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Incorporate in Washington - State Requirements

It is prudent to consider if your future company will be better served by incorporation in a different state, other than your home state, before you proceed with plans to incorporate in Washington. You are not required to incorporate your business in the state where it is headquartered.

Business experts agree that Delaware provides the most progressive, supportive and inexpensive system for the formation of business entities. In fact, more than 50% of all Fortune 500 companies incorporate in the state of Delaware. For many companies the tax benefits, anonymity and streamlined corporate bylaws of Delaware will have an immediate and far-reaching impact on their business operations.

Incorporating in Delaware could have a significant impact on the operations of your company, as well. That is why it is a matter that you should explore before making a final decision. We recommend that you review the "Incorporate in Delaware" article on this site. Then, either continue with your review of this article, and other steps to incorporate in Washington, or begin the simple procedures that exist to carry out your incorporation in Delaware.

Registering a Company Name in Washington

A name search is required for registration of a company name. Contingent on the name search, any proposed name for a new corporation that is a duplicate of the name for an existing corporation will be denied registration. In addition, any proposed name for a new corporation that can be construed as or mistaken for an existing domestic or foreign corporation will be denied registration.

Names may not contain wording that implies that the corporation is organized to do business in a manner other than what is stated within the official filing of registration. The name cannot include words that imply that the business is a bank, or a savings and loan, or any other words or phrases that are subject to regulation by an agency of Washington state. The word "Incorporated," "Corporation," "Company," "Limited," or an abbreviated version of any of these signifiers must be included as part of the incorporated business name.

Washington Incorporation, Board and Operations Requirements

  • The Board must have a minimum of one director.
  • A place-of-residence requirement is not imposed.
  • An age requirement for directors is not imposed.
  • Articles of incorporation do not require names of directors to be listed.
  • Articles of incorporation do not require names of corporate officers to be listed.
  • Minutes of shareholders' meetings, all shareholders communications distributed within the last three years, as well as bylaws and articles of incorporation, must be kept
  • at the main corporate office.
  • Names and business addresses for all active officers and directors must be kept at the main corporate office, along with the current annual report.
  • The S Corporation is a recognized entity, but Washington has no state income tax.
  • Initial filing fees are not revised if shares or par value increases.

  • If you want to learn more about the procedures that must be followed to incorporate in Washington, you can read detailed articles on this site that explain how to select a business entity, as well as articles that outline the step-by-step process of incorporation.


    Want more information about registering a company? Visit our Guide. Check out incorporation fees by each state.

    Tip: Did you know that Delaware and Nevada are top two incorporation states?

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