When setting up a business in Washington State, it’s important to understand the different structures you can choose from. One of the most common decisions is choosing between a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC). Each of these business types is particularly suited to the kinds of professions that they cover, so the one you choose will depend heavily on the service you offer.

In this article, we’ll discuss the specifics of LLCs and PLLCs and how they operate in Washington. If you need help choosing the best path for your Washington business, call John L. Davis PLLC in Vancouver, WA, today.

Understanding LLCs and PLLCs

An LLC is a business structure that blends protection and flexibility. It shields owners from personal liabilities in the same way a corporation does, but it has the relaxed operational requirements that are often seen in a partnership. An LLC is an excellent choice for many industries, including customer service, manufacturing, technology, and hospitality. It offers a relaxed structure that easily adapts to the needs of your business, and it allows you to employ family or friends who may not have been trained in your industry previously.

On the other hand, a PLLC is an LLC with unique liability protections. It’s specifically designed for licensed professionals like doctors, lawyers, or accountants who must stay compliant with state regulations. These professional services can carry risks that traditional businesses don’t, so professionals in these fields need additional protections beyond what an LLC can cover.

Differences Between LLC and PLLC

One of the differences between an LLC and a PLLC is the extent of the liability protection that each option provides. Specifically, a PLLC has regulations about who can be a member of the business, by restricting membership to only licensed professionals in the field. This way, clients can be assured that all business members are equally bound by the standards and responsibilities of their professions. For example, if you are a dentist in a PLLC, you won’t be held liable if a colleague makes a mistake, but you will be liable for any of your own mistakes or actions. This is particularly useful in businesses where a certified professional works closely with one client at a time.

Forming a PLLC in Washington State

Setting up a PLLC in Washington involves a few specific steps. First, you should make sure all members are licensed professionals. Then, you will file the appropriate paperwork with the Washington State Secretary of State, including a Certificate of Formation and the required fee.

Naming your PLLC something unique is also important. The name will then include “Professional Limited Liability Company” or “PLLC” at the end of it to clarify its professional status. This helps you comply with Washington state laws and also signals to clients that your business involves a specialized service.

Starting a Business in Washington State? We Can Help!

If you’re considering which path is right for your business or you need more detailed guidance, reach out to John L. Davis PLLC in Vancouver, WA, at (360) 597-4740. We can help you navigate the formation of your business, so you choose every path that’s right for you.

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