Change Your Registered Agent | How to File a Change of Agent
If you own a corporation, particularly an LLC in the United States, you are required to have a registered agent (RA). A registered agent is typically set up during the initial business formation process. Most RAs remained with various corporations and LLCs for a long period of time – without there being a need for a change of registered agent.
However, there are cases when there is a need for business owners to change their registered agent, which could be due to a wide variety of reasons. Thankfully, the process is relatively simple. All that’s required is that you complete a change of registered agent form that can be acquired from your specific state. When obtaining the form, simply use it to process your request and pay the applicable. The processing and filing fees are different from one state to the other. If you’re not familiar with a registered agent, it’s purpose or what you must do to appoint a new one, read on, we provide more detailed information below; including answers to common questions that many business owners have.
More About the Role Registered Agent
If you’re unfamiliar with the role of a registered agent, it is an individual or company who is responsible for receiving service of process notices, government notifications, correspondence from the Secretary of State, various tax forms, correspondences concerning lawsuits or other relevant matters.
It is a requirement by the Secretary of State or your state’s equivalent government agency to appoint a qualified registered agent. The registered agent must also be registered to do business in the same state that you have formed your LLC.
For the most part, a registered agent receives a wide variety of legal documents on behalf of your LLC. RAs are responsible for making sure that you receive important notifications that pertain to your corporation. More specifically, as it relates to tax payments, incorporating issues, legal activities or lawsuits that your business may be involved with.
Basically, your registered agent, also referred to as a statutory agent, acts as your LLC’s service of process during a summons or other relevant processing procedures.
It is not a requirement for a member of your LLC to be your registered agent. However, some are also members of their LLC’s, whereas others are not.
Before making a decision to become your own LLC’s registered agent, it’s important to weigh out all of the pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, in which we go into more detail in the sections below.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
It is required by law for all LLCs to designate a qualified registered agent to their company at the time the business is formed with the Secretary of State. If for whatever reason this does not occur, your entity will not be in good standing with the Secretary of State or your state’s equivalent. This could result in a large number of fines and other penalties. In addition to that, if you have a change of registered agent but do not notify the Secretary of State, you may incur other penalties such as fines, having your business license revoked, having your right to become engaged with legal contracts revoked, having your right to gain access to your state’s judicial system revoked or other similar penalties.
The worst part about it is that if you continue to operate your business during this time, you will do so while not being in good standing with the state.
Additionally, when you are ready to reinstate your business, the reinstatement process could add additional legal and financial fees to the overall process. Operating your LLC while not in good standing could lend itself to even bigger problems with the state.
Help File my Change of Registered Agent
Help File my Change of Registered Agent
Ready to get Started?
If you need to change registered agents, we can help. Our Team of experts can save you time by taking care of all the paperwork for you. To have a change of registered agent processed, simply complete our form that we have provided. It will allow you to discontinue the use of your current registered agent and began using a new one.
Answers to Common Questions
You probably still have some questions about changing your current registered agent. If so, the information provided below can assist you with some common questions that we’ve been faced with by several business owners.
A: In almost all cases, the registered agent that you select must be authorized to do business in the same state where your LLC was formed. However, there are cases where various states allow service companies to be hired by LLCs, including accountants or attorneys. In doing, so these service companies can provide the same services as a registered agent on your behalf.
A: Based on the state where your LLC was formed, you may be required to sign documents associated with changing registered agents. Please contact one of our professional experts and we will let you know if you are required to sign any documents associated with designating a new registered agent.
A: If you are the registered agent at your company and would like to resign, simply send an official notice to both the Secretary of State as well as to the business entity.
A: After the change of agent, documents have been completed, your Secretary of State or equivalent government agency normally submit a copy of any documents filed to appoint a new registered agent. Afterwards, the document is mailed to the prospective client.
A: In most cases, you are not required to provide an explanation about why you’d like to appoint a new registered agent.
Most states only need the name of the company involved along with the name, address and any relative information associated with both the current and the new registered agent. They will also need the name and any relative information of the person authorized to fill out the form on behalf of the LLC.
A: The fee to designate a new registered agent varies from one state to the other. However, to use our service fee please contact one of our professionals who can provide you with the total cost based on the fee required by your state.
A: If you need to file a change of registered agent expeditiously, you will experience a significant price increase. The increase could be as high as between $100 to $2,000, which mainly depends on how quickly you need to have the paperwork filed and processed. Some states can complete the entire process within one hour.
A: The amount of time required to file a change of agent varies based on the state agency that is processing the request. States with larger populations tend to take longer than states with smaller populations. If your request is not expedited, you can normally expect to wait up to three weeks in most states.
Q: I’m considering taking over the responsibilities of the registered agent for my company, are there any disadvantages that I should be aware of?
A: Although an individual member of an LLC can also be the designated registered agent, there are some things that you should consider before designating yourself.
- Because the registered agent must have a physical address in the same state where the corporation is located, you may be required to expose your home address unless you have a physical office. Post office boxes or private rented mailboxes are not allowed. So to meet this requirement, you must be prepared to use your physical place of business on all corporate documents.
- If you decide to expand your LLC and have a physical presence in multiple states, you will need to designate a registered agent for each state. Unless your company has a physical presence in each of those states, it will be difficult for you to serve as the registered agent for each site location as required.
- By law, the street address of all registered agents is public record. What that means is that anyone may have access to your address. This includes unsolicited marketers, spammers, and others who send out junk mail.
One of the advantages of using a registered agent in the first place is to keep your company’s address confidential. It also adds an extra layer of privacy and prevents you from dealing with unsolicited companies.
- A registered agent is required to maintain normal business hours. This is important to ensure that someone is available to receive and process various documents on behalf of the company at all times.
- Anytime there is a change of address associated with your LLC, it must be filed with the Secretary of State or the government equivalent in your state. In doing so, it meets the requirement of maintaining a current address. In almost all cases, there is an additional filing fee involved with this process as well.
A: If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should be the designated registered agent or hire a third-party registered agent, the following are a few advantages of bringing in an outside registered agent.
- You as a business owner are not required to maintain regular business hours. You can travel at will when they’ve hired a third-party registered agent.
- Business owners can keep their physical address private when using a third-party registered agent.
- Should official legal documents or a summons be served on the premises, you will avoid the embarrassment of receiving such documents in front of staff or clients.
- Most third-party registered agents already have systems in place that allows them to track and notify you of any annual reporting or other filings that may become due.
A: Typically, a registered agent must be anyone who is available and able to accept all official documents on behalf of your LLC during normal business hours. Although legally, you can appoint a relative, a best friend or even your next-door neighbor as your designated registered agent, they do require a certain level of responsibility. You should keep that in mind when selecting someone to designate as a registered agent. Basically, you should feel 100% confident that the person you designate to represent your company as the registered agent is responsible enough to carry out the assignment.
A: Although there are a few basic filing requirements that are relatively similar in each state within the US, not all states require the same information. Confirm with your state.
Choosing a registered agent may appear to be a minute formality, however, it is a very vital role as it relates to receiving communication from important government, legal and other agencies.
There are state-mandated requirements that the registered agent must adhere to in order to maintain compliance.
The registered agent also plays a key role in making sure that your LLC is always in good standing. Not only are they responsible for receiving critical communication on behalf of your organization, but they are also responsible for making sure that you do not miss important deadlines.
When choosing your next registered agent, be sure the registered agent that you select can maintain all regulatory issues required by the secretary of state. For more information about designating a new registered agent. Please contact our office today.