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Washington Certificate Of Existence


How to Get a Washington Certificate of Existence

A Certificate of Good Standing in Washington state is called a Certificate of Existence. You can order online, by mail or in person. You can no longer order by phone or fax. Normal processing takes 5-7 business days, plus additional time for mailing, and costs $20. Expedited service is available for $50 more ($20 when ordering online), and processing should take less than 2 business days—plus additional time for mail delivery.

You can order

  • Online:
    You can order a Certificate of Existence through the Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System as an option in your User Account.
  • By Mail:
    Requests by mail will be expedited only if paying the additional fee and writing “EXPEDITE” on the envelope. You will need to provide the business name, specific request and a daytime phone number for any questions.
  • In Person:
    An additional $50 fee is required for counter service (as it is considered expedited processing). If received before 3:30pm, requested documents will be processed the same day, usually within 1 hour. The slowest response time will be between noon and 1:30pm.

How much does a Washington Certificate of Existence cost?

There is a $20 for a Certificate of Existence with normal processing.

Is expedited processing available?

Yes. When ordering online, an expedited service fee of $20 is required, in addition to the regular $20 fee. Mail and in-person orders cost an additional $50 for expedited service.

Payment options?

Cash, check, money orders, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Checks or money orders should be payable to the Secretary of State.

How long does it take the Washington Secretary of State to issue a Certificate of Existence?

Expedited Counter Service: same day, usually within 1 hour (in person only).

Expedited processing: 2 business days, plus additional time for mail delivery.

Normal processing: 5-7 business days, plus additional time for mail delivery.

How will my Certificate of Existence be delivered?

You can request they email the certificate back to you, however, they may or may not grant your request. It will be mailed by regular mail, unless you request otherwise and provide a pre-addressed prepaid envelope or Fed Ex account number.

Why would someone need a Certificate of Existence?

There are many situations when business owners are required to prove their businesses exist. These certificates are often required when registering a Washington LLC or Washington Corporation in another state, a process typically known as Foreign Registration.


Credit/debit payment authorization form

Contact Info:

Washington Secretary of State
Corporations Division
801 Capitol Way South
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234
Phone: (360)725-0377
Fax: (360)664-8781 or (360)664-0055

Washington SOS Corporations Division Document Fee Schedule/Expedited Service FAQ.

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