Washington Registered Agent
When you choose Northwest as your Washington Registered Agent, you get instant service, Privacy by Default®, a business address, and free mail forwarding. And if you want more, you can get a domain name, website, email, and phone number for free.
Want to learn more about what a registered agent does in Washington? We'll explain the Washington Secretary of State's requirements, what your registered agent should do for you, and how to change your registered agent in Washington.
When You Want More
$125 a Year Every Year
Northwest is the choice of professionals for registered agent service.
- Same-Day Scans, Instant Notifications
- Privacy by Default®
- Business Address & Free Mail Forwarding
- Free Domain, Website, Email & Business Phone
What Is a Washington Registered Agent?
A Washington registered agent is a person or company that you designate to receive legal mail (like service of process) on behalf of your business. Registered agents exist to provide an official and reliable way to contact your business.
If your business is ever served with a lawsuit, the process server will deliver the paperwork directly to your registered agent. At that point, your business is legally considered “served.” The registered agent should then forward you your mail, quickly and securely.
Per Washington law ((Washington Statute RCW 23.95.415), registered agents are legally required in the state. At a minimum, your registered agent must list a physical address on the public record and be present at that address during business hours. But ideally, your registered agent should do more.
Be Your Own Washington Registered Agent
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. If this sounds like the path for your business, here’s how:
How to initially become your own registered agent in Washington State
When you file your business’s 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 approved by the state, you are officially your business’s 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 a Statement of Change form to change your Washington registered agent. 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). The filing is free. 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.
How Do I Change My Washington Registered Agent?
There are two ways to change your registered agent in Washington.
- Hire us and we’ll complete the change of agent form for you for free.
- Do it yourself and file a Statement of Change for Registered Agent form with the Washington Secretary of State. There is no fee to file this form.
Why Northwest Is the Best Registered Agent in Washington
Our Washington Registered Agent Service includes the tools you need to keep your business running without a hitch. When you hire Northwest as your registered agent, you get:
- Same-Day Scans: We scan your legal docs the same day we receive them and reach out if your essential mail goes unread.
- Mail Forwarding: We accept and scan all your state and legal mail, and will scan up to 5 personal documents for free. For $20 a month, we offer unlimited Washington mail forwarding.
- Privacy by Default®: We list our business address on public docs to keep your personal info safe. And unlike those other guys, we never sell your data.
- Corporate Guides®: Have questions? We have answers. Our guides are business experts whose sole job is to provide support for all your business questions.
And if you want more? Add free trials of any of these options at checkout:
- Domain Name: Choose a domain name from a list of popular extensions (like .com and .net).
- Website: We provide a pre-built business website, customizable using an open source platform.
- Business Email Address: Create up to 10 business email addresses of your choosing. They’ll end in your domain name for branding ease.
- Phone Number: Keep your personal line private by using a business phone number for client communications.
How to Order Washington Registered Agent Service
You sign up online, clicking on one of the buttons or links that says “HIRE US.”
We collect the first year of the registered agent service fee up front.
For new businesses, we’ll become your Washington registered agent service once your business registration filing with the Washington Secretary of State is complete.
About a year later, we’ll send you an invoice for another year of Washington registered agent service. If you want to keep using us, great; if you don’t, you can easily cancel.
With offices in every state, we make it easy to add registered agent services anywhere in the country. We don’t farm out work (or your info) to other companies—wherever you are, WE are your registered agent.
We make your account a real go-to resource for you, not just for Washington registered agent service or paying a bill but for keeping up with Washington corporate compliance.
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Washington Registered Agent FAQs
Why Do I Need A Washington Registered Agent?
• State law (Washington Statute RCW 23.95.415) requires all legitimate, registered businesses to appoint one.
• The secretary of state will reject your business filing if you don’t appoint a registered agent.
• A registered agent requirement gives the public and the state a reliable way to contact your business.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Washington?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Washington. However, after considering the registered agent requirements most business owners elect to hire a registered agent service instead. Why? Well although being your own registered agent will cost you $0 upfront, a Washington registered agent’s name and address becomes part of the public record. Additionally, the registered agent is required to be available to accept service of process during normal business hours 5 days a week.
Where Is Northwest’s Registered Office In Washington?
We accept and scan all of our Washington clients’ documents on-site at our registered office in downtown Spokane, WA.
Can I Use Your Washington Registered Office Address For Everything On My State Business Filing?
Definitely! We’re the only national registered agent service that allows our clients to list our address for everything when you’re doing a filing to keep your private address off public records.
Can I Have My Business’s Mail Delivered To Your Washington Office?
While you can use our address, we are not a return depot for online or Amazon sellers, though we’d love to accept your foosball tables. We don’t want ALL of your business mail. It’s not what we do. And it wouldn’t serve you well. You wouldn’t have unique address or suite number. Any mail we receive on your behalf would come to Northwest Registered Agent, care of you.
But we understand that businesses and clients sometimes reach out to you through your registered agent. Through us. That’s why we give you 5 FREE scans of regular business mail a year. You can request any additional documents to be forwarded at a per document rate of $15.
Do I Hire A Registered Agent Before Or After I Start My Business In Washington?
The best way to get started is to sign up for our instant registered agent service online. Then you can do the filing with the Washington Secretary of State to form your business. This is because you must list your registered agent when you complete the filing. If you don’t have one, your filing will be rejected. Signing up for our registered agent service is also ideal because we provide all the forms and filing instructions you may need in your online account. We make the filing process as simple as possible.
How Do Washington Registered Agents Get Served?
Service on your registered agent is legal proof that you were notified. Regardless of whether you actually receive the documents your Washington registered agent signs for, once they accept the documents, you’ve been notified. This is a serious responsibility that we do not take lightly. This is how it works:
- A process server, the county sheriff, or any third party will walk into our office and hand us the documents (service of process), which we sign for.
- The process server then gives an affidavit (a receipt of service) to the court as confirmation that they “served” us.
Note: If you’ve hired Northwest, you’ve received your documents long before the process server hands in their affidavit to the court—because we scanned them to your online account within minutes of having been served.
How Do I Search For A Washington Registered Agent?
- You can do a Washington business name search on the state’s website.
- Type in the company name you are trying to look up.
- Look at the WA registered agent name and registered office street address.
NOTE: If you want to legally notify someone through their Washington registered agent service, just send a certified letter directly to the registered agent name and registered office address.
How Do I Resign From Being A Registered Agent In Washington State?
In Washington, to resign as a registered agent, you need to submit a Statement of Resignation of Registered Agent online, by mail or in-person to the Washington Secretary of State. For a more detailed walkthrough, you can refer to our guide on how to resign as a registered agent in Washington State.