If you've registered an LLC, C Corp, or any other business entity. You would have designated an initial registered agent when you registered your company. But what happens if you decide to change who your registered agent will be?
Luckily, changing a registered agent is not complicated; however, it's important to make the change properly and not let the matter slide, as having a registered agent is a matter of compliance with your state laws.
Reasons for changing your registered agent
There are a multitude of reasons why you may wish to change your registered agent. When forming a business, people will designate themselves or another member of the newly created business to be the registered agent. However, because the registered agent's address is a matter of public record, the initial registered agent may no longer wish to serve as a registered agent. For example, people serving as registered agents for their companies may find themselves receiving a lot of unsolicited mail or junk mail:
Or perhaps you had designated yourself as your company's registered agent. Still, with the expansion of your business and the additional workload this entails, you can no longer fulfill the requirement of always being available at the registered agent's address during business hours. In such a case, hiring a registered agent service may make more sense to act as your company's registered agent.
Another common practice is to designate your attorney or accountant as your business's registered agent. But what happens if you change attorneys or accountants? You will also need to change your registered agent, as it's unlikely your former attorney or accountant will want to continue acting as your registered agent.
How to change your registered agent
The process for changing a registered agent varies from state to state, as does the fee each state charges for making the change; some states don't have any charge for filing a change of registered agent, while others charge a small fee.
Before you submit your Registered Agent change, check in with your local Small Business Administration. They provide links to each state's business services website, where you can obtain more information about the forms you need to fill out to change your registered agent. You can also call your state's business services office, which is often part of your state's Secretary of State office, for more information about what is required to change your registered agent.
Most states provide downloadable forms online on their websites. If the forms you need aren't available online or you're unable to download and print them, you should also be able to obtain them directly from your state's business services office.
Your state will require a change registered agent form and a form showing that your new registered agent consents to being designated your registered agent. Fill out and sign the forms as required; your registered agent will likely have to do the same with the consent form.
Once you've completed the forms required, you will need to file them. Some states offer online filing through their business office websites. You can also file the necessary forms by either mailing them in with the appropriate fee or by bringing the forms and fee directly to your state's business office.
Changing your registered agent is a relatively easy and simple process. The fee required for making such a change is generally fairly minimal in most states.
What happens if you have more than one business or have a business in more than one state needing registered agent?
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