shares List the number of shares of corporate stock you are currently authorizing. Technically, this is when you “create” your stock (more can always be authorized later), and that stock will be issued to your shareholders at your first shareholder meeting.
Registered Agent Information In Washington, a registered agent (also known as a resident agent) is an individual or business that serves as your company’s official point of contact for lawsuits and legal notices. As part of Active Filings’ incorporation service, we include a year of registered agent service when you hire us to incorporate your business in Washington.
Names and Addresses of Incorporators The incorporator is the person or company authorized to form the corporation. For example, if you hired us, we would list ourselves as the incorporator. The incorporator does not have any stake in or claim to the corporation being formed.

Director Information

Minimum Number One or more
Residence Requirements No provision
Age Requriements None
Articles of Incorporation Directors are not required to be listed

Officer Information

Articles of Incorporation Officers are not required to be listed

Stock Information

No extra filing fees based on number of share or amount of par value.

Yearly Requirements

Annual Statements

File statement with Secretary of State on or before expiration of the corporation’s corporate license, or not less than 30 days or more than 90 days prior to the expiration date of any staggered yearly license. Secretary of State mails notice to each domestic corporation that its annual license fee must be paid. Annual license fee is $50 ($10 for inactive corporations), payable to the Secretary of State.

Income Tax Rate

No income tax.

For more information on taxes, visit

When you hire Active Filings to incorporate your business in Washington, you’ll receive everything you need to track and maintain your company, this includes:

  • Free expedited service
  • One year of registered agent service
  • An online account where you can add additional services, track orders, maintenance requirements and digital notifications.

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Learn More About Incorporation Requirements In Your State