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, 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!
Appoint a Business to Change Registered Agent
What is a Registered Agent?
A registered agent is a person or business you designate for government correspondence, send or receive official mail 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 Do You Need to Change Registered Agent?
Since corporate or LLC registered agents can not use a 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 to 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 frequency as the personal address does.
Moreover, 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 documents, 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. mailboxes 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.
Select a State for DIY Method
Please select the state where you have registered your LLC and follow the state-specific procedure for changing your registered agent by yourself.