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What is an L.L.C.?
An L.L.C. is a Limited Liability Company. This is a form of business which is similar to a partnership, but provides some protection from liability for its members.
How do I start a corporation?
The actual process of incorporation is not complicated. However, deciding whether you want to incorporate is a decision you should make only after consulting with your tax advisor and legal counsel. To incorporate, you need to first verify that the name you want to use for the corporation is available from the Secretary of State's office. When you have secured your corporate name, you will need to file your "Articles of Incorporation," a "Consent to Serve as Registered Agent," and a check for the filing fee to the Secretary of State Corporations Division in Olympia, Washington. The forms are available online from the Secretary of State.
What is a Registered Agent?
A Registered Agent is the person listed with the Secretary of State's office as the official representative of the corporation. The Registered Agent is the person responsible for accepting service of process (lawsuits) if the corporation is sued. The Registered Agent is also periodically responsible for signing corporate documents. All corporations must have a Registered Agent, and the Registered Agent must provide a physical address (not a Post Office Box) to the Secretary of State's office.
How can I determine the corporate status of a Washington business?
Contact the Secretary of State's Corporations Division. They can provide you with copies of public documents or information relating to a current corporation for a fee. For more information, see our "Other Resources" page for a link to the Secretary of State's web page.