How to Change Registered Agent for an LLC? (2023 Guide)
If you've created a limited liability company (LLC), you'd have chosen an initial registered agent when you filed it.
But what if you want to switch your registered agent at some point? Fortunately, transferring a registered agent is not difficult; nevertheless, it's critical to execute the transfer correctly.
As a seasoned expert in business law and LLC formation, I've compiled a comprehensive guide to help you easily navigate the process.
- To change registered agent for an LLC you should initially prepare the right documentation that should include data on the current and future registered agent, including the new agent's name and address
- Submit documents with the state agency responsible for LLC filings
- Consult with attorneys to double-check if your filings are in order and to avoid any hidden costs
4 Steps To Change Your Registered Agent
To change registered agent, here's a concise guide you should follow:
1. File the Papers
First and foremost: Do not file the paperwork yourself. Your LLC or its registered agent must complete it.
2. Update Registered Agent Information
The legal document should include the name of your LLC, as well as your registered agent's name, physical address, and the date of transfer.
3. Provide Authority in LLC Document Execution
The document is executed by someone with authority to act on behalf of your LLC—the same is true for the person or company that is picking up the duties as a registered agent.
4. Complete Verification
You must sign and verify this document before a state official in the state where your LLC is registered.
What Is A Registered Agent?
An LLC registered agent is a person or company in the state who is designated to receive important legal documents, such as lawsuits. If your LLC is sued, these papers are sent to your registered agent's address.
They are then forwarded to the LLC. A registered agent must be an individual or company with a physical street address in your home state.
Since this can lead to several additional issues, the best thing to do for your LLC is to avoid being sued in the first place.
To help you operate a lawsuit-free business, we have invited attorneys to join our team of legal advisors and help you avoid legal hassles.
The Difference Between Registered Agent & Registered Office?
The main difference between a registered agent and a registered office is the ability to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of the LLC. This is something that a national registered agent service can do.
A registered office, on the other hand, is an address where your company can be served with legal documents if it's sued or has another business relationship in the state where it operates.
Every state requires that you have a registered office for your LLC, but only about half of them additionally require that you have your company's registered agent.
Why Change Your Registered Agent?
Changing your registered agent might be necessary due to relocation, convenience, or improving communication and compliance with legal matters.
All in all, changing your registered agent is crucial if your current registered agent isn’t serving their purpose. This may be due to the following reasons:
- The current registered agent doesn't have a physical address in your home state.
- The current registered agent is no longer available, such as changing a job or moving to a new residence.
- You want to choose the best person or company to serve as your registered agent.
Whatever the reason might be, you have the right to change your registered agent and find a new one that will act in your best interest.
Who Can Be Your New Registered Agent?
Your new registered agent can be an individual or a professional service that maintains a physical address in your state.
As requirements for registered agents vary by state you should get familiar with the state's laws. However, there will be some common criteria:
- They have a mailing address in your home state.
- Their office is open during normal business hours, which you can verify.
- They are not currently serving as an LLC's registered agent for another company or individual.
- Their company is registered with the state if required.
If you choose to use a new agent for your LLC, be sure to do plenty of research first.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is an excellent place to start to help you choose your new registered agent service . They show how reliable a specific business is and how problem-oriented they are when it comes to dealing with customers' issues.
You should also check with your state's office for professional licensing or certification, where appropriate.
In addition, you may also want to check with your state's corporate filing office.
The person or company that will serve as your LLC's registered agent must be a legal entity in its own right for it to be able to provide you with legal registered agent service.
If you want an agent to serve as your registered agent, make sure they are qualified to do so in the state where your LLC has been registered. This may be different from where they reside or operate their business.
Changing the Registered Agent - Choose Your State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Requirements and Paperwork for Changing Registered Agents
Changing registered agents has never been easier.
You must file new documents with the state agency that created the original filings – typically either the Secretary of State or the Department of Corporations.
There will likely be an additional filing fee as well as extra paperwork to change your registered agent.
The exact requirements vary from state to state, but typically you must file your company's registered agent form with the state that:
- States that your existing registered agent will be terminated and appoints a new registered agent.
- Provides the name and registered agent address.
- Provides the name of your LLC.
Be sure to check the exact requirements, and file all the necessary paperwork for changing your registered agent with your state, and consult an attorney or law firm.
How Much Does an LLC Registered Agent Cost?
An LLC registered agent may cost up to $300 or be free, and this is something that will vary from state to state. To get the exact price, you will have to reach out to new resident agent services.
What Happens If I Don’t Have an LLC Registered Agent?
If you do not have a registered agent, your LLC will not be able to receive official correspondence from the state or file mandatory annual reports. Know that opting not to have a registered agent puts your business at risk of total failure and final closure.
How Soon Can I Change My Registered Agent if I Need To?
If you need to change your registered agent, you can do that for a limited period. Make sure that you check it when forming your LLC.
What Is a Statutory Agent?
The statutory agent is the person designated by the LLC to receive service of process on behalf of the business entity.
This term is often used interchangeably with a registered agent since they serve a similar professional registered agent service.
What Is a Commercial vs. Non-commercial Registered Agent?
A commercial registered agent offers their address for an LLC's registered location, while a non-commercial agent is a state resident who receives documents on behalf of the LLC.
Registered Agent Services for an LLC
Your registered agent plays a crucial role in upholding and protecting your business's legal status.
If you require expert assistance and need to select a registered agent for your business, we recommend always starting your search from tried and tested best registered agent services available today.
Choosing your registered agent isn't something that should be rushed, so checking already best options should save you time. Our list of best registered agent service companies is based on a test-and-try approach that provides in-depth details.