Washington State Registered Agent
Do Business the Right Way
A Washington registered agent is a person or business designated to accept documents (annual reports, service of process, and other notices) on behalf of a corporation, LLC, or LP. A registered agent must have a physical address in Washington, a P.O. box is not sufficient.
With our registered agent service, get Privacy by Default®, free mail forwarding, free Phone Service for 60 days, and local Corporate Guides®—only at Northwest.
Everything You Need To Know About Washington Registered Agents:
What Do Washington Registered Agents Do?
Your Washington registered agent maintains a physical address in Washington and accepts important legal documents on your business’s behalf during normal business hours.
However, the right registered agent service can do much more. At Northwest, we go above and beyond the minimum to ensure top speed, security, privacy and support.
How To 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?
Need to change your registered agent? You’ll need to file a file a Statement of Change for Registered Agent form with the Washington Secretary of State Corporation Division (RCW 23.95.430). If you’re switching to Northwest, it won’t cost you anything to file a change of Washington registered agent request.
With Northwest, you’ll find the pre-signed forms in your online account and you can just sign them and mail them in. You can also change your Washington registered agent online or on the back page of your annual report. Because the state literally sends all correspondence to you through your WA agent, they make it easy to change.
What Makes Northwest Different From Other Services?
At Northwest, we do business the right way. We’re dedicated to getting you your docs fast, protecting your privacy and offering you support. Here’s how:
- Same-Day Scans, Instant Notifications: We accept and scan your docs at our local office the same day. We notify you instantly and reach out to you if your essential mail goes unread.
- Privacy by Default®: We automatically minimize the exposure of and access to your personal data. If we can put our address on a public doc instead of yours, we do. If we don’t have to list your personal info, we don’t. We have tough privacy policies to keep your data safe and private. And we never sell your data.
- Free Limited Mail Forwarding: Of course we’ll get you your state and legal mail. That’s our job. But what if we get some of your regular business mail? It happens a lot—clients and businesses trying to connect with you via your registered agent. We scan 10 documents per year for FREE. We can also scan additional mail at a per document rate of $15.
- Northwest Phone Service: We know your business needs don’t stop at formation. That’s why we now offer Northwest Phone Service, a feature-packed virtual phone line that allows you to call and text your customers from any device. Our in-house Phone Service is just $9 monthly, with the first 60 days included FREE of charge when you hire us as your registered agent.
- Free Credit Card Processing Consultation: Considering accepting credit and debit card payments? We can help you sort that out. When you hire us, you have the option to sign up for a complimentary in-house call with our card industry specialists who work with processors to negotiate low rates and better contracts on your behalf. Check out our Payment Processing Service page to learn more.
- Corporate Guides®: Have questions? We have answers. Our guides are business experts whose sole job is to provide phone and email support for all your toughest business questions.
Washington Registered Agent FAQs
Why Do I Need A Washington Registered Agent?
- State law (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 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?
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 10 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 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.