Searching for a WA Secretary of State LLC is helpful when a company wants to form a limited liability company. This can help them see if a similar company is already in existence or who their competition is. Knowing how to search for this will make the process easier and quicker.

Entity Name Search Instructions

The first step to creating a limited liability company is to make sure the name that's desired is available. An availability search can be done on the Washington Secretary of State's website. The name should be put in the first field on the page along with the organization type chosen. A list will come up with any relevant names to see if the name is already in use and if the business is still active. The Public Access System makes this information available to the public.

Searching for a UBI, or unified business identifier, can be done to see just one company's information. All relevant information that's in the Public Access System will come up, including the registered agent information, governing people, and expiration date.

Advanced Search Instructions

An advanced search can be done to further narrow down the results. The following information can be input to be searched for:

  • Organization name
  • Type of organization
  • Type of business
  • Name of the governing person(s)
  • Name, city, and zip code of the registered agent
  • Date the company was incorporated

Once all this information has been entered, all the companies that meet these requirements will show up. They can be clicked on to see more detail about the company. Documents such as the Certificate of Existence can be purchased from here.

Initial Report Instructions

The initial report is also known as the first annual report for the limited liability company. This must be filed with the Washington Secretary of State and has a deadline of 120 days from the day the Certificate of Formation was filed. The initial report can be filed online or by mail. However, this depends if the LLC has already been formed or not. In Washington, an LLC is created when the Certificate of Formation is filed.

If this hasn't been filed yet, the company should submit it online, as the initial report is included for no extra fee. If the Certificate of Formation has already been filed, it's not an option to file the initial report online. Therefore the only way to file it is by mail, which costs $10. The processing time when submitted by mail is approximately two weeks. If the deadline is approaching for the initial report and it needs to be processed quickly, an extra $50 can be paid to get the document processed in less than three business days.

If the initial report isn't filed, the Secretary of State has the right to dissolve the company. A reminder notice will be sent by mail from the Secretary of State and an email sent to the registered agent after the Certificate of Formation is filed. Even if a notice isn't received, the company still has the responsibility to file the initial report.

Completing the Initial Report

The initial report isn't able to be filled out online, as you cannot fill out the PDF. The form must be printed and filled out with a black pen. If the handwriting is not legible, the Secretary of State may reject it. There are helpful instructions on the first page that explain how to fill this out, but that page doesn't need to be turned in when the first page is submitted.

The name and address of the registered agent should be listed on the form. If that doesn't need to be changed, the current registered agent/office part can be skipped. In the case that the agent does need to be changed, the box should be checked that states "I am changing my registered agent" and page three should be filled out completely. If the office of the LLC is in Washington, the box that states "principal office in Washington State" should be marked with "yes." Only street addresses can be used, as P.O. boxes are not allowed.

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