How to Start a Nonprofit in Washington State

Get the Details About the Washington State Nonprofit Registration Requirements

Everywhere you look throughout the United States, nonprofits are providing valuable programs and services to the communities they serve. For over 100 years, Washington State’s nonprofits have improved the quality of life for residents of the “Evergreen State.” From the large urban areas of Seattle and Spokane to the seat of state government in Olympia, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest may entice you to complete Washington’s charitable registration application and prepare to launch your entrepreneurial plans!

Washington State’s Nonprofit Registration Requirements

 The nonprofits in Washington State provide much-needed services and programs in every county, both rural and urban. Washington’s charitable registration process requires nonprofits to support government programs, veterans, the elderly or disabled, cultural or environmental programs, social service and healthcare, or other service-based needs. Currently, more than 32,000 Washington State nonprofits employ 260,000 individuals, or approximately 10 percent of the state’s workforce.

Starting & Growing Your Nonprofit in Washington State

Do you want to know more about how to start a nonprofit in Washington State and if it’s the right place for your 501c3 nonprofit organization? To learn about the Washington State nonprofit registration requirements, review our resources that will walk you through all parts of Washington’s charitable registration process.



Articles of Incorporation

Business Entity Search



Average Processing Time

15-20 Business Days

Electronic Filing?


Charity Registration

State Requirement?


Charity Registration Search



Renewal Requirement?


990 EZ Requirement?


Annual Report

State Requirement?



Within 90 days of incorporating with the state; (then) Biennially (Every 2 years)



Other Exemptions

State Income Tax

Must file – no fee for 3500a

Sales Tax Exemption

Not exempt

Tax Returns

All organizations (except those classified as churches) are required to file an annual 990 form (990N, 990EZ, 990, or 990PF) to be exempt from Income Tax.

The 990 return is due on the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year.

Failure to file for 3 consecutive years could cause your organization to lose tax-exempt status.

Understanding Washington State’s Nonprofit Registration Requirements

All Washington State nonprofits must follow the state’s regulations to maintain tax-exempt status. Specific rules will vary, but generally, charitable organizations must provide contact information, Board member information, and details about the parties responsible for the registration. In addition, state compliance rules may request employment data and annual financial reports.

The positive impact that Washington State’s charitable organizations have created is impressive. If you want to focus your entrepreneurial ideas to improve the world, then review the information in our Nonprofit Education Center. You’ll discover helpful information about how to start a nonprofit in Washington State, and our testimonials will inspire you with the stories of other nonprofit entrepreneurs. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have about how to start a nonprofit in Washington State. We look forward to helping you start, grow, and expand your nonprofit goals!

Easily navigate California’s nonprofit requirements with BryteBridge Nonprofit Solutions on your side. We’re experts in the field, having helped over 30,000 people nationwide.

Give us a call today and find out how we can best help you help others!