How To Change Registered Agent In Washington? (Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 1, 2024
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Changing your Washington registered agent is a process that requires taking specific steps and following state regulations that will ensure your request gets approved.

If you have chosen the wrong registered agent service and you’re looking for a change, we can help you.

We teamed up with our Washington LLC experts to help you learn how to change your registered agent easily.

After thoroughly researching Washington Secretary of State requirements, we have gathered all the necessary information in one place.

Quick Summary

  • Changing a registered agent in Washington involves filing a Statement of Change with the Secretary of State.
  • The process can be completed online, by mail, in person, or via fax, or by amendment or updating the annual report, each method having specific requirements.
  • Washington's favorable business climate, with a low first-year failure rate of 16.7%, shows the importance of choosing a reliable registered agent for sustained success.
  • In my opinion, choosing the right registered agent service is crucial for businesses to ensure legal compliance and efficient handling of documents.

How To Change Registered Agent In Washington?

Checking files from Washington Registered Agents

To change your registered agent with the Washington Secretary of State, you must fill out and file a statement of change with the Corporation Division.

Here are ways of changing your registered agent.

1. Changing Your Registered Agent Using A Professional Service

  • Selecting a Professional Registered Agent Service

Look for reputable professional services specializing in registered agent duties in Washington.

Professional registered agent services typically charge an annual fee ranging from $50 to $300.

You may need to provide information such as your LLC's name, current registered agent details, and your authorization for the service to act as your new registered agent.

  • Filing the Statement of Change

Your selected professional service will prepare and submit the Statement of Change to the Washington Secretary of State Corporations and Charities Division on your behalf.

The filing fee for changing a registered agent in Washington is generally around $20. This is in addition to the service fee charged by the professional agent.

The professional service may require certain documents from you, such as a signed agreement with them, and your LLC details.

  • Processing and Confirmation

The processing time can vary. Online filings are generally processed within a few days, while paper filings can take up to a month. Upon completion, the Corporations and Charities Division will send a certified copy of the registered agent change form as confirmation.

2. Changing Your Registered Agent Online

  • Gather Information

You'll need your business name, Unified Business Identifier (UBI), and the names and addresses of your current and new registered agents [1].

  • Access the Secretary of State’s Website

You will go to the Corporation and Charities division website at Corporations and Charities System (wa.gov) and log in with your account or create one.

  • Complete the Statement of Change Form

Fill in the required details on the form: business name, UBI, current and new registered agent details.

  • Submit and Pay

After completing the form, submit it through the online system. The filing fee for changing a registered agent in Washington is typically around $20. This fee is subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the current fee on the Secretary of State’s website before filing.

  • Wait for Confirmation

Confirmation is typically emailed within a few days.

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often."

- Winston Churchill, British Statesman and writer.

3. Changing Your Registered Agent by Mail, In-person, or Fax

  • Obtain the Statement of Change Form

In light of the 424,524 jobs added in Washington through business initiatives, as highlighted by the US Small Business Administration, ensuring your business's legal documents are up-to-date is essential [2].

The form can be downloaded from the Washington Secretary of State’s website. It will require your business name, Unified Business Identifier (UBI), current registered agent's name and address, and the new registered agent's name and address.

  • Complete the Form

Fill out the Statement of Change form with an intent to "change the registered agent". Ensure all information provided is accurate to avoid processing delays.

  • Choose Submission Method

By Mail: Send the completed form to the mailing address provided by the Washington State Secretary of State.

In-Person: Deliver the form to the designated office location.

By Fax: Fax the form to the fax number provided on the Secretary of State’s website.

  • Filing Fee

The fee for changing a registered agent is typically around $20, but it’s advisable to confirm the current fee on the Secretary of State’s website.

Include a check or money order for mail submissions. For fax submissions, you may need to provide credit card details.

You can expedite your Statement of Change by writing expedite on the envelope and checking the expedite box on the filing form.

You need to include an additional $50 fee for expediting your filing.

  • Processing

Paper filing processes can take up to a month. Confirmation will be sent once your change of registered agent is processed.

4. Changing Your Registered Agent by Amendment

Changing your registered agent in Washington by filing an amendment involves several specific steps.
Here's a concise guide:

  • Obtain the Amendment Form

Download the 'Amendment of Formation/Registration' form from the Washington Secretary of State’s website

Fill out the form with your business name, Unified Business Identifier (UBI), and details about the amendment, including changing your registered agent.

  • Determine Filing Fee

The fee for filing an amendment in Washington was $30 for online submissions and $50 for paper submissions. However, these fees can change, so it's important to check the latest fee structure on the Washington Secretary of State’s website.

  • Submit the Form

File the form online, by mail, fax, or in-person. Include the appropriate filing fee with your submission.

  • Processing

Online filings are typically processed faster than paper submissions.

5.Changing Your Registered Agent by Annual Report

Changing your registered agent in Washington through the annual report involves these steps:

  • Prepare for Filing: Gather your business's Unified Business Identifier (UBI) and the new registered agent's information.
  • Access the Filing System: Go to the Washington Secretary of State’s Corporations and Charities Filing System website.
  • File the Annual Report: During the filing process, update your registered agent information.
  • Pay the Fee: The annual report filing fee varies; for most businesses, it's $60.
  • Submit and Confirm: Complete the filing and wait for confirmation.

Who Can Be A Washington Registered Agent?

Agreement with a businessman on changing a registered agent in Washington

Any individual or business with a physical address in the state who is available during regular business hours can be a Washington agent.

An individual can become a registered agent in Washington if they are 18 years or older and willing to complete the registered agent paperwork [3].

Washington registered agents receive paperwork, including a Washington LLC annual report, online filings, service of process, and more on behalf of the business.

FAQs

Does My Registered Agent Have To Consent To Be Appointed?

Yes, your registered agent has to consent to be appointed. Any individual or business you choose has to state that they consent to be your business’s registered agent.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Washington?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Washington as long as you meet the requirements set by the state.

Why Do I Need A Registered Agent In Washington?

You need a registered agent in Washington because the state requires it by law. All registered businesses need a registered agent; if you don’t appoint one, the state will reject your business filing.

Do You Want To Change Your Washington Registered Agent?

If you’re looking to change your Washington registered agent, you need to choose any individual 18 years old or over or any business that can be available during regular business hours.

Changing your registered agent in Washington can be done online, by mail, fax, or in person.

These Washington registered agent services can help you ensure the process is done quickly and correctly.


References:

  1. https://corps2.sos.wa.gov/statementofchange/Login.aspx
  2. https://advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-Small-Business-Economic-Profile-WA.pdf
  3. https://www.sos.wa.gov/corporations-charities/frequently-asked-questions-faqs/faq-registered-agent

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