Best District of Columbia Registered Agents 2022 (How to Add Self as RA)


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District of Columbia Registered Agent: If you wish to start an LLC in D.C., you have to appoint a registered agent. According to District of Columbia State Law, it is mandatory to have a D.C. 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 the District of Columbia, and who can be a registered agent for your LLC. Read this guide carefully before you hire a District of Columbia Registered Agent.

What is a District of Columbia Registered Agent

A registered agent (or a statutory agent or a resident agent) in the District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia 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 the District of Columbia, you can go for two options, hiring an in-house registered agent or outsourcing the service.

Hiring a Registered Agent in the District of Columbia

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

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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 District of Columbia 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.

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How to Choose a Registered Agent in District of Columbia

You can choose a District of Columbia 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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$125 Per Year

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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 Northwest Registered Agent, you will get the full formation package, including 1-year FREE registered agent service.

What to Consider While Choosing a District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia

At the time of submitting the D.C. Articles of Organization, 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 D.C. LLC Online Filing page and provide the information of your Registered Agent accordingly.

Appoint Registered Agent By Mail

To appoint a registered agent in District of Columbia by mail, you need to download the D.C. 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 D.C. Articles of Organization.

Cost of a District of Columbia 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 D.C.

Registered Agent services that also provide LLC formation packages can provide the same service at a lower price. For example, Northwest Registered Agent offers standalone registered agent service at $125 per year, but if you buy their LLC formation package at $39 + state fees, you will get registered agent service free for 1 year.

How to Change a Registered Agent in D.C.

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

File Online

For online filing, you need to get the online form which is available on the D.C. 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: $50

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 District of Columbia 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: Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090

How to Pay: The filing amount is payable to the D.C. secretary of state through a credit card when filing online/by email. For paper filing, you can choose to pay through money order or check.

Why Do LLCs in D.C. Need a Registered Agent Service

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

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  • Confidentiality: Having a registered agent service in District of Columbia 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 D.C. to publicly upload their address to the District of Columbia 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 District of Columbia 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 the District of Columbia 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.

District of Columbia Business Laws and Registered Agents

Registered agents are responsible for handling all the business laws and other legal issues related to DC LLC. Every state has its own business laws. DC is no exception. It has its own set of different business laws to follow. Here are some of the important business laws every business should follow, 

Antitrust Laws

In general, Antitrust law detects the formation of cartels in any open market. When competitors come together and influence the market price and supply in illegal ways, they form a cartel. Cartels are illegal in any market. In DC, like any other state, there is an Antitrust Law to prevent this. The time span to bring the claim under this law is 4 years in DC. A successful plaintiff can recover attorney’s fees as well.

Interest Law

Every state in the United States has an Interest law for businesses. Normally, the general interest rate guidelines are lesser than the legal threshold of interest rate. In DC, the legal maximum interest rate in the absence of agreement is 6% per year and by contract in writing up to 24%. Interest rates on judgments are set at the rate of 4% on judgments against the DC. A penalty for Usury (Unlawful Interest Rate) is forfeiture of interest and recovery of usurious interest paid.

Corporate Laws

These laws govern the formation and operation of corporate entities, such as the content of articles of association, incorporation, and corporate names. The District of Columbia Official Code Title 29: Business Organizations.

Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

Connecticut laws aim to protect their residents from unfair business practices. Such practices mislead the consumers into investing in invaluable market products by selling them with twisted statements and lies such as false advertising. Remedies in such cases include civil penalties, damages, Consumer redressal remedies, punitive damages, injunction, and attorney’s fees.

The registered agents are the ones who take care of these cases and laws for you. Hiring a registered agent in DC will help you to handle and cope with all these business laws.

How to Remove a Registered Agent for LLC in District of Columbia

A registered agent for LLC in the District of Columbia can be removed by submitting a Statement of Change of Registered Agent Form with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs with a filing amount of $50.

In order to remove your company’s Registered Agent, you must first understand how the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs handles this issue. While most states do require a Registered Agent, the District of Columbia does not. If your business is not located in the District of Columbia, you can use another person or artificial legal entity to act as your Registered Agent. However, the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has specific rules regarding how to remove a Registered Agent for LLCs.

In order to remove a Registered Agent for an LLC in District of Columbia, you must gather all the necessary information. You need the name and address of the former registered agent, as well as the current registered agent. The State of Washington also has a document with all of the required forms for registered agents. If you live in the District of Columbia, you can fill out this document online. The DC government also requires that you provide the information of your new agent.

Once you have an agent, you need to find one that’s in the District of Columbia and is available during business hours. Once you’ve found a registered agent, you’ll need to file Form DLC-4 with the Corporations Division. This document describes your LLC’s activities and requires a majority vote. You’ll also need to get the unanimous consent of all members before you can remove a Registered Agent for LLC in District of Columbia.

Another option is to change the Registered Agent. Most states require the Registered Agent to have a physical address. Changing the agent will cost you anywhere from $0 to $50, but in some states you can choose a $25 fee. The lower cost may be worth it if you want the change to be processed faster. If you have a business in another state, you can also hire someone else to be the Registered Agent.

Before you can remove a Registered Agent, you should first get a certificate of good standing from the state you formed your company in. The certificate should be no older than 90 days. In the US, you can get a Certificate of Good Standing from your local registration authority, which is a division of the Secretary of State office. If you are based in a foreign country, you can contact the DCRA directly and ask what forms you need to fill out.

You can choose to remove your registered agent by selecting a new company or removing your current one. Many business owners choose to do this for several reasons, including expansion or dissatisfaction with their current registered agent. Others may find that a registered agent service is more efficient than the traditional way of being their own registered agent. However, in most cases, this option will remove the burden of managing paperwork and avoiding costly mistakes.

F.A.Q.

Do you need a Registered Agent for your LLC in D.C.?

All corporations and limited liability companies doing business in D.C. are required by state law to appoint a District of Columbia registered agent. District of Columbia registered agents provide a reliable way for the Secretary of State and state courts to contact a corporation or LLC.

Who qualifies to be a Registered Agent?

A registered agent is simply a person or entity appointed to accept service of process and official mail on your company’s behalf who lives in the state of service and is over 18.

Why you should not act as your own Registered Agent?

If you intend to be your own registered agent, you may be forced to use your home address (especially if you run a home-based or web-based business), making the address public for mailing and other official purposes. This might harm your privacy. Hence, it is recommended to outsource the RA service. Also, if you outsource it to professionals, it will be hassle-free.

In Conclusion

Before you choose a registered agent for your District of Columbia 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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