How to choose a Registered Agent in Washington?
If you aim to register your business in a state like Washington then you will be obligated to follow state business laws. Hiring a registered agent in Washington is one of the most vital requirements. The primary objective of a resident agent is to provide service of process. They can also offer a variety of business-related services. This guide has been specifically created to provide you with an insight into the Washington agent for service of process, the need for an agent, choosing an agent for an LLC or corporation, and changing your registered agent.
Washington Registered Agent
There are several details to consider when starting a new business in any state in the USA. One of the main points to take into consideration is choosing a registered agent. The laws related to hiring and maintaining a registered agent may vary from one state to another. Most states have made it mandatory for entities to provide information regarding their agent like their physical address. This information is a requisite for a new business formation or incorporation process. Hiring a registered agent in Washington is governed by the 2021 Revised Code of Washington.
What is a Washington registered agent?
A registered agent in Washington is also known as a resident agent, an agent for service of process, or even just an agent. A registered agent (RA) can be a business or an individual who has been designated in compliance with state laws for receiving service of process (SOP) on behalf of an LLC, a corporation, or any other form of business. A Washington LLC registered agent is capable of providing a wide variety of business-related services apart from SOP.
Some of the best Washington registered agents like IncParadise provide services focused on business requirements such as: assisting with incorporation, moving a business, various amendments, filing annual reports, obtaining a certificate of good standing, as well as a federal tax ID (EIN) among others. Whether you are hiring a new registered agent in Washington or intend to change your existing agent, it is important to understand the benefits of designating a Washington agent for service of process.
Why do Washington businesses need a registered agent?
A Washington registered agent is considered to be the legally designated point of contact between an entity and the state or the office of the Secretary of state. Although every business-for-profit or non-profit being formed in Washington needs to have a resident agent, it is important to understand the need for an agent. A Washington Corporation registered agent will meet the following business requirements:
- Service of Process – The most important reason why a business requires a registered agent is to fulfill the service of process. A Washington agent for service of process refers to your agent being the person who will receive any legal notices, writs, or summons that have been forwarded by any member representing the office of the Secretary of State like a constable or a sheriff.
- Business-Related Documents – When you form a new business, you will receive important documents from the state irrespective of whether your company is a domestic or foreign entity. The role of a registered agent in Washington is to make certain that you receive all business-related mail from the office of the Secretary of State, Corporations & Charities Division, and the Washington Department of Revenue among others. When an owner can’t respond to such mail, the chosen registered agent receives and responds to the mail on behalf of the entity or owner.
- Formation and Annual Maintenance – Different types of domestic and foreign business entities have different formation or incorporation processes, as well as different annual requirements. A Washington LLC registered agent or an agent for a corporation will be able to provide meaningful assistance for the new business formation. The chosen registered agent in Washington can also help an entity file annual reports for maintaining compliance and good standing with the state.
Why use a registered agent service rather than being your own registered agent?
The state of Washington allows both individual and commercial registered agents. If you are wondering whether or not it is possible to be your own registered agent, then the answer is yes it is possible. Being your own agent can be beneficial as it cuts down the cost of hiring and maintaining a state-approved agent. However, it is especially important to remember that as a Washington agent for service of process, you need to be available every day and your personal information will no longer be private.
This is one of the main reasons for choosing a professional service or a registered agent in Washington. Expecting business owners to be available every single business day, year after year can be a difficult obligation for them to uphold, mostly due to business commitments. Taking a single holiday off may mean missing an important legal service. There are several advantages to hiring a professional registered agent like IncParadise. Some of them include:
- A Washington Corporation registered agent service must maintain regular business hours and be available every business day to receive notices and official documents. A resident agent will not only receive notices but also forward them to the relevant company.
- A professional registered agent in Washington will also have a physical address, which is an important state requirement.
- They will also handle and help organize your business documents. Some agencies even provide offsite storage capabilities for sensitive documents.
- One of the most essential services offered is sending timely reminders for services like filing your Washington annual reports.
- When you hire a registered agent service, your private information will remain protected.
Are you looking for the best Registered Agent Services in Washington?
How to choose a registered agent in Washington
The Revised Code of Washington states that it is mandatory to maintain a Washington agent for service of process before or after you form or incorporate your startup. There are hundreds and thousands of services out there and you might find it difficult to choose the right registered agent services. Because of that, you will need to conduct a proper Washington registered agent search while comparing the services provided and the rates of multiple agents. Each resident agent service has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to choose an agent that completely suits your needs and requirements. Here are some tips to consider:
- Look for a professional service in terms of keeping business hours
- It is recommended to choose an agent that specializes in handling and forwarding sensitive documents.
- When performing a Washington registered agent search, consider an agent that offers a customized electronic notification service.
- You should also look for agents offering additional state or business compliance tools like the Entity Management Software by IncParadise.
- Try to select a registered agent service that is available nationwide. This works well when planning to expand to other states.
Submit consent to appointment
Once you have searched for a Washington registered agent search and chosen an individual or a firm, the next step is to submit consent to appointment. According to RCW 23.95.415, any business in the state cannot appoint a registered agent without providing prior consent in record to the said appointment. This consent has to be delivered to the office of the secretary of state in a format that has been authorized by the Washington SOS. The consent format is submitted with the Certificate of Formation or the Articles of Incorporation.
Elect registered agent for LLC in Washington
If you aim to form a limited liability company, then you will need to hire and maintain a Washington LLC registered agent according to WA Rev Code § 25.15.021 (2016). Once you have chosen RA services, you will need to provide detailed information regarding the chosen individual or firm. There is a section in the Certificate of Formation application where you need to provide specific information such as the name of the commercial RA, their street and mailing addresses, and consent to serve as a Registered Agent in the State of Washington.
Elect registered agent for Corporation in Washington
A business corporation is one of the most popular entity types in Washington. Whether you plan to form a domestic entity or a foreign corporation, you will need to continuously maintain a registered agent in Washington. To elect an RA, consent to serve as a Registered Agent must be submitted. According to the 2021 Revised Code of Washington, Title 23B – WASHINGTON BUSINESS CORPORATION ACT, 23B.05 Office and agent – the consent to serve is one of the sections in the Articles of incorporation. All you have to do is provide all details regarding the chosen Washington Corporation registered agent and submit it to the office of the Secretary of state.
Elect a registered agent for a Non-profit in Washington
If you want to form a non-profit entity in Washington, you will need to maintain a Washington Registered agent. Hiring a registered agent is governed by the 2021 Revised Code of Washington, Title 24 – CORPORATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS (NONPROFIT). Once you choose an agent, you will need to submit their information to the office of the Secretary of State. This is possible by filing the formation or incorporation documents, which have a section on consent to serve as a Registered Agent in the State of Washington.
How to change a registered agent in Washington
Whether you have the desire to form a new business in Washington or have already incorporated, you may find yourself wanting to change your current Washington Corporation registered agent. The reasons for this type of change may vary from one business to another. Performing a thorough Washington registered agent search is highly recommended in order to compare your requirements with the services offered. Once you have chosen a registered agent service, it is important to know the change of agent process. The process to change agents can vary from one state to another, although some details remain the same like notifying your former agent and filing documentation for a change of agent. Let’s look at the process to change your resident agent in Washington with ease.
File and submit Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent to the Washington Secretary of State
If you are considering changing your registered agent in Washington then one of the first steps in this process is filling out and submitting the Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent form, pursuant to RCW 23.95.415. You can submit this form online or file the paper form with the Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations & Charities Division. You can even expedite the processing for the change of Washington LLC registered agent by filing an additional fee. You will need to provide specific information like the Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number and the street and mailing address of the Registered Agent. You will also need to specify whether the chosen agent is a commercial registered agent or a non-commercial registered agent.
Submit the consent statement of new registered agent to the SOS
As part of the process for changing a registered agent in Washington, you will also be required to provide consent to serve as Registered Agent. This is an express statement, which highlights the fact that the chosen person or business has consented to serve as your company registered agent. There is no separate form for this option. There is a small section in the Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent form dedicated to consent to serve.
Why choose IncParadise as your Washington Registered Agent?
If you have plans to form a new business or are considering moving your existing business to Washington, then it is mandatory to maintain a Washington agent for service of process. The state laws require a registered agent to be available every workday and should have a physical presence in the state. IncParadise is one of the top registered agents services in Washington. We adhere to the regulations established by the office of the Secretary of State. We have helped many LLCs and Corporations in Washington as well as other states.
As a registered agent service provider in Washington, we have the necessary expertise and experience in the field of business formation. We can also help you with the process to choose us as your Washington LLC registered agent. As your registered agent service provider, we will accept the service of process and any other important state and business communications including legal, official, and business documents. We also provide Entity Management Software to all our clients, which enables access to email notifications for the renewal of agents and other business services in Washington.