If your business is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation, you must appoint a registered agent to accept service of process for your company. Assigning an authorized registered agent is necessary for keeping your business legally compliant and maintaining good standing in the state(s) in which you operate.
Your registered agent is the entity—an individual or business in the state(s) in which your company conducts business—that will receive legal documents on your behalf.
Examples of the types of mail that goes to your registered agent include:
- Tax notices
- Federal and state correspondence
- Notice of lawsuits
- Summonses to appear in court
- Wage garnishment notices to withhold money from an employee’s paycheck and send it elsewhere
- Corporate filing notifications
While it’s not uncommon for businesses to maintain the same registered agent year after year, you might decide you would like to change yours at some point in time.
Why Would You Want to Change Your Registered Agent?
You designated someone from your company as your registered agent—and it’s not working out.
While most states allow you to appoint yourself, another member of your LLC, another shareholder of your corporation, or an employee as your company’s registered agent, it may turn out to not be such a practical choice as their name and address information will be considered public info as it will be listed on the secretary of state’s website as the registered agent of record for the corporation or LLC.
The address of your registered agent goes on public record. And the individual who is acting as your registered agent may not want his or her personal address to be public knowledge anymore. (Registered agents may not use a P.O. box; they’re required to receive mail at a physical address.) Or, that person may decide he or she simply doesn’t want the responsibility anymore.
Serving as a registered agent requires varying amounts of time and attention, so it might begin to interfere with the person’s ability to carry out other work-related duties. When you’re trying to grow your business, you can’t afford to have co-owners or employees dropping the ball!
Or perhaps your in-house registered agent’s other job activities are taking them out of the office a lot. A registered agent must be available at their address from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. If a person cannot fulfill that requirement, it’s time to designate a new registered agent.
You appointed your accountant or attorney as your registered agent—but your long-term business relationship is uncertain.
Although designating your CPA or lawyer as your registered agent might work well initially, these business relationships don’t always hold up forever. If you decide to change your accounting firm or law firm, you wouldn’t want them to continue receiving important paperwork on your behalf—and they probably wouldn’t agree to do so, anyway. And if you’re lawyer or accountant is a solo-practitioner, what happens if they retire or decide they no longer want to provide registered agent services? You would obviously need to make a change then—or you could proactively make the change, so you’re not left scrambling to do it later.
You’re expanding your business to other states, and your existing registered agent cannot provide services beyond the state you’re currently operating in.
To register (or foreign qualify) your business in other states, you need to have a registered agent who has a physical address in those states. Not all registered agent services have that going for them. In the interest of your business growth aspirations, I recommend you consider finding a registered agent, like CorpNet, which can provide services in all 50 states. That way, you’re covered no matter where you want to do business—and you won’t have the hassle of finding and dealing with a different registered agent in each state.
How to Change Your Registered Agent
Find out what information you’ll need.
The process you’ll need to follow depends on your location; the requirements vary from state to state. The SBA offers links to all states’ websites where you can begin your research to determine what information you’ll need to provide and what form(s) you need to complete. You may or may not have to pay a filing fee to change your registered agent. Again, this will depend on your state’s rules. Another option is to contact your state’s Secretary of State office and request details on how to go about making the change.
Some of the details requested to make a change in registered agent may include:
- Name of your company
- Name of your current registered agent
- Name of your new registered agent
- Address of your current registered agent
- Address of your new registered agent
Complete and submit the required forms.
The majority of states allow you to access and download the proper forms from their websites. Take care to ensure you download the most up-to-date forms. If your state doesn’t offer the forms online, you can contact your Secretary of State office to request them.
Fill in the information as requested, double-checking all of the details for accuracy. To file a change of registered agent form, you can mail it, along with payment of any required fee, to the state. Some states make the filing process faster and simpler by allowing you to complete and submit your form and filing fee online.
Pro Tip For Making Changing Your Registered Agent Easier
Fortunately, changing your registered agent isn’t rocket science. But it does take some time and effort—which could keep you from spending your energy on other important aspects of your business.
To avoid the hassle and save time, ask CorpNet to manage the paperwork for you. In addition to handling all other business startup and compliance filings, we offer registered agent services in all 50 states. We can complete and file your forms to change your registered agent to CorpNet, eliminating the need for you to waste your time researching requirements and downloading and filling out forms.
You’ll have the peace of mind that your registered agent was changed properly and that you have a reliable registered agent to serve your needs no matter where you run your business in the United States.
Contact us today to get started!