Are you unsatisfied with your Washington registered agent? Or perhaps you’re currently serving as your own registered agent, but would rather hire a professional registered agent service instead?
The state of Washington makes it rather easy to change your registered agent, but there are some details involved in the process that are worth reviewing.
In this guide, we’ll discuss all the relevant details of changing a registered agent in Washington.
Guru Tip: If you would prefer to have a professional service deal with the paperwork and take over registered agent duties, hire a Washington registered agent service. It’s just a small annual fee.
What Is a Washington Registered Agent?
Why is a registered agent required for every limited liability company (LLC) or corporation? It all comes down to the fact that the state needs to be able to contact an official representative of your business if they need to deliver important documents to you, especially service of process.
Without a registered agent, you could remain unaware of a lawsuit against your business progressing through the court system.
Who Can Be a Washington Registered Agent?
If you’re looking to change your company’s registered agent, it’s a good idea to know who is eligible to serve as one.
In Washington, a registered agent may be either a company or an individual. Often, company’s will appoint the owner, an employee, or a manager as the registered agent. However, a business entity is never permitted to list itself as a registered agent.
Regardless of whether you select an individual or company to represent you, your registered agent is required to have a physical address in Washington at which they are present during normal business hours. PO boxes, virtual address, and commercial mail recovering agencies do not qualify.
Should you decide to seek out a registered agent service to act as your registered agent in exchange for an annual fee, you may find this list of Washington commercial agents particularly helpful. While the list was compiled by the Washington Secretary of State, it should be noted that none of the listed entities are in any way officially endorsed by any part of the Washington government.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Washington
If you would like to change your registered agent for any reason, the process is simple.
In Washington, there is two methods for changing your registered agent. If you have not yet submitted your company’s Annual Report form and it is within the time window to do so, you may choose to designate your new registered agent there.
If you have already submitted your Annual Report, you may still change your Washington registered agent at any time by completing the Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent. The document can be submitted by mail to the Corporations and Charities Division of the Washington Secretary of state, or it may be completed online. To fill out the document, you’ll need to include the following information:
- The entity’s name
- The entity’s UBI
- The name and details of the current registered agent
- An indication as to whether the new agent is a commercial or noncommercial registered agent
- The details of the new registered agent
- The new registered agent’s signature
- The signature of an authorized person
It should be noted that the new registered agent’s signature is absolutely mandatory in order to file the document; without it, the Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent document is liable to rejection.
Change of Registered Agent Fee: There is no fee to change your registered agent using the Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent document.
Should You Hire a Professional Washington Registered Agent Service?
Hiring a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent has some distinct advantages. First and foremost, compared to serving as your own agent, professional registered agent services allow you to keep your personal address private. They’re also much less expensive than hiring a lawyer or accountant to provide registered agent service.
An often-overlooked benefit is how easy it is to expand your Washington business into other states if you choose a professional registered agent. They typically have offices in all 50 states, so if you begin transacting business in an additional state, your same registered agent service can handle that for you.
If you’re interested in hiring a professional registered agent service, take a look at our guide to the top service providers.
The process for changing a registered agent in Washington isn’t a complicated one, but it’s certainly advisable to know exactly what you want to do ahead of time. If you know what you want going in, you’ll find that the process is really quite painless.
We hope this article answered your questions about changing your Washington registered agent!