Top Washington Registered Agents of 2024 – Comprehensive Guide


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Washington State Registered Agent: If you wish to start a Washington State LLC, you have to appoint a registered agent. According to Washington State Law, it is mandatory to have a Washington State Registered Agent if you are conducting business in the state. A registered agent receives all the official and legal documents from the State. They also receive the service of process if there’s any lawsuit in concern.

In the following guide, we have shared all the required information regarding hiring a registered agent, why you need a registered agent in Washington State, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a Washington State Registered Agent.

What is a Washington State Registered Agent

A registered agent (or a statutory agent or a resident agent) in Washington State is an individual or a business that represents your business in receiving official documents. These official papers include formation documents, business renewal documents, tax filing, and any legal document if the LLC gets sued by other companies. All these documents go straight to the registered agent’s official address in the state. While forming an LLC, it is mandatory to appoint a registered agent.

When you file the Washington State LLC formation papers with the Secretary of State, LLCs have to mention their registered agent’s name and address. When you choose a registered agent in Washington State, you can go for two options, hiring an in-house registered agent or outsourcing the service.

Hiring a Registered Agent in Washington

You may have several options for hiring a registered agent in Washington. To become a registered agent, one has to meet the basic eligibility criteria. If the minimum requirements are fulfilled, anyone residing in Washington can represent your LLC as your registered agent.

registered agent service

Who Can Be a Registered Agent

  • The person must be above 18 years old.
  • The person must have a legal and physical address in the state where the LLC will operate.
  • The person must be physically present during normal working hours.
  • Anyone who fulfills the above requirements can act as a registered agent.
  • Recommended – You should use a professional registered agent in Washington State always.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent

Yes, you can be your own registered agent. In fact, any member of the LLC, managers, and the owner can be a registered agent. Besides, someone from the owners’ family, such as a spouse, relatives, or other family members, can also act as a registered agent. As mentioned above, anyone who is representing the business as an agent should fulfill the basic criteria.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Your Own Registered Agent

Many small businesses do not hire a registered agent to save a chunk of money. However, it is not recommended to be your own registered agent. There are a bunch of problems one has to face while being a registered agent of his own LLC. Following are some of the issues you face,

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  • If you are operating your business from home or you are into web business, then your home address will be shared on the public portal. This address will be used for mailing and other official purposes. This will hamper your privacy.
  • A registered agent has to be physically available at the official address during working hours on working days for 52 weeks. Being your own registered agent might restrict your other work due to this.
  • The registered agent’s address must be up to date in the Secretary of State portal.

It is recommended to outsource the registered agent service to ease your work. As it protects your privacy, especially if you conduct your business from home. It is always wise to outsource the RA service than be your own registered agent.

Recommended: You can get the best registered agent service at a reasonable price with online LLC service providers. We recommend using –

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How to Choose a Registered Agent in Washington State

You can choose a Washington State Registered Agent in two ways, either you can employ an in-house RA or outsource the service. Another option is to be your own registered agent. However, it is recommended to outsource the service as it is less worrisome and hassle-free.

In-house Registered Agent

As far as the in-house registered agent is concerned, it can be anyone from the LLC, including you, or you can employ an individual for this position. In that case, your office or home address will be the Registered Agent’s office address. Every LLC has to share its principal office address, mailing address, and registered agent’s office address to the state public portal. Hiring a registered agent service will make it easier as you can use the RA’s address as a mailing address.

Outsourcing Registered Agent Service

You may also avail yourself of professional registered agent services. Doing so ensures that you will have the best service provider to represent your business. Following are the best Registered Agent services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries.

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Note that availing of the services of professional registered agents would be your best option since you are guaranteed that whoever is handling your legal affairs knows their stuff well. If you are forming your LLC from scratch, then with LegalZoom Registered Agent, you will get the full formation package.

What to Consider While Choosing a Washington State Registered Agent

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a registered agent.

  • Service Fee: Since most states require formal businesses to have registered agents, selecting the best-registered agent is critical. Hiring a registered agent typically costs between $99 and $300 annually. When you consider how much time it will save you, this is a small price to pay.
  • Tenure in Business of Registered Agent: You want the registered agent to have established and time-tested procedures for handling documents. We recommend Registered Agent Services that have been in business for a long time. They are experienced and well capable of handling all your documentation.
  • State Jurisdiction Limitation: If your company expands to another state, you should use the same registered agent in all states to reduce the administrative burden of dealing with multiple registered agent service providers. Check out the best Registered Agent Services to consider for this job.
  • Offer Monitoring and Follow-up Services: You want to receive up-to-date information and alerts from your registered agent as soon as possible so that you are aware of the various statutes, rules, and regulations that apply to your company. Some of the service providers offer this service. Make sure to choose an RA service that includes this service.

How to Appoint a Registered Agent in Washington State

At the time of submitting the Washington State Certificate of Formation, the registered agent can be appointed by the LLC. It can be done online or by mail. No additional fee is charged for appointing a Registered Agent. Only the state filing fee should be paid.

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Appoint Registered Agent Online

To appoint a registered agent online, you have to go to the Washington State LLC Online Filing page and provide the information of your Registered Agent accordingly.

Appoint Registered Agent By Mail

To appoint a registered agent in Washington State by mail, you need to download the Washington State LLC filing form (PDF). Fill up the “Registered Agent” section with appropriate details of the agent and submit it to the SOS office. For more information, read on Washington State Certificate of Formation.

Cost of a Washington State Registered Agent

The cost of having a registered agent can be variable. It depends on whether you are employing an in-house registered agent, being your own agent, or outsourcing the service. The cost of having a registered agent can start from $99 and go up to $300 per year. It will be cost-effective if you outsource the registered agent service in Washington State.

Registered Agent services that also provide LLC formation packages can provide the same service at a lower price. For example, LegalZoom Registered Agent offers standalone registered agent service at $299 per year, but if you buy their LLC formation package at $0 + state fees, you might get a registered agent at a low cost.

How to Change a Registered Agent in Washington State

To change the Washington State registered agent, you must file a Change of registered agent or office by entity form. This form can be submitted to the Washington State Secretary of State via mail or online.

File Online

For online filing, you need to get the online form, which is available on the Washington State Secretary of State portal. Fill in all the necessary information of LLC as well as current and old registered agents. This form must be completed and signed by the newly appointed registered agent and any authorized member of the LLC. The signature of the new registered agent acts like the consent to be appointed as one. Submit it online.

Fee: No Fee

File By Mail

You can also choose to file the form through the mail. You need to download the Change of registered agent or office by entity form from the Washington State Secretary of State’s portal. Fill in all the details on your computer. The completed form is to be signed by the newly appointed registered agent. The duly signed form must be sent to the following address,

Mail to: Washington Office of the Secretary of State
Corporations and Charities Division
801 Capitol Way S.
Olympia, WA 98504-0234

Consent Letter: The new registered agent has to sign the consent letter that comes with the Registered Agent Change form.

Why Do LLCs in Washington State Need a Registered Agent Service

There are several reasons why a business should appoint a registered agent in Washington State. Some of the most important reasons are listed below,

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  • Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in Washington State ensures the complete privacy of your business and related documentation. Appointing a registered agent company instead of an individual gets you privacy and confidentiality contracts beforehand.
  • Up-to-date Compliance: LLCs and corporates have plenty of paperwork and compliances that are to be updated on time. With a registered agent service, you don’t have to worry about those compliances as your registered agent will maintain a compliance calendar.
  • Privacy: It is mandatory for businesses in Washington State to publicly upload their address to the Washington State Secretary of State. If you are using the home address for your business, then it would not be safe to make your private address public. On the other side, appointing a registered agent service will cover you up here as they have to provide their address to the Washington SOS and not yours.
  • Availability: Every registered agent has to be available during office hours of work on business days. If you hire a registered agent service, then they can be available at the required time without harming other tasks at the company.
  • Online Safe Backup: Every registered agent in Washington State or any other state usually takes online backup of all the documents and paperwork. This ensures the LLC papers are securely saved in a central system.
  • Lawsuits or Summons: Getting summoned or involved in a lawsuit does not leave a good impression on the employees. With a registered agent, all the related papers will be delivered to the Registered Agent’s official address. Hence, owners do not have to receive any such papers in their office in front of their employees.

Washington Business Laws for Registered Agents to Note

All sorts of businesses are protected through business laws. These laws are implemented by the Federal government as well as the state government. The registered agent is the one who is well aware of the state laws. Therefore, it becomes necessary to appoint the agent based in the state only. Following are the business laws that a Washington registered agent must comply to:

Washington Antitrust Laws

Antitrust laws are designed to keep businesses from purchasing rivals to the point where customers are left with few options, which often leads to increased pricing. Antitrust laws are usually raised when a firm declares a merger or acquisition of another significant company, effectively forming a monopoly. Monopolies are also illegal under state law. The Washington Attorney General’s Antitrust Division is the chief enforcement of the state’s antitrust laws. Antitrust rules in Washington set a four-year deadline for filing a claim and enable successful plaintiffs to recoup attorney fees.

Washington Civil Statute of Limitations Laws

Statutes of limitations set deadlines for initiating lawsuits in order to maintain the integrity of the information (both witnesses and physical evidence) while also limiting the threat of a lawsuit. Personal injury claims, as well as fraud, property damage, and trespassing claims, have a three-year filing deadline in Washington, whereas debt collection claims have a six-year deadline.

Washington Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

State rules govern how transparent a company must be and whether business actions are considered misleading, such as tampering with the odometer on a secondhand car or employing blatantly fraudulent advertising. Although Washington has not accepted the federal Uniform Deceptive Trade Techniques Act (UDTPA), consumer fraud practices such as misleading advertising, vehicle tampering, and other deceptive trade practices are prohibited.

Washington Interest Rates Laws

When applying for credit, people sign (or, if applying online, press enter to approve) a stated interest rate. These rates can be fairly high, but they are free from state “usury” regulations that regulate interest rates because they are contractual agreements. To put it another way, state interest rate caps are rarely applied to most retail credit agreements. The highest rate of interest permitted in Washington is 12 percent without an agreement (which exempts these limits).

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Washington

Running a Limited Liability Company (LLC) demands careful consideration of various legal requirements to ensure proper functioning and compliance. One such important requirement is to have a registered agent at all times. A registered agent is an individual or entity designated to receive important legal documents, such as lawsuits and official correspondence, on behalf of the LLC. However, situations may arise where a company needs to remove its registered agent for various reasons. In the state of Washington, this process entails adherence to certain steps to maintain an LLC’s compliance with state laws.

First and foremost, it is crucial to understand the reasons why a registered agent may need to be removed. Such circumstances could include the agent no longer being available or suitable due to changes in personal circumstances, illness, or resignation from the position. Although rare, the LLC and registered agent may have irreconcilable differences, leading to the need for immediate removal. Additionally, the LLC may decide to switch to a professional registered agent service, upgrade their services, or change registered agent service providers to meet evolving business needs and plan for the future.

Once the decision to remove a registered agent has been made, the company must follow the necessary steps outlined by Washington state laws. These steps typically include official notification to both the registered agent and relevant state authorities. Although these procedures are extensive, ensuring a correct and timely approach is crucial to maintain the company’s good standing.

The first step is to amend the LLC’s internal documents, particularly the Articles of Organization filed with the Washington Secretary of State. These amendments might include the addition of a section outlining the process of removing or appointing a registered agent, along with the specific procedures involved. By having a clear and comprehensive protocol within its internal documents, the LLC can avoid confusion and potential disputes in the future.

Next, the company should provide written notice to the registered agent regarding their impending removal. This written notice serves to officially inform the current registered agent of their termination and may provide a suitable timeframe within which the agent must respond. To ensure compliance with state regulations, it is advisable for the notice to be delivered via certified mail or a delivery service with proof of receipt. The legal notice should contain explicit information, including the effective date of the registered agent’s removal, affirmation that the LLC has filled the registered agent’s position, and any required documentation.

Reaching out to the appropriate state authorities is the next crucial step in the process. The Washington Secretary of State must be informed of changing agents promptly. This is done by completing and submitting the necessary Change of Registered Agent form, provided by the state of Washington, to the Secretary of State’s office. Proper documentation must accompany the form, including a certified copy of the amended Articles of Organization reflecting removal of the previous registered agent.

In fulfilling these essential requirements, LLCs can expertly navigate the process of removing a registered agent within the state of Washington. Strict adherence to state regulations ensures operations run smoothly and facilitates compliance with the appropriate authorities. By maintaining a steadfast commitment to fulfilling legal obligations, LLCs promote trust and credibility in the business world.

In conclusion

FAQ

How To Change Registered Agent In Washington?

In Washington, there is a way to change the registered agent. You need to download, fill up, and send the RA change application form to the Secretary of State online, by mail to the address Washington Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations and Charities Division, 801 Capitol Way S., Olympia, WA 98504-0234, or by fax, whichever provision is available for you. The cost of changing the Registered Agent is $0 in Washington.

How To Become A Registered Agent In Washington?

To become a registered agent in Washington, you must meet some requirements. One of the most important criteria is that you have to be legally an adult (18+). Another requirement is you must be a resident of Washington. If you meet these criteria, then you can become a registered agent.

Who Can Be A Registered Agent In Washington?

Spouse, any member of your LLC, relatives, friends, or you can be a registered agent in Washington. The basic criteria are to be a legal adult (18+) and a resident of the state. If you can fulfill the requirements, then you can easily be a registered agent.

How To Change Registered Agent Address In Washington?

In Washington, changing a registered agent’s address is easy. You need to submit the RA Change Form, available on the Washington Secretary of State’s website. In the form, add the new address. Submit it online, by mail to the address Washington Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations and Charities Division, 801 Capitol Way S., Olympia, WA 98504-0234, or by fax, whichever provision is available for you. It might take a fee to change the address.

How To Find A Company’s Registered Agent In Washington?

You can find a company’s registered agent by visiting the Washington SOS website. If you have the company name, then search with the business name. If you get the company you are looking for, then get the registered agent information from there.

What Does A Registered Agent Do In Washington?

In Washington, having a registered agent for your company is legally mandatory. Your registered agent will serve any process, permits, and notices and will be responsible for receiving legal suits again the company in his registered office. He/she will have to be available in their office during working hours.

How To Appoint Someone As The Registered Agent In Washington?

To appoint a registered agent officially in Washington, companies have to submit their name, address, and contact information at the time of business registration. The article of incorporation has a separate section for the registered agent. This is how you appoint a registered agent in Washington.

How To Search For Registered Agent Address In Washington?

In Washington, to search for the address of a registered agent, you need to visit the Washington Secretary of State’s official website. To search the registered agent’s address, look for the following steps,
1. Go to the official website of Washington SOS
2. Search the company details by the company name
3. Look for the registered agent address list
It will be easier to find the registered agent’s address in this way.

How Do I Look For A Business In Washington By The Registered Agent Name?

In Washington, you can search for a business with a registered agent’s name. Go to the Washington Secretary of State’s official website. Look for the option “Business Search.” In the search section, you will get the option “Search by the registered agent.” Select the option and enter the registered agent’s name. You will get the business name.

What Is Required Of A Registered Agent In Washington?

In Washington, for a registered agent, the main requirement is the person must be 18 years of age and must have a physical address in Washington. If the person or the entity is a resident of the state and fulfills the age requirement, then he/she can be the registered agent.

How To Look Up The Registered Agent Of A Corporation In Washington?

In Washington, if you look up a registered agent for a corporation, then you must visit the Washington SOS. On the home page, you must select Business Search. If you have the corporation name, then enter the name to search the business. Click on the registered agent option to get the details.

How Do I Resign As A Registered Agent In Washington?

If a registered agent has to send a written resignation letter to the company he/she was representing. Once the letter is accepted by the company, a resignation notice must be sent to the Washington Secretary of State by mail, fax, or online. The notice should be sent within the said time.

How To Update Registered Agent In Washington Online?

You can update a registered agent in Washington online by logging in to the Washington Secretary of State’s website. However, before you proceed with the online process, make sure that the online process is available for you. If not, then send the RA Change Form by mail.

How To Get A Free Registered Agent In Washington?

In Washington, you can get a free registered agent. If you become your own registered agent, then you don’t have to pay anything physically to yourself. If your spouse or a friend becomes an agent, then you might avoid the cost. Finally, you can go for a free professional registered agent service in Washington.

How To Research For Registered Agent Information In Washington?

To research information about the registered agent in Washington, you need to visit the Washington Secretary of State. You will get the option “Search Business.” You can search your business by its name. As you get the result, you will be able to get the registered agent’s details from the list.

Where To Mail Registered Agent Forms In The State Of Washington?

In Washington, there is no separate form for the registered agent. Businesses have to appoint a registered agent and mail their details through the formation documents while registering their business. The formation documents need to be mailed to the Washington Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations and Charities Division, 801 Capitol Way S., Olympia, WA 98504-0234.

If A Company Does Not Have A Registered Agent In Washington, Who Is Served?

If there is no registered agent for your company in Washington, then it must be informed to the Washington SOS. There might be a legal issue as having a registered agent is necessary for any company in Washington. If there is no registered agent, you might have to serve as a registered agent in Washington.

How To Serve A Deceased Registered Agent in Washington?

In Washington, if a registered agent dies, all the powers get terminated. It is mandatory to have a registered agent in Washington. Hence, the company must appoint/change another registered agent. Meanwhile, a manager or an officer of the company or the owner can serve as a registered agent.

How To Hide Registered Agent Name From SOS Washington?

In Washington, there are some rules for registering your business. If you go to the Washington Secretary of State, you would know if you can hide your registered agent’s name or not from being seen on the public platform. If you have an Anonymous LLC, then you can hide a member’s name.

Who To Call To Identify Registered Agent Information In Washington?

In Washington, to get the registered agent information, you must call the Secretary of State’s office. The official time is from 8 am to 5 pm. Call on this number 360-725-0377 to connect to the executive. Follow the caller’s instructions to get the information.

What Is Registered Agent’s Consent In Washington?

The consent from a registered agent in Washington is an acceptance from the person that he/she will serve as a registered agent. In Washington, the newly appointed person has to submit his/her consent before starting the service of process.

What Is The Difference Between Registered Agent And Resident Agent In Washington?

A registered agent and a resident agent are the same designations in Washington. In some states, the term resident agent is used, while in most states, the term registered agent is used. The designation, process of appointing, and process of registration are the same in all states.

What Happens If The Registered Agent Does Not Give A Consent In Washington?

In Washington, if the registered agent does not give their consent, then the company might have to serve a legal penalty for presenting a false statement. On the other hand, the registered agent can deny any duty assigned as a registered agent.

Can An LLC Be Sued If There Is No Registered Agent In Washington?

If there is no registered agent in Washington, that does not mean the company cannot be legally sued. It is just that there is no agent representing the company and to receive the legal notice. But the suit will take place, and there will be a different way to send the notice.

How To Reject The Registered Agent’s Designation In Washington?

In Washington, if a registered agent wants to reject the designation, then they have to submit the application of rejection. All they have to do is sign the rejection statement and send it to the Washington Secretary of State. It is similar to acceptance of the designation.

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Washington

Understanding how to properly remove a registered agent for your LLC in Washington is a vital part of the process. While the specific steps may vary depending on your specific situation, there are some general guidelines that can help make the process as seamless as possible.

First and foremost, it is essential to review your LLC’s operating agreement. This document typically outlines the procedures for changing the registered agent and any requirements that must be met. If your operating agreement does not address this issue, you will need to follow Washington state laws regarding the removal of a registered agent.

The next step is to notify your current registered agent of your intention to make a change. It is crucial to provide written notice to your current agent, either by mail or email, clearly stating that you are terminating their services as the registered agent for your LLC. Be sure to include the effective date of the termination and any specific instructions related to the transfer of relevant documents and records.

Once you have informed your current agent of the termination, it is time to select a new registered agent. In Washington, your new agent must have a physical address located in the state and be available during normal business hours to receive legal documents and notifications on behalf of your LLC. Additionally, your new agent must consent to serving as the registered agent for your LLC and provide their signature on the appropriate forms.

After selecting a new registered agent, you will need to file the necessary paperwork with the Washington Secretary of State. This typically involves completing a Change of Registered Agent form and submitting it along with the corresponding fee. It is crucial to ensure that all information provided is accurate and up to date to avoid any potential delays or complications.

In conclusion, the process of removing a registered agent for your LLC in Washington may seem daunting at first, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it can be a straightforward and manageable process. By following the steps outlined above and consulting with legal counsel if necessary, you can ensure that your LLC remains compliant with state regulations and continues to operate smoothly and efficiently.

In Conclusion

Before you choose a registered agent for your Washington State LLC, compare their price and services from the table. They will be responsible for all your documentation, filings, and other LLC-related tasks. Hence, choose the best one for your business that provides 100% accurate service at a reasonable price.

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