Washington Business Entity Search

Whether you’re forming a new business in Washington or need information on an existing business, Washington Business Entity Search is an excellent resource. 

If you’re setting up a new LLC or company, you’ll need to find a name that’s unique and distinguishable upon record. The business entity search makes it possible to check for name availability. 

It’s also possible to look for currently existing businesses and get relevant information. Washington has two options for its business entity search. Both of these are managed by the Corporations and Charities Filing System, from the office of the Washington Secretary of State.

  1. Business Search (also called corporation search, though it contains other entities as well)
  2. Advanced Business Search

Washington Secretary Of State Business Search

A simple business search is available on the Washington Secretary of State website. The search, also called WA SOS Corp Search or corporation search, includes various business entities registered with the state. 

In a sense, this Washington Secretary Of State Business Search is a simple tool to use when you want a quick lookup for business entities in the state. The categories for conducting this search are:

  • By Name – Use the name of an entity to conduct the search.
    • Contains: The search query can include a word/term/keyword that is present in the name of a business entity. The order of its placement is not important, as long as the query is available in the name of a business. For example, searching for “Dog” will return the names of businesses that have the word “dog” in their name.
    • Begins With: This looks for entity names that begin with the search query entered. As long as you know the starting words in the name of a business entity, you can search for its existence.
    • Exact Match: The entered search should be an exact match for the name of a business entity. As the name implies, this is an exact search and returns only the result with a specific business entity. 
  • By UBI Number – Search for entities by their Unified Business Identifier number. This is an exact search and only returns the entity represented by the UBI number entered.

The WA SOS business search is a fairly simple and straightforward option that is usable in most circumstances. However, if you’d like to go more specific, the state has another option to choose.

Washington LLC Lookup Through Advanced Business Search

The advanced business search function enables users to take a more detailed look while searching for available business entities. This function offers a more streamlined approach and more advanced options to check for specific entities. 

A user can, for example, choose to search for a business entity only amongst a specific set of business entities. This encompasses foreign and domestic entities and includes corporations, associations, LLCs, partnerships, and other entities. 

Overall, the Advanced Search makes things like Washington LLC lookup easier to manage. You can limit the results to LLCs only and add additional conditions to the status of the company. While we specifically mention LLCs, this stays true for all entities available in the database. 

Advanced business search allows search using the following parameters:

  • Business Name
    • Contains
    • Exact Match
    • Starts With
  • Business Type (corporation, LLC, partnership, association, etc.)
  • Business Status
  • Date of Incorporation/Filing/Registration (start date and end date)

Apart from the business name, you can also search using the following criteria:

Information And Actions Available With Washington Business Entity Search

On the results page, you’ll find information that includes the business name, UBI number, business type, Registered Agent name, principal address, and business status. 

More detailed information is available by clicking on the name of the entity. This includes information on the business and the registered agent. You can also access the filing history and name history of a business from this section. 

While Advanced Search takes a more nuanced approach to finding a business, the results page for both search options is the same.

How To Reserve A Business Name In Washington State

Washington has a huge number of businesses registered with the secretary of state. Given the large number of entities registered, it might be a tough task to find a name that’s unique and distinguishable upon record. Equally important, you’d want a name that’s attractive and memorable for potential customers.

If you find such a name, but aren’t prepared to start your business yet, it’s a good idea to reserve the name for your business. That way, you can make arrangements to start your business without worrying about losing the name.

Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Business Name In Washington?

No, the state of Washington doesn’t require you to reserve a name for your business.

The process is entirely optional. You may reserve the name at your own discretion, if you believe that is a good step to take. On the other hand, if you’re not worried about name availability or aren’t concerned about reservation, it might be better to not devote money and efforts in this direction.

How Much Does A Name Reservation Cost And How Long Does It Last?

Once the state accepts your name reservation request, it is valid for 180 days. The filing fee for a name reservation in Washington is $30. You may choose to expedite the filing by paying an additional amount of $50.

Reserving A Business Name In Washington

You can reserve a business name in Washington by filing the Name Reservation form. This, and other forms are available on the Forms section of the WA SOS website.

You can provide up to three names to be considered for reservation, though only one can be accepted. The state will go through the names listed in the order of preference. The first available name will qualify for reservation. 

The associated payment for filing fee can be made using a check or money order made in favor of “Secretary of State”. Once you’re ready, the form and the fee should be mailed to:

Secretary of State
Corporation Division
801 Capitol Way S
PO Box 40234
Olympia WA 98504-0234

Note that all filing fee is non-refundable. Also, though the state offers three options for name reservation, it’s a good idea to do your own homework to ensure better chances of success. Going through Washington business entity search to check for name availability can considerably increase the chances of a successful filing.