Every limited liability company operating in the United States needs to designate a registered agent. Even after you identify your initial registered agent in your formation paperwork, there are several reasons for why you may need to change the registered agent for your LLC in Washington.
Your registered agent could be moving out of state, or they could be a former co-owner or employee who no longer works for your organization. Maybe you want to switch from an individual registered agent to a professional service that operates in all 50 states, or perhaps you’re simply unsatisfied with your current registered agent’s service.
Whatever the reason may be, each state allows you to change your registered agent at any time, and in most states the process is both simple and inexpensive. Let’s dive into the specifics of how to change your LLC’s registered agent in Washington.
NOTE: If you need help changing registered agents, the same services that are known for offering online LLC services — like LegalZoom and Zen Business — can also take over registered agent duties and file the needed paperwork.
Who Can Be a Washington Registered Agent?
A Washington registered agent is a person or business entity that has a physical address in the state. You or one of your co-owners can serve as your own registered agent, you can designate a friend or family member for this role, you can hire a lawyer or accountant as your agent, or you can hire an online business services company to provide registered agent service.
No matter who you choose to be your registered agent, they need to be physically present at the address provided to the state during all standard business hours. This person or entity does not need to have any prior experience being a registered agent, but it’s wise to choose a registered agent who is familiar with the serious responsibilities that come with this role.
There is no minimum age requirement on who can be a registered agent in the state of Washington. In addition, this state might have the most relaxed rules and regulations in the nation regarding registered agent eligibility. Other than requiring that a registered agent have an address in Washington, all the state really says about this is that “the registered agent may be an individual or a business,” and that they “must provide a physical address at which the agent is available for service of process.”
For more general information regarding the role of a registered agent with a Washington LLC, we encourage you to check out our full guide on the topic.
What Is the Procedure for Changing Your LLC Registered Agent in Washington?
While the role of the registered agent is vitally important for any American business entity, this role can always be changed, and there are different rules for how to change your agent depending on which state your business operates in.
In the state of Washington, there are two different ways to change a limited liability company’s registered agent. You can either file a Statement of Change form, or you can update your registered agent information when you file your annual report.
Option 1) Filing a Statement of Change Form
The first option to change an LLC’s registered agent in Washington is to file a Commercial Statement of Change form to change a commercial registered agent, or a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent form for noncommercial registered agents. Neither of these documents has a filing fee, and they can both be filed either online (add $20), via mail, or in person.
Option 2) Indicating the Registered Agent Change in the LLC Annual Report
The other way for an LLC to change registered agents in Washington is to update this information when filing your annual report. There is a $60 fee to file an annual report, and it’s due by the end of your LLC’s formation anniversary month. This form can be filed online (add $20), in person, or by mail.
The standard processing time for a paper filing in this state is about 15 business days. The reason Washington adds a $20 surcharge to all online filings is because they consider these forms to be automatically expedited, with a turnaround of two business days. Washington’s paper filing expediting option costs $50, and will also speed up mailed filings to a two business day turnaround, whereas expedited in-person filings will be processed the same day, typically within just one hour.
Prefer to Have a Registered Agent Service Handle Your Requirements?
A registered agent service is a company that specializes in being a registered agent for a wide variety of businesses across the country, bringing tons of expertise and a healthy dose of reliability to the role.
Most professional registered agent services operate on a national basis, meaning there’s no restrictions on which states you can operate your business in. They also tend to charge affordable rates, as you can find several registered agent services that charge around $10/month or even less for this service. In addition, most of these companies will also offer to handle the process of changing a registered agent for you.
If you’re interested in this option, we highly recommend Northwest Registered Agent.
The Law for Changing Your LLC Registered Agent in Washington
It’s always important to be well-informed regarding the specific laws for changing your registered agent. In Washington, the registered agent laws do not vary depending on business entity type or domestic/foreign classification, so all businesses follow the same rules and regulations for registered agent changes.
Specifically, we can look to Chapter 23, Section 95 of the Revised Code of Washington, which states:
- “A represented entity may change its registered agent or other information on file under RCW 23.95.415(1) by delivering to the secretary of state for filing a statement of change executed by the entity which states:
- The name of the entity; and
- The information required under RCW 23.95.415(1).
- The interest holders or governors of a domestic entity need not approve the filing of:
- A statement of change under this section; or
- A similar filing changing the registered agent or registered office, if any, of the entity in any other jurisdiction.
- A statement of change under this section designating a new registered agent must be accompanied by the new registered agent’s consent in a record, either on the statement or attached to it in a manner and form as the secretary of state may prescribe, to the appointment.”
If you operate a limited liability company in the state of Washington, you need to designate a registered agent to receive important government document deliveries on your behalf. If you decide at any time that you would rather change your registered agent to a different individual or business entity, it’s important to know what that process looks like.
In Washington, an LLC can change its registered agent either by filing a Statement of Change form, or by indicating the change in its annual report. They’re both relatively simple documents with reasonable filing fees, but if you’d rather have a registered agent service handle this task for you, you certainly have that option.
We hope this article helped you improve your understanding of changing a registered agent in Washington, and as always we thank you for choosing Registered Agent Ready!