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.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- What is a Washington State Registered Agent
- Cost of a Washington State Registered Agent
- How to Change a Registered Agent in Washington State
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.
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,
- 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 –
LegalZoom – $299 Per Year
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.
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.
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.
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,
- 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
A registered agent for LLC in Washington can be removed by filing a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent with the Washington Secretary of State without any filing fee.
When running a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Washington state, a resident agent, also known as a registered agent, is someone designated to receive official communications on behalf of the LLC. A registered agent can be an individual or a professional service provider, such as a lawyer or accounting firm. Selecting the right resident agent ensures secure and timely delivery of critical documents, such as legal notices, state compliance reminders, and other important regulatory paperwork.
However, sometimes circumstances may change, and businesses may need to replace their current resident agent for various reasons. It could be due to a move to a new state, the original registered agent not fulfilling their duties effectively, or dissatisfaction with the current provider.
If businesses find themselves with a registered agent no longer fit for purpose, they need to follow the right procedures to remove them as the state requires LLC’s to have a resident agent at all times. Yet, finding clear, straightforward guidelines can be tough without the proper knowledge.
When preparing to remove a registered agent, business owners should familiarize themselves with the legal guidelines established by Washington State law and their operating agreement’s provisions. Within these guidelines, companies can establish the steps to identify, remove, and replace resident agents effectively.
Here are a few essential steps recommended to enforce a reliable, official communication system when removing or replacing an agent:
1. Review your current operating agreement and senior management team’s preceding decision. Make sure that you know the authority the owners and managers have to remove and replace the existing resident agent legally.
2. Notify your current resident agent of your decision formally, in writing. File a notice of change of your registered office address stating that a new resident agent will act as your primary official party to receive legal correspondence.
3. Appoint a new resident agent as your official representative. Appoint someone or a service provider operating in Washington State as your registered agent. Ensure they meet any pre-qualifications listed under Washington State law, including being a resident of the state, a legal entity with a physical address or a registered company within Washington state.
4. Submit the relevant form to Washington Secretary of State. When you appoint your new registered agent successfully, a Certificate of Appointment of New Agent form should be submitted to the Washington Secretary of State Corporation Division, along with any relevant fees.
While these steps serve as a guideline, they must be researched and followed closely. Trying to skip, change, or neglect due processes when removing your existing resident agent stands as a breach in official communication and could impact both your standing and your relationship with past registered agents – this gives rise to legal, financial, or compliance issues.
In conclusion, the removal of a WA-based LLC registered agent may prove complicated. Therefore adequate attention and care should prioritize your actions when undergoing any changes. Companies that follow official guidelines to replace outdated or underperforming registered agents can enjoy smooth transfers, reduced liability risks, and an effective communication flow that bolsters compliance, strengthens stakeholder engagement, and bolsters growth for your LLC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.