A Registered Agent in Washington DC provides various services, such as accepting formal documents and correspondence from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).
Your corporation must have Washington DC Registered Agent services at all times. You appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing agent after formation, provided there is no period during which your business is without a Registered Agent.
The address for your Registered Agent in Washington DC doesn't need to be the same as your business address. In fact, you can use a Washington DC virtual mailbox for your business address.
Important: A virtual mailbox is not a replacement for a Registered Agent. They perform two separate functions and per state law, you are required to have a Registered Agent.
What Washington DC Registered Agents Do
A Registered Agent’s primary function is to accept official correspondence, documentation and communication, including but not limited to:
- State and federal government correspondence and notices
- Service of process notices (e.g., if your corporation is sued or required to appear in court)
- Correspondence from the DCRA
- Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports
Having a Registered Agent also allows you to prove to the state that your business exists.
Incfile Provides Free Washington DC Registered Agent Services for the First Year
Incfile provides complete Washington DC Registered Agent services for any corporation formed in the state. Even better, if you form your corporation through Incfile, your Registered Agent is completely free for the first year and only $119 a year after that.
Incfile is authorized to conduct business in Washington DC and able to legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Washington DC Registered Agent services include:
Appointing a Registered Agent for Your Corporation
When you're incorporating in Washington DC, you must appoint a Registered Agent at that time. You can change the agent at any time after that. Here’s how.
Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your Corporation
Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:
When you create your business, you must include your Registered Agent's information in your Articles of Incorporation.
If you form your business through us, you’ll get our Registered Agent service free for one year. We’ll use the information you provide to complete and file your Articles of Incorporation for you.
Assign a New Registered Agent After Incorporation
You can also assign someone else as your Registered Agent in Washington DC after you’ve incorporated. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can complete Statement of Change form (page 3 of the document) available on the DCRA website. Once you’ve filled it out, send it to the DCRA along with a filing fee of $50 so they can update your records.
When you use our Registered Agent service, we take care of all the forms for you. We’ll collect the important information about your business, complete the form and send it to the DCRA on your behalf. We’ll notify you when we officially become your Registered Agent.
Search for Washington DC Registered Agents
In some situations, you may need to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another DC corporation. You'll find this information in the state's business database.
If you can’t find the Registered Agent information there, you can request it from the Washington DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?
Acting as Your Own Registered Agent
You can be the Registered Agent for your Washington DC corporation if you have a business office in the state, however there can be some drawbacks to this approach:
Other Useful Resources
FAQs About Washington DC Registered Agents
Yes. All business entities are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. You'll find more information above.
You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your business with the DCRA. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you form your business through Incfile, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.
Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in the state. You'll find more information above.