When it comes to your business, there’s a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo that you have to deal with. One of those things is changing your registered agent.

Though changing a registered agent is simple, but filing the paperwork may confuse many people. But, with the help of this guide, changing a registered agent is smooth and hassle-free. So without further ado, let’s get started!

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What is Registered Agent?

A registered agent is a person or business you designate for government correspondence, send or receive official mails and compliance-related documents, and receive service of process notices on your LLC’s behalf.

You can change your registered agent at any time after you initially form your LLC. You just need to officially inform the state office where you registered your LLC.

Important Note: Many states that require you to submit an LLC annual or biennial report allow you to change your registered agent while submitting the report. However, it is not wise to wait that long. To stay compliant, you should notify the state as soon as you plan to change your registered agent to avoid missing any important notification by the state.

Why You Need to Change Registered Agent?

Since corporate or LLC registered agents can not use P.O.Box number, whoever is designated as an entity’s registered agent, their address goes in public records at the secretary of state’s website. 

For privacy reasons, you may not have nominated yourself as your business’s registered agent in your LLC’s article of organization. Perhaps, you have appointed your attorney or CPA instead. But, as you know, many business relationships do not hold forever.

So, just like that, your designated registered agent does not want to be your registered agent anymore. Some of the other reasons to change your registered agent could be:

  • Your designated registered agent retires.
  • Your designated registered agent is moving to another state.
  • Your designated registered agent is too busy to take responsibility for your business correspondence anymore.
  • Things are not working with the current registered agent. 
  • You nominated yourself as your registered agent but cannot track important timelines related to compliance and state notices and now want to designate a professional for this duty.

No matter what the reason is, once you decide to change your registered agent, notify your state at once. Otherwise, you may have to face the consequences.

Things to do Before Changing a Registered Agent 

Though changing a registered agent is not rocket science, it is still a headache. Especially if you are too busy dealing with other business issues, who has time and money to file papers for changing registered agents again and again?

Therefore, before designating any person or entity to send or receive state documents on your LLC’s behalf, it is crucial to know who you nominate as your registered agent. Make sure you have the consent of the person or entity whom you designate your registered agent, and your designated registered agent does not plan to leave any soon.

Important Note: We prefer entities or professional registered agent services over a person to be an LLC’s registered agent because the business address does not change with the frequency as the personal address does.

Moreover, the professional registered agent services know their work.

They have a system for compliance alerts and handling the state correspondence for many businesses for years, so they are experienced.

They never miss any document, and the chances for negligence are minimum. 

How to Change Registered Agent in Your State? 

Changing your registered agent is one of the simplest maintenance tasks that a business owner can do.

You cancel the previous registered agent service, hire a new registered agent, fill out and file a change of registered agent form with the secretary of state where you have registered your business, and there you go.

You can change your registered agent at any time. Most states, however, require some fee for processing the change of registered agent form.

But it’s really not that expensive and definitely worth doing whenever you need to update the information of who will receive your company’s important document, legal proceedings, or correspond on other important matters.

So, here is how you can change your LLC’s registered agent in your state.

Requirements of a Registered Agent 

In many states, the requirements for a registered agent are not that strict. However, your registered agent must meet the following basic criteria:

  • A registered agent should be 18 years of age or older.
  • A registered agent should be a resident of the state where you have registered your business.
  • A registered agent must be present in the office during regular business hours.
  • Since P.O. mailbox can’t be used in most states, a registered agent must have a physical address to which documents can be delivered. 

Before assigning anyone the duty of your registered agent, make sure they meet all the requirements mentioned above.

There are two common methods to change a registered agent:

  • DIY process of changing a registered agent
  • Hiring a professional registered agent service

Important Note: Before hiring any registered agent service, ensure it serves in all 50 states. Doing so will save you a lot of headaches in the future. For instance, if you plan to extend your business to other states, you would not have to deal with multiple companies for each state.

Method #1
Method #2

3 Best Formation Companies to Change Registered Agent 

If you are busy handling other stuff of your business and unable to manage time for filing a change of registered agent form with your state, try the following formation companies.

These companies can file your change of registered agent form at a fraction of the cost. 

Moreover, you can hire their registered agent services to avoid the future headache of changing registered agents again and again. All you need to do is pay an annual fee and let these services handle all the stuff for you. 

1. Zenbusiness ($99/year)

ZenBusiness is the most famous formation company that provides all LLC-related services at a competitive market price.

For registered agent service, ZenBusiness charges you only $99 per anum + a one-time change of registered agent fee (vary state to state). They also ensure expert support and access to online documents at this price.

2. Northwest Registered Agent ($125/year)

They have a simple and easy checkout process with instant online service. They scan every document you receive locally and never sell your data to third-party platforms.

So, your information stays secure with them. Moreover, they also give you reminders related to annual report compliance.

3. IncFile ($119/year)

IncFile charges you $49 plus the state fee for the change of registered agent service. If you hire their registered agent services, you have to pay $119 per year.

They send you important notifications via email and SMS. You can access your registered agent dashboard 24/7.

Things to do After Changing a Registered Agent 

Once you change your registered agent, you must make sure you follow every document that your registered agent sends you on the state’s behalf.

Whether it is related to an annual report, service of the process, or any other important deadline, you need to pursue everything actively. Otherwise, you will not benefit from all the headaches you went through while changing the registered agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is another name for a registered agent. It is also called a resident agent or process of the service agent. A registered agent is called by many names in different states, but they all mean that this person will help correspond with the state on your business’s behalf, receive service of process, and accept or send the important business documents. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent? 

Yes, any person can be their own registered agent. You can also ask a friend you trust or choose to elect a member of your LLC. But if you are considering being your own registered agent, remember that there is a lot of responsibility associated with being your own registered agent. 

Who can be a registered agent?

As long as the person meets these requirements, you can nominate them as your registered agent:

  • A registered agent should be 18 years of age or older.
  • A registered agent should be a resident of the state where you have registered your business.
  • A registered agent must be present in the office during regular business hours.
  • Since P.O. mailbox can’t be used in most states, a registered agent must have a physical address to which documents can be delivered. 

However, many businesses prefer professional formation companies such as ZenBusiness for registered agent service to get everything smooth and streamlined.

How much does an LLC registered agent cost?

A registered agent service can cost you around $50 to $300. ZenBusiness charges you $99, while IncFile costs $119 per year for registered agent services. However, hiring a registered agent service saves you time, effort, and money in the longer run.

What does “service of process” mean?

Service of process means receiving legal documents, including court summons or legal notices to appear before a judge in case of a pending lawsuit.

Who is a service of process agent?

A registered agent is also known as service of the process agent as this person or entity receives service of process on your business’s behalf.

My registered agent resigned or moved to another state. Do I need to file any document with the secretary of state?

Yes. Any domestic or foreign filing entity is needed to maintain a registered agent continuously. Suppose you fail to have an active registered agent. In that case, you may face involuntary termination in case of a domestic filing entity or the revocation if you are a foreign filing entity. Therefore, it is crucial to file a statement of change of registered agent with the secretary of state. You must notify even if your existing registered agent’s address has been changed.

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