Are you planning to form a limited liability company (LLC) in Washington?
Then you will need to appoint a registered agent (also known as a statutory agent) for your new business. That’s a legal requirement dictated by the state laws.
Granted, you have plenty of options apart from designating yourself.
In this post, we discuss why paying for a Washington registered agent service is worth it and provide a list of verified local services providers.
Table of contents
- Who can be a registered agent for an LLC in Washington?
- Washington registered agent services list
- How do I appoint a registered agent in Washington?
- How do I change my registered agent in Washington?
- FAQs about Washington registered agents
Who can be a registered agent for an LLC in Washington?
Any private person can be a registered agent for a Washington LLC provided that they:
- Are above legal age (over 18)
- Have a physical street address in the state (a P.O. box isn’t accepted)
- Can be available at their registered office during the regular business hours year-round
Alternatively, a commercial registered agent service provider can also serve as a registered agent for an LLC in this state.
Why use a professional Washington registered agent service
A registered agent is a person or a business entity that receives official correspondence and legal documents on behalf of your LLC. The above includes correspondence from the Washington Secretary of State, any mailed-in legal notices, and service of process of lawsuits and subpoenas.
The name and contact details of your registered agent, an individual or business entity, must be listed on your company formation documents, namely Articles of Organization.
You will also need to continuously maintain a registered agent for your LLC and update the registered agent information when filing your annual report. Otherwise, you might lose good standing with the state, which can have disastrous consequences for your business.
Appointing yourself as your own registered agent might seem like the most straightforward solution. But this option has three major drawbacks:
- You need to stay on top of your correspondence at all times. That can be challenging when you are concentrated on other aspects of your business.
- Your business address becomes your registered office address and, therefore, a public record. That raises serious privacy concerns, especially if you are operating from home.
- You must be available at your registered office during normal business hours year-round in case of service of process. That means that you are tied to that location.
You may also appoint a private person as your registered agent, but they will need to handle the issues above.
Moreover, asking a family member or a friend to be your registered agent exposes you to additional risks. They may not take the registered agent duties seriously and miss a service of process document. That would get your small business in legal trouble.
Because of the above inconveniences, many business owners choose to pay for a professional registered agent service instead.
That way, your registered agent service provider:
- Receives all the correspondence on behalf of your LLC. Then either forward scanned documents to you via email or upload them to their system that you can access through your online account. Some companies also offer mail forwarding. You won’t miss anything important since the service provider keeps you posted.
- Provides their office address as your LLC’s registered office address. It allows you to protect your privacy.
- Always has someone on duty at the registered office during regular business hours if service of process arrives. You are free to take vacations, travel, or even move somewhere else.
When you consider how much work being a registered agent is, paying someone else to do it for you is the most sensible solution.
Washington registered agent services list
Interested to learn how much a commercial registered agent will cost you in Washington and what you’d be getting for your money?
Here’s a list of 12 reputable professional registered agent service providers with pricing information and extra business services overview included.
1. Aspen Services Group, LLC
Aspen Services Group LLC specializes in educating business owners on compliance and risk management. They also provide registered agent services.
The company offers timely notifications of Service of Process — usually, its clients are notified about it the same day.
And they tout over 30 years of experience in the industry. So you can count on their expertise.
- Address: 8201 164th Ave NE #200, Redmond, WA 98052
2. Washington Registered Agent LLC
Washington Registered Agent LLC provides LLC formation, incorporation, and registered agent services.
The company guarantees that its registered agent service price will stay the same for as long as you remain their client.
This company owns its office building, so you can rest assured that its office address will stay the same for the foreseeable future. In other words: you won’t have to pay extra state fees to update your registered agent’s address with the state.
- Costs: $65/year
- Address: 100 N. Howard St. Suite W, Spokane, WA 99201
3. 21st Century Law Office
21st Century Law Office is a law firm specializing in servicing business entities – from formation to contract work and ongoing legal compliance.
The firm also offers a fixed-fee business formation package that includes a registered agent service (upon request). The services included in this package can be tailored to your specific situation and needs.
So if you are looking for a flexible mix of legal and administrative services, this is a good option.
- Address: 19125 North Creek Parkway, Suite 120, Bothell, Washington 98011
4. Barron Smith Daugert
Barron Smith Daugert is a law firm that specializes in several practice areas, including business and corporate law, employment law, and estate planning.
The firm also offers a registered agent service. It takes pride in its reliability – all mail received on behalf of a client is forwarded to that client on the same day (via email or via regular mail).
- Address: 300 North Commercial, PO Box 5008, Bellingham, WA 98227-5008
5. Registered Agents Inc
Registered Agents Inc. is a nationwide registered agent service provider with services in all 50 states. This is a major advantage if you have several foreign LLC registrations.
Unlike some of its competitors, Registered Agents Inc. does not forward the correspondence it receives to a scanning hub – the company scans all the documents right there in their local offices. It means that you’ll be notified about any correspondence addressed to your LLC immediately.
Moreover, the company operates customer service branches across every time zone in the United States, so you’d get help whenever you need it.
- Costs: $200/year
- Address: Spokane, WA
6. Washington Commercial Registered Agent LLC
Washington Commercial Registered Agent LLC offers company incorporation and registered agent services.
As the name suggests, the team operates only in WA and has a great deal of experience with local business laws and administrative procedures.
This company also places a special emphasis on privacy. It might be worth looking into this registered agent service provider if that’s an important consideration for you.
- Costs: $59/year
- Address: 100 N Howard ST STE R, Spokane, WA 99201
7. CT Corporation
CT Corporation has a wide spectrum of business services, including a registered agent service.
The company has served more than 300,000 businesses since 1892. This makes it one of the most established organizations on this list.
That being said, CT corporation is a more expensive choice. They primarily work with larger enterprises rather than single-member LLCs or newly-founded startups.
- Costs: $320/year
- Address: 580 Naches Avenue, Renton, 98055, WA
ICS provides various business services, including a registered agent service. You can choose between:
- A “Registered Agent Only” package ($59/year).
- A “Virtual Office Address + Registered Agent” package (29.95/month or $299/year).
Note that the virtual office in question isn’t a P.O. box. It’s a commercial office facility with a real physical street address.
- Costs: $59/year
- Address: 5608 17th Avenue NW, Seattle, WA
9. Corporate Filing Solutions
Corporate Filing Solutions provides incorporation and registered agent services in all 50 states.
For the latter, you can choose the payment frequency ranging from annual ($95/year) to quinquennial ($55/year, $275 total).
The company promises to scan all service of process and legal documents received on behalf of your company on the same day.
- Costs: $55-$95/year
- Address: 8 The Green Suite C Dover, DE 19901
10. Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano & Lind
Sherrard McGonagle Tizzano & Lind is a law firm in operations since 1954.
The firm specializes in various practice areas, including business planning, estate planning, and real estate law. It also offers a registered agent service for its customers.
Partnering with them makes sense if you want extra legal advice on operations in your industry. Or assistance with legal paperwork such as vendor contracts or operating agreements.
- Address: 241 Madison Avenue N, Bainbridge Island WA 98110
CSC provides various business services, including a registered agent service.
The company has been working with Washington businesses for over 120 years, making it the second most established organization on this list.
Again, they cater mostly to larger companies by offering a range of complementary services – from tax planning to business licenses applications.
- Address: 300 Deschutes Way SW, Suite 208, Tumwater, WA 98501
Puget Sound Registered Agent Services LLC, also known as PSRA, provides a registered agent service to any entities seeking a registered agent in the state of Washington.
The company charges a $60 Secretary of State filing fee, bank processing fee, + a $190/year registered agent service fee.
That adds up to an annual fee of $250.
- Costs: $250/year
- Address: 1000 2nd Ave, Suite 1770, Seattle, Washington 98104
National registered agent service providers
Need more options?
Then you can also consider national registered agent service providers that offer fully digital services:
- Harbor Compliance. Annual costs: $99.
- LegalZoom. Annual costs: $299.
- IncFile. Annual costs: $119 after the first year.
- Northwest registered agent. $125 per year.
How do I appoint a registered agent in Washington?
Registered agent appointment is bundled into the Certificate of Formation preparation. On this form, you need to list your registered agent’s name and address, along with general company details. Then file it with the Washington Secretary of State for approval.
Once processed, your registered agent appointment is official.
How do I change my registered agent in Washington?
To change your registered agent in WA, you need to fill in the Statement of Change/Designation of a Registered Agent form. Then file it with the Washington SOS. This service is free of charge.
Alternatively, you can update your registered agent information when filing your annual report.
FAQs about Washington registered agents
Here are the frequently asked questions about registered agent services in Washington.