Forming an LLC is generally a good idea if you’re starting a business. If your business is based in Washington, then you have to file your LLC with the Washington state government. That way, you’re legal to operate and you avoid unnecessary fines and penalties.
However, if it’s your first time to form an LLC, then you need to know that it will involve quite a bit of paperwork. And that paperwork doesn’t end once you’ve formally established your LLC. To maintain the good standing of your Limited Liability Corporation, you have to periodically send in more paperwork.
These paper works include filing your LLC Annual Reports. Washington law requires all LLCs based in Washington to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of the State of Washington.
What is an LLC Annual Report?
An LLC Annual Report is a report you file every year, and it’s meant to furnish the state government with the crucial details regarding your LLC. This report should include any updated info or changes that may have happened since the last filing period. As the Annual Report contains crucial data, it’s also sometimes referred to as a statement of information.
Every LLC in most states has to submit its Annual Reports. The required information may change a bit depending on the state, but usually, the report will contain the following information:
The name of the LLC
- The main business address of the LLC
- The names of each LLC member (owner), and their addresses
- All the crucial ID numbers for the LLC, such as the state entity number
- The main purpose of the LLC
- A list of authorized signatories
- Information regarding your registered agent
In the State of Washington, Annual Reports can be filed online, or through the mail, or in person. Filing through the mail involves downloading and completing a paper form of the Annual Report, and mailing it along with the payment for the filing fee to the address:
Corporations and Charities Division
P.O. Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234
Filing in person involves hand-delivering the completed form and the payment for the filing fee to the address: 801 Capitol Way S.
Mail and in-person filing can take between 10 to 12 working days to be processed. However, there is an option of making use of the expedited service which costs 50 USD for a 2 working day processing for mailed Filings and same day processing for I’m person filing.
The cost of the Annual Report in the State of Washington is 60 USD only. However, it may cost more if you fail to file the Report on time, as it may result in a penalty fee of 25 USD and also the dissolution of your LLC. You’ll then have to spend money, time, and effort to reestablish the LLC.
Filing the Annual Report helps to make sure that your LLC is compliant with all state regulations. That should keep your LLC in good standing with the Washington state government, ensuring that your business enjoys all the LLC benefits and protections.
If you’re a member (owner) of a Washington LLC, you have to ensure that you send in these Annual Reports on time. Your LLC Annual Report is due on the last day of the month your LLC was formed/approved by the State of Washington.
Unlike most States, the State of Washington requires LLC to submit an Initial report within 120 they form their LLC. There is a filing fee of 10 USD only for the initial report. Subsequent Annual Reports will be due on the last day of the Month that your LLC was formed/approved. For example, let’s assume your LLC was formed on January 27, 2021. Your Annual Report after the Initial Report will be due by January 31, 2022.
To keep you from forgetting, the state helpfully sends out reminders about 45 days before the date your LLC was formed/approved. These reminders will be sent to the address of your registered agent you listed on your application when you filed the Certificate of Formation. This is a great step by the State of Washington. However, it is advised that you set your own reminder to ensure you do not forget to submit your annual Report.
It’s easy since you only have to go online. Here are the detailed steps you need to take to file your Washington LLC Annual Report:
- Go to the Washington Corporations and Charities filing portal.
- You may need to create a new account on the system if you don’t already have one. However, you don’t necessarily need an account to file an annual report.
- Choose either of the two options of the Annual Report with and without changes depending on your circumstance.
- Make all the necessary changes to your details as required.
- You’ll be required to make a payment of the 60 USD filing fee that the State Charges with your Debit/Credit card by entering your card detail.
- The next page will confirm that you’ve submitted your Annual Report for Filing and have made the payment.
Again, just make sure you do all this on or before the last day of the month that your LLC was formed/approved. Your Online filing will be processed immediately.
Who Should Do This Task?
Basically, the right person to do the task is the person with access to the necessary information that must be included in the Annual Report. This can be a member or LLC officer. It can be someone that the LLC authorizes to file on its behalf.
It’s very possible that you can foist this task to professionals, such as the online service provider that helped you with the LLC formation procedure and provided you with its registered agent services. This may be part of a package (usually the medium or premium package), though it may be available as an extra service for a fee with the basic formation package.
This does save you a lot of time and tedium. Plus, you can concentrate on your business while the service deals with all the necessary Report filing.
In addition, the service provider can maintain your privacy, as it will take care to submit only the absolutely required information. The privacy benefits may include the following:
- The service provider can list their contact information, so that you won’t have to file your residential address and personal smartphone number.
- The service provider will also list only their IP address. This limits the connection between your smartphone, personal PC, and LLC work computers. That way, advertisers can’t track you online.
- In case that the Report asks for bank and credit card information (when the filing suddenly comes with a fee), then the service providers also furnish their own bank and credit card information. You still protect your own bank and credit card info.
An online service provider charges much more reasonable rates, compared to what a lawyer might charge. A reputable service provider can also file the Annual Report as soon as possible, so you can be sure that it won’t be late and your LLC won’t suffer any fines and penalties (such as dissolution). You can check our top brands such as ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent.
There’s no uniform fee as to what a service provider will charge for filing the Washington LLC Annual Report. The best brands in the business usually charge $100 or so.
If you’re the sole owner of the LLC and you have the time to spare, then it’s really no trouble doing this yourself. The main risk is that you may make a mistake, by entering the wrong information or by pressing the wrong keys. A professional with extensive experience with this task will be very unlikely to make those mistakes.
Still, it’s all up to you. Just make sure you get the Annual Report filing done for the year!