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 –
ZenBusiness – $99 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 Northwest Registered Agent, you will get the full formation package, including 1-year FREE registered agent service.
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, 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 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.
If your business is headquartered in the District of Columbia, you might be wondering how to remove your Registered Agent. In the District of Columbia, you must have a physical address to serve as a Registered Agent. The registered agent is obligated by law to be available during business hours. However, not all states require registered agents, so you can choose an individual or artificial legal entity to serve as your registered agent instead.
To change your registered agent in Washington, you can do so online or by mail. You can use the state’s digital filing system to complete the process. If you’re based in Olympia, you can drop off an envelope at 801 Capitol Way S. You can also send a letter with the new address to your business’s registered agent. It’s important that you follow the correct procedure for changing your registered agent, and that you follow the instructions carefully.
The next time you need to change your Registered Agent in Washington, you can update its business purpose by filing your Annual Report online. Most filers choose “general” for this purpose. However, you can use the business purpose section to change the default address. Once you’ve done this, your LLC is ready to operate. If you’re planning to remove your Registered Agent in Washington, it is important to contact the state’s business department to ensure that your company will be able to continue to operate.
When removing a Registered Agent in Washington, you need to remember that the person acting as your Registered Agent must sign a Consent Form. If you have a family member or friend acting as your Registered Agent, be sure to have them sign this document. In Washington, you don’t need to send the Consent Form to the state or the IRS. Hopefully, your Washington Registered Agent Service provided you with a signed Consent Form.
You can also remove the Registered Agent by following the steps outlined in the process. In Washington, LLCs must have a Registered Agent at all times. This person can be a natural person or artificial legal entity, as long as they’re resident in Washington and are authorized to conduct business in the state. A Registered Agent will also accept official documents from the Secretary of State, so it’s essential that you make sure your agent lives in Washington before you change it.
You can change your registered agent in Washington by filing a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent with the Secretary of State. You can file this form online or in person with the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State will issue a certified copy of your new address. The change will be reflected in your Washington corporation and LLC’s official records. You can also view the certified copy of your new agent on the Secretary of State’s website. There is a $50 expediting fee if you file the Form by mail.
To remove a Registered Agent for LLC in Washington, you must first file the Initial Report with the Secretary of State’s office. This report is required every year, and you need to file it within 120 days after your LLC’s formation. Additionally, you will need a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. You can get your EIN online or through the IRS. Once you have completed the filing requirements, you will have a legal basis to conduct business in the state of Washington. Make sure you maintain compliance with all laws and keep your LLC active.
All corporations and limited liability companies doing business in Washington State are required by state law to appoint a Washington State registered agent. Washington State registered agents provide a reliable way for the Secretary of State and state courts to contact a corporation or LLC.
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.
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.
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.