Washington Certificate of Authority: Everything You Should Know



A Washington certificate of authority is required if you want to operate legally within the state. You’ll need one if you are opening a bank account, applying for a loan, getting a credit card, or doing anything else involving money. You don’t even need to live in the state to obtain one.

Companies must register with the Washington Secretary of State to avoid any potential legal issues. This includes companies looking to sell products online, open a business, or do anything related to selling goods or services. Banks, vendors, and others may require a Washington certificate.

What exactly is a Washington authority certificate?

A Washington certificate of authority is needed to do business in Washington state. This includes companies, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations, corporations, trusts and individuals.

Companies must file a registration application within 10 days of opening up a business. Once filed, the company is considered registered in Washington. However, filing a certificate of authority does NOT mean that the company is written in Washington. Registering a company in Washington must pay $50 plus fees to the secretary of state.

The process is easy and fast.

When do I need a certificate of authority?

A Certificate Authority (CA) is a third-party organization that issues digital certificates. They are used to identify entities online and verify their identity. This allows people to know whom they are talking to over the Internet. For example, when you send someone money via PayPal, you use a secure HTTPS connection. You trust PayPal because it uses a trusted certificate issued by a Certificate Authority.

Obtaining a certificate involves meeting specific requirements set out by the issuing authority. These include things like having a physical presence in the state where the certificate is being applied for, hiring employees who live in the state, etc.

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The most common reasons for opening a CA are to open an office or physical location, hire employees who live within the state, and offer additional services such as email encryption.

How can I obtain a Washington authority certificate?

The process to obtain a Washington certificate of authorization varies depending on whether you are filing as a corporation, limited liability partnership, general partnership or sole proprietorship. If you are filing as an LLC, LP, GP, or SP, you must complete and submit the following forms to the Secretary of State’s Office:

Application for Certificate of Authority – Form WAC 511-01

Certificate of Good Standing – Form WAC 513-01

Business License – Form WAC 515-02

If you are filing as a Corporation, you must complete and send the following forms to the Department of Revenue:

Incorporation Fee – DC Incorporation Fee Schedule


Create your LLC Corporation with just 3 easy steps


For Foreign Corporations:

A corporation must register if it is doing business in Washington state before qualifying as a foreign person. The registration fee is $40 per year. A certificate of good standing is required to qualify as a foreign person.

For Foreign Limited Liability Companies:

A foreign limited liability company (LLC) must register with the secretary of state if it conducts business in Washington state or owns property here. You do not have to register if you are incorporated outside of Washington.

Foreign LLCs must provide information about their owners, directors, managers, principal place of business, registered agent, address, telephone number, and email address. You must also submit proof of incorporation and evidence of good standing.

If you fail to comply with the requirements, you could face penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation.

For Foreign Nonprofit Corporations:

– Organizations must file a registration statement with the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days of registering.

– This includes filing a copy of the organization’s articles of incorporation or similar governing documents.

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– If the organization is incorporated under the laws of another state, it must submit a certified copy of its certificate of good standing.

– An organization must register with the Secretary of State even if it doesn’t do business in Washington.

– However, if the organization qualifies as a foreign corporation under federal law, it must register with the IRS rather than the Secretary of State.

For Foreign Professional Corporations:

A corporation must register if it conducts business in Washington state before its foreign registration. This includes corporations formed under the laws of another jurisdiction that are doing business in Washington.

If there is an issue with a certificate of good standing, such as a name change or address change, the company will be subject to fines.

For Foreign Limited Partnerships:

If you want to do business in Washington before qualifying as a foreign entity, you must register with Washington State. This includes registering with the Secretary of State’s office. You must pay a fee of $60 annually.

A certified copy isn’ t necessary if you already have a registered domestic LLC. However, it is important to note that there are some differences between a domestic LLC and a foreign limited partnership. For example, a foreign LP doesn’t have voting members, while a domestic LLC does. Also, a foreign LP can’t hold real estate; however, a domestic LLC can.

Foreign Limited Liability Partnerships:

– A limited liability partnership is a form of legal entity used in many countries around the world.

– In the United States, LLCs are treated differently under tax law than LLPs.

– An LLP is taxed like a corporation.

– An LLP can elect to be taxed as a corporation.

– If an LLP chooses to be taxed as a Corporation, it must file Form 8832 with the IRS.

– If an LLC chooses to be taxed as an LLP, it must file Form 8621 with the IRS.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent is someone authorized to accept legal documents on behalf of another person. This includes accepting service of process. You’ll receive a summons and complaint via certified mail if you don’t have a registered agent. You could even lose your case because you didn’t respond to it.

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When you apply for a Washington Certificate of Authority, you must list a registered agent with an address in the state. Your agent will receive service of process on your behalf. We provide same-day document scanning and delivery to ensure you have access to your important paperwork.

Existing annual reports to Washington and initial reporting requirements?

The Washington state government requires annual reports to be submitted within 30 days of filing an initial report. This includes annual reports for corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, unincorporated associations and sole proprietorships. For those entities, the deadline is 60 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

For individuals, the deadline is 90 days after the end of the calendar quarter. If you file late, penalties may apply. You must submit a statement explaining why it took longer than expected to prepare the report. In addition, you must include a copy of the original document or form used to file the report.

What do I need from my home state?

A Washington certificate of authority is required to establish a limited liability corporation (LLC), nonprofit organization, or corporation. To obtain a Washington certificate of authority, you must also submit the following documents:

Limited Liability Company: Certificate Of Existence Dated Within 60 Days.

Must Submit Original Copy.

Corporation: Certificate Of Existence Date Within 60 Days.

Also, Submit an Original Copy.

Nonprofit Organization: Certificate Of Existence With A Date Within 60 Days. Also Submit Original Copy.

In addition to submitting the above documents, you must pay $60 filing fee per LLC, $100 filing fee per corporation, and $10 filing fee per nonprofit organization. You may submit these documents online via www.dol.wa.gov/corpus or mail them along with payment to:

Department of Licensing

Certificate of Authority Division

PO Box 74007

Seattle, WA 98124

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