Washington Fundraising Registration Requirements

Washington State Fundraising Registration

Resources for charities, businesses, professional fundraisers, and individuals conducting fundraising activities

 

Washington Nonprofit & Fundraising Company Licenses

Labyrinth provides the state fundraising regulations below as a guide to help you apply for and maintain your ability to fundraise. Need help? We can manage your state registrations for you. Contact us today to learn more.


Washington defines requirements for:

•  Charitable Organization Registration

•   Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

•  Professional Fundraiser Registration

•   Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

•  Charitable Gift Annuity Registration


Need a different state? Visit our 50-state Compliance Guide


Washington Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:  Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program

Law:   Washington Revised Code Annotated §19.09.020 and following; Washington Administrative Code §434-120-100 through 434-120-175

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:  No

Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required? No

Automatic Exemption

Exemption Eligible Organizations:

  • Organizations that raise less than $50,000 from the public in any accounting year when all the activities of the organization, including all fundraising activities, are performed by volunteers
  • Appeals for funds on behalf of a specific individual named in the solicitation, but only if all of the proceeds of the solicitation are given to or expended for the direct benefit of that individual
  • Churches and their integrated auxiliaries
  • Political organizations
  • Law:   RCW 19.09.020 and RCW 19.09.081

    Notes: Exempt organizations can elect to file an Optional Registration for Charitable Organization application with the secretary of state.

    Initial Registration

    Form:   Charitable Organization Registration / Renewal (Including the WA State Combined Fund Drive)

    Instructions:   Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

    Filing Method:   Mail or Online

    Agency Fee:   $60 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing.

    Turnaround:  1 week

    Notes:

  • Some Washington counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
  • - Before you Apply -

    Domestic Applicants:

    Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.

    Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.


    Foreign Applicants:

    Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.

    Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

    If you will foreign qualify in Washington, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process. The certificate cannot be more than 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.


    - How to Apply -

    Domestic Applicants:

    1. File entity formation documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.

    2. Submit a Charitable Organization Registration form and all required attachments to the Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program.


    Foreign Applicants:

    1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Washington. If not required, skip to number 3.

    2. File foreign qualification documents with the Washington Secretary of State - Corporations Division.

    3.Submit a Charitable Organization Registration form and all required attachments to the Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program.


    - Required Attachments -

  • IRS determination letter
  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • List of other states where registered to solicit
  • Trust the #1 Choice for State Charitable Registration
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    Registration Renewal

    Form:   Charitable Organization Registration / Renewal

    Instructions:   Washington Charitable Organization Registration Instructions

    Filing Method:   Mail or Online

    Agency Fee:   $40 + optional $50 expedite fee for 2-3 business day processing

    Due:

  • Annually within 11 months after the close of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal calendar ends December 31, then renewal is due by November 30.
  • There is no official start to the renewal period, so renewals may be submitted as soon as financials become available for the most recently completed fiscal year.
  • Due Date Extension: No extensions are available for charitable registration due dates.

    Penalties: There is a late fee of $50.

    Notes:

  • The late fee is assessed by the received date, not the postmarked date. The state accepts overnight/express mail at a different mailing address.
  • Attach your annual financial report.
  • The URS is no longer accepted as of September 12, 2014.
  • Required Attachments:

  • List of officers and directors
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • List of other states where registered to solicit
  • Contract Filing

    Form:   Fundraising Service Contract Registration

    Agency Fee:   $20

    Due: Before a charitable organization may contract with a commercial fund-raiser for any fund-raising service or activity, the charitable organization and commercial fund-raiser shall complete and file a registration form with the secretary. The registration must be filed by the charitable organization on the form approved by the secretary.

    Change of Fiscal Year

    Form: Charitable Organization Amendment

    Filing Method: Mail or online.

    Agency Fee:   $0 by mail or $20 online.

    Turnaround:   1-2 business days

    Cancellation

    Form:   Charitable Organization Closure

    Agency Fee:  $0

    Notes: To close out your registration, submit a closure application with the required attachments.


     
    I’ve had great experiences with Labyrinth across two organizations, I definitely recommend their services!

    Killjan Anderson – USA BASKETBALL


    Washington Commercial Co-Venturer Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

    Commercial Co-venturer licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

    Washington does not currently have a traditional registration requirement for commercial co-venturers, but they may need to follow other regulations before and after fundraising events.


     
    Labyrinth has taken the stress out of ensuring our organization is current with all state requirements. Their knowledgeable staff are always available to answer questions and provide guidance giving me peace of mind. I can’t say enough about the value they bring to our organization.

    Beth Lyons, Director of Development, Homes for Our Troops


    Washington Charitable Gift Annuity Registration

    Agency:   Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner

    Law:   RCW § 48.38.010 through RCW § 48.38.075 and WAC § 284-38

    Organization Age Requirement:   3 years of continuous existence immediately preceding licensure.

    Minimum Unrestricted Cash or Cash Equivalent Requirement:   $500,000

    Audit Requirements:   Audited financial statements are required within 9 months after the organization's fiscal year end.

    Initial Registration

    Form:   Charitable Gift Annuity Application Packet

    Agency Fee:  $25

    Notarize:  Required

    Notes:   Approved organization must establish a separate reserve fund that follows the standards of RCW § 48.74.030.

    Registration Renewal

    Filing Method: Online

    Agency Fee: $25 + $5 per annuity issued during the previous calendar year.

    Due: Annually within 60 days of the organization's fiscal year end.

    Notes: In addition to filing the annual report, charities must also submit a public inspection copy of their IRS form 990 within 15 days of its filing with the IRS.


     
    I highly recommend this company for any organization that needs help with state filings. They have excellent customer service, have exceptional pricing, and have a true passion for helping organizations with this service. They are FANTASTIC!!

    Jacquelyn Bussotti, Human Resources Manager, Parkinson’s Foundation



    Washington Commercial Fundraiser Registration

    Commercial Fundraiser is any entity that for compensation or other consideration directly or indirectly solicits or receives contributions for or on behalf of any charitable organization or charitable purpose, or that is engaged in the business of, or represents to persons as independently engaged in the business of, soliciting or receiving contribution for such purposes. A commercial coventurer, fundraising counsel or consultant is not a commercial fundraiser.

    Agency:   Washington Secretary of State - Charities Program

    Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:   Yes

    Bond Requirements: $25,000

    Initial Registration

    Form: Commercial Fundraiser Registration

    Agency Fee:   $300

    Original Ink: Not required

    Notarize: Not required

    Before you Apply:

  • Provide the organization’s UBI number
  • Provide the full names of the three people receiving the highest compensation. At least one person is required.
  • A minimum of one person or officer accepting responsibility for the organization must be provided
  • If the organization has completed a full accounting year complete the Solicitation Report.
    • In the Solicitation Report the accounting year and all financial fields must be completed. If there is no financial information to report for a specific line write “0” or a line through that field. If any financial fields are left blank, the filing will be returned.
    • If the organization has not completed a full accounting year provide the first accounting year end date only and continue to section (13) Types of Solicitation.
  • If adding a Subcontractor, provide the Subcontractor Name, registration number, address, and phone number. If there is more than one subcontractor. The attached list must include all information requested above. If a Subcontractor is added they must be listed in the current Fundraising Service Contract(s) on record with our office. If the contract is not current the Charity must submit a Fundraising Service Contract Amendment.
  • Registration Renewal

    Form: Commercial Fundraiser Renewal

    Agency Fee:   $225

    Due:  Annually

    Original Ink: Not required

    Notarize: Not required

    Contract Filing

    Form: Fundraising Service Contract Registration

    Agency Fee:   $20

    Due:   Before a charitable organization may contract with a commercial fund-raiser for any fund-raising service or activity, the charitable organization and commercial fund-raiser shall complete and file a registration form with the secretary. The registration must be filed by the charitable organization on the form approved by the secretary.



    Washington Fundraising Counsel Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

    Fundraising Counsel licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

    Fundraising counsels are exempt from Washington's registration requirements.




    Washington Individual Nonprofit & Fundraising Licenses

    Washington Individual Professional Fundraiser Registration

    NOT REQUIRED

    Professional Solicitor licensure is not required on the State level in Washington.

    Solicitors who are not employed by a professional fundraising firm but operate independently may be required to register. Employees of professional fundraising firms are generally not required to register as an individual solicitor in Washington.


     
    Thank you, you truly are amazing! And frankly we would be lost in all of this if it wasn’t for you.

    Lisa Strand, Operations Coordinator, Life is Good Playmakers



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