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How to start a corporation in Washington state?

Updated time: 06 Sep, 2021, 21:25 (UTC+08:00)

Washington has always been an ideal state for investors to set foot in because of the great benefits that this place can bring to businesses. Foreign corporations doing business in Washington state are gradually becoming more popular. In the article below, we will give entrepreneurs an overview of setting up a corporation, especially an S corporation in Washington state.

Why should you start an S corporation in Washington state?

From 2019 to now, Washington has always been ranked as the best state in the US in overall rankings including categories such as Health Care, Education, Economy, Infrastructure by the US News with a total GDP of up to 613 billion USD. The state has more than 600,000 small and medium-sized businesses, accounting for more than half of its private-sector workforce. Due to its extremely favorable coastal location, Washington has always been a key exporter of the United States, which is also one of the advantages for foreign corporations doing business in Washington who want to promote more in the field of import and export.

Washington State is home to more than 600,000 small and medium-sized businesses

Washington State is home to more than 600,000 small and medium-sized businesses

In addition, Washington is the nation's agricultural and food center which leads in dairy, potato, and livestock production. The establishment of companies and corporations here can create a huge economic leverage for businesses doing business in this field. At the same time, with the advantage of Washington's geographical location, it will become easier for you to import and export goods to other countries in the Americas as well as to Europe.

Popular industries to do business in Washington state

Several accelerators and growth centers have opened in Washington in recent years, giving entrepreneurs access to experienced mentors, not to mention showcasing their products and services for potential partners. For this reason, competition among s corporations in Washington state is more intense compared to other states. Here are some ideas to consider before starting your own s corporations in Washington state:

  • Farms with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
  • Information technology
  • Food Service
  • Craft beverage production
  • Advise
  • Healthcare
  • Electricity
  • Food Technology
  • Import and Export

Seattle Seaport in Seattle, Washington - one of the busiest port in the US

Seattle Seaport in Seattle, Washington - one of the busiest port in the US

How to start an s corporation in Washington state?

S corporations can be understood as a type of corporation that meets the specific requirements of the Internal Revenue Code (USA). The requirements to form a company are that it has no more than 100 shareholders, is a domestic corporation (USA), consists of only qualified shareholders, and is issued only one class of securities. The company may choose to pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credits directly to shareholders and avoid double taxation.

There are many different guidelines for forming an S corporation in Washington state. However, today we will summarize and give you the steps to set up an s corp in the most concise and easy way so that businesses are able to know what you should prepare before doing business in Washington state.

Step 1: Choose a Name For Your S Corp in Washington state

Your company name not only plays an important role in marketing goods and services to consumers but is also considered as the identity of the entire business, you should think carefully and choose your business name wisely. There are some requirements for the name of an S corporation in Washington state:

  • Your s corporation in Washington state name must contain the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company,” or “limited,” or “corp.,” “inc.,” “co.,” or “ltd.” or words or abbreviations in another language with the same meaning.
  • Your business name cannot contain any of the following words or phrases: “Bank,” “banking,” “banker,” “building,” “cooperative,” or any combination of the words “industrial” and “loan,” or or phrases prohibited by any Washington state statute.
  • Your business name must be distinguishable from the name of any other corporations' ones including Washington reserved names.

You could be sued if you use a business name that is too similar to the name or trademark of another business. Therefore, you have to make sure to search for trademarks or names already registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Department of Licensing before registering your S corporation in Washington state’s name.

A business name or trademark that resembles another business could get you sued

A business name or trademark that resembles another business could get you sued

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

No matter where you file your Articles of Incorporation, you will be asked to give the name of the registered agent for your s corporation in Washington state.

A registered agent is a person or entity that is appointed to accept tax documents and service of process or official mail on behalf of your business.

Who can be your registered agent? Your registered agent can be an individual, professional registered agent service or you can appoint yourself. A registered agent must have a physical presence (physical address) within Washington and be available during all business hours. A post office box (PO Box) does not constitute a physical presence by the state's requirements.

Step 3: Choose your S corp in Washington state’s Board of Directors

Under Washington law, your corporation must appoint at least one director who will be in charge of doing business in Washington state until the first shareholder meeting. This designated director may not need to be a resident of Washington. However, the number of directors must be specified in the charter of the company or the charter of incorporation and they must be responsible for the adoption, amendment and abolition of operating regulations as well as for supervision and official election.

The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the company's activities and running the organization by establishing policies for approving certain company activities and transactions. Transactions include contracts and agreements, property purchases, etc.

Step 4: File your Articles of Incorporation

Typically, the document under these articles of incorporation is short and simple, which you can fill out yourself on a form provided by the U.S. Secretary of State's website. Then, you submit the dossier and documents related to the Foreign Minister's business and pay the registration fee as prescribed by law. You can apply in person at the competent authority or through the online portal. Your S corporation in Washington state will be able to go into business once the certificate of incorporation is submitted by the Secretary of State.

Through the above steps, hopefully we have provided a practical answer to your question “How to start a corporation in Washington state?”. If you'd like to have a professional and reliable service help you form your Washington Corporation, please contact us today to get the fastest information, worry free services, and expert support you need.

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