File a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent
Filing a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent with the Washington Secretary of State is the best way to change your registered agent year-round.
This can be done online, by mail, or in person.
Recommended: Submit a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent Online
You can complete and submit a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent online via the Washington Secretary of State’s Corporations and Charities Filing System. The steps for this process include:
- Log in to the website
- Under “Business Maintenance Filings” select “Designation of Agent/Statement of Change”
- Search for and select your company
- Complete the form and indicate that your new agent has given you a consent statement
- Submit the form along with payment
Submit a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent by Mail or In Person
To submit a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent by mail or in person, first, download the form from the Washington Secretary of State website and then fill it out.
After your new agent signs their consent, submit the form to:
Washington Office of the Secretary of State
Corporations and Charities Division
801 Capitol Way S.
Olympia, WA 98504-0234
Fee: There is no filing fee
Expedite Your Order
If you need the Washington Secretary of State to expedite the processing of your mailed form, you must check the “Expedite Service” box on the form and include a $50 expediting fee.
Submit an Annual Report
If you’re close to the filing deadline for your business’s Washington annual report, you can use this filing to your advantage and also change your registered agent without needing to file additional paperwork. This is the simplest way to change your registered agent, but it must be done within the filing period.
Make sure to put your new registered agent’s information on the report. Once you file that report, you’ll effectively change your registered agent.
Why Change Registered Agents?
A company might want to change its registered agent for several reasons, such as:
- Changing From an Individual Agent to a Registered Agent Service: While individuals may act as registered agents (including a company’s own executives or employees), they’ll be publicly listed in the state’s database. Some people may consider this an intrusion into their privacy. Registered agents also must be available in their office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, which could be an inconvenience. Changing to a registered agent service solves these issues.
- Expanding Business Into New States: Limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and other formal business structures must have a registered agent for each state in which they do business. Not all registered agents have the capability to serve as a registered agent in every state. Some businesses prefer to have the same registered agent for each state rather than several different ones.
- Customer Satisfaction: Whether it’s about price, customer service, or the quality of the work, some changes happen simply because a business isn’t happy with its current registered agent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can be a registered agent in Washington?
A company or person over the age of 18 located in Washington can serve as a registered agent, including individuals in your company. The only exception to this is that a company can’t serve as a registered agent for itself.
Can anyone be a registered agent?
Anyone can be a registered agent as long as they: are at least 18 years old, have a physical address in Washington, and are always available during regular business hours at that address.
Can I be my own registered agent in Washington?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Washington if you:
- Are 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in Washington
- Are always available during normal business hours to receive service of process in person
Note that this applies to you as an individual serving as the registered agent for the company. A company can’t serve as its own registered agent.
What does a registered agent do?
Registered agents help keep your business compliant by maintaining up-to-date paperwork. They also are in charge of accepting official correspondence on behalf of your business, such as paperwork from the state and federal government, tax forms, and legal notices.
How much does it cost to change my registered agent in Washington?
There is no fee to change your Washington registered agent when filing a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent with the Secretary of State.
How much does a Washington registered agent cost?
A professional registered agent service typically costs between $50 and $300 per year. If you choose to serve as your own registered agent, there is no cost.
What form do you file to change a registered agent in Washington?
You can change a Washington registered agent by filing a Statement of Change/Designation of Registered Agent with the Secretary of State.
Should I be my own registered agent?
You may serve as your own registered agent if you meet certain conditions. Some small business owners choose to do this instead of hiring a third party or appointing someone else.
But, because this position comes with extra responsibilities and potential inconveniences, many business owners decide it’s better for them to appoint another person or a professional service to act as their registered agent. You should weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which is best for you and your business.