Your Washington Registered Agent provides various services, including the acceptance of formal documents and correspondence from the Washington Secretary of State.

Your LLC must have a Registered Agent at all times. You’ll appoint one when you first start your business. You can also replace your existing Washington Registered Agent at a later date, provided there is a smooth transition between the old and new agents.

 

Washington Registered Agent Requirements

  • Every LLC, both foreign and domestic, must have a Registered Agent with a registered office within the State of Washington at all times
  • The Registered Agent can be a domestic or foreign (licensed to transact business in the state) artificial legal entity (Corporation, LLC, LP or LLP) or a natural person.
  • The Registered Office must be in the state of Washington and located at a street address (a P.O. Box only is not acceptable)
  • If the Registered Agent is a person, they must live in Washington.
  • If the Registered Agent is a company, they must be authorized to conduct business in Washington.
  • The Registered Agent must be available in person to sign for any correspondence during normal business hours.

Note that the address for your Washington Registered Agent does not need to be the same as your Washington LLC business address.

What a Washington Registered Agent Does

A Registered Agent’s main function is to accept official documentation and correspondence.

This includes:

  • Communications from the Washington Secretary of State
  • Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
  • Official state and federal government correspondence and notices
  • Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports

Having a Registered Agent also provides proof to the state that your business exists.

Incfile Provides Free Washington Registered Agent Service for the First Year

Incfile provides complete Washington Registered Agent service for any LLC that’s formed in the state of Washington. Even better, if you form your business 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 and can legally act as your Registered Agent. Here’s what our Registered Agent service provides:

An always-available Washington Registered Agent who can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your LLC’s behalf

Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business

Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business

 

Appointing a Registered Agent Service for Your LLC

When you first formally form your LLC, you must appoint a Registered Agent. You can change it at any point after that. Here’s how to go about it.

Assign a Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC

Your business needs to have a Registered Agent as soon as it’s formed. You can do this two ways:

1
File Articles of Organization with the Washington Secretary of State

When you formally create your business, you’re required to include details of your Registered Agent in your Articles of Organization.

2
Get a Free Registered Agent When You Form Your LLC with Incfile

When you form your LLC through us, and you’ll get a free year of our Registered Agent Service. We’ll also complete and file your Articles of Organization for you with the information that you provide.

Assign a Different Registered Agent After Formation

You can change your mind and assign someone else to be your Washington Registered Agent after you’ve formed your LLC. There are a couple of ways to achieve this.

1
Choose a new Registered Agent Service and let the Washington Secretary of State know

Once you’ve chosen a new Registered Agent, you can login to your account with the Washington Secretary of State Corporations and Charities Division to file the change online. Once you’ve filed the change, the Secretary of State will review and update your records. There is no fee for this service.

2
We’ll file the change on your behalf when you sign up for Incfile’s Registered Agent service

When you use Incfile’s Registered Agent service, we take care of all the form filling and filing for you. We’ll collect important information about your business, complete the form on your behalf and then send it to the Washington Secretary of State. When we officially become your Registered Agent, we’ll let you know.

Washington Registered Agent Search

In certain situations, it may be useful to know the name of the Registered Agent that represents another LLC in Washington. This information is available in the state's business database.

If you can’t find the Registered Agent information there, you can request it from the Secretary of State.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent?

If you don’t assign or provide details of a Registered Agent to the Secretary of State, there are several possible ramifications, including:

  • Getting sued or served and not knowing about it. If your LLC is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgement in your absence.
  • Falling out of good standing with the Washington Secretary of State. The state may revoke your right to do business if you don’t respond to certain correspondence (such as a request for your annual report).
  • Losing your status as an LLC in Washington. A Registered Agent is evidence to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your LLC may be dissolved.
 

Acting as Your Own Registered Agent

If you have a business office in the state of Washington, you can elect to be the Registered Agent for your Washington LLC. We don’t recommend this as there can be some drawbacks to this approach:

  • Someone must always be available during business hours at the Washington address to sign for important documents.
  • The Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Washington. If you’re forming an LLC outside the state, you’ll need to use an in-state Registered Agent.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address are part of the public record and available through the Washington Secretary of State's website. If you prefer to keep your name and address private and unpublished, you should use a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your business address or move out of state, you need to file additional documentation with the Secretary of State for the new address. This won't be necessary if you use a Registered Agent service, making a move or an address change much simpler.

Other Useful Resources

FAQs About Washington Registered Agents

Do I Need to Appoint a Washington Registered Agent?

Yes. All business entities in the state are required to have a Registered Agent. This is mandated by the Washington Secretary of State. Find more information above.

When Should I Assign a Registered Agent?

You must assign a Registered Agent when you form your Washington business with the Secretary of State. You can change your agent afterward by filing the correct form. If you choose to form your LLC with us, we’ll file all the necessary forms on your behalf. You'll find more information above.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Yes, but we don’t recommend it for the reasons listed above.

Does the Registered Agent for my Washington-Based LLC Need to have an Address in Washington?

Yes. And if you use a company as your Registered Agent, that company must be legally able to conduct business in your state. You'll find more information above.

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