How To Be Your Own Registered Agent In Washington State
Whether you are just forming your new Washington business, or if your business is already formed, you can be your own registered agent in Washington State. A registered agent is the person or business designated to legally accept official state documents and service of process on behalf of your business. If your business is sued, the state wants to know that someone will be there during regular business hours to accept the service of process or other important documents—this is why a registered agent is required in every state for businesses.
You, as an individual person, may be your own Washington registered agent, or a third-party business entity that is registered with the Washington secretary of state may also act as registered agent. If this sounds like the path you want to take for your business, here’s how:
How to initially become your own registered agent in Washington State:
When you file your business’ formation documents with the Washington secretary of state, there is a space available on the form for you fill out your registered agent’s information. Since you will be acting as your own registered agent, you will fill out your name and physical street address. This is the address where documents will be sent. Remember, if you act as your own registered agent, you must be a resident of the state of Washington with a physical street address where official documents and service of process can be delivered. You must also maintain regular business hours at that address. You need to print your name as well as sign in order to officially consent to being the registered agent for the company listed on the formation document. Once the formation documents are filed and accepted by the state, you are officially your business’ registered agent.
Once you list yourself as your registered agent, know that your name and address will become public information, searchable by anyone on public record.
How to become your own registered agent for an already-existing business:
The process to become your own registered agent for your pre-existing Washington business is fairly simple. You just need to file paperwork to change your Washington registered agent:
- First of all, you will need to have the name of your entity, the name and address of your current registered agent as well as the name and address of your new registered agent. Remember, this must be a physical address, as opposed to a PO Box. If available, you will also need your Unified Business Identifier (UBI Number).
- Obtain the Statement of Change from the Washington Secretary of State, and file it. This can be filed online by clicking here.
- Fill it out online and submit, or file the Statement of Change form online, print, and mail to:
Secretary of State
801 Capitol Way S
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234
- If you choose to expedite, make sure to include your $50 fee.
- If you would like confirmation from the state you can request it in writing and sending it to the same location where you sent your Statement of Change form. You can also request a copy of the form in writing along with a $10 fee.
If you choose to file via mail, it will take the state about three and a half weeks to process your filing. If you file via the online process, then your change of agent request should update with the state within the next business day.
Being your own registered agent is an all-around painless process in Washington State. It’s not uncommon for a Washington LLC or Washington corporation to appoint an owner as registered agent. If you will hold regular business hours at a physical Washington street address, it could be the choice for you and your business, as long as you are comfortable with having your personal contact information displayed online.