As an LLC owner in California, you may wish to change your registered agent for one reason or another.
In that case, it's critical to understand the steps involved and the regulations you must follow to keep your firm in compliance with California state requirements.
To help you, we teamed up with our LLC experts with over fifteen years of experience in the industry and spent three weeks researching the Secretary of State’s website for the correct registered agent amendment documents and procedures.
Here's everything you should know about changing your registered agent in California.
- To change your registered agent in California, you must fill out and submit a Statement of Information form with the California Secretary of State.
- Domestic and foreign business entity owners can change their California registered agents online, by mail, in person, or through a professional service.
- Filing the Statement of Information document to change your registered agent costs $20.
Who Can Be A California Registered Agent?
Any individual or business entity can be a California registered agent as long as they meet the state qualifications for being a registered agent for the service of process in this state.
Registered agents are responsible for handling correspondence with the California Secretary of State on behalf of limited liability companies during regular business hours .
To be a registered agent for service of process in California, you must meet the following California registered agent requirements:
- Must have a California physical address
- Must be authorized to handle legal documents
- Must be permitted to transact business in California
- Must be available throughout normal business hours to accept service of process and legal correspondence
- Must be at least 18 years old
How To Change Your California Registered Agent?
To change your registered agent in California, you must fill out and submit a Statement of Information form with the California Secretary of State.
Unlike other states, the California Secretary of State doesn't have a specific amendment form for changing your registered agent.
The only way to change your statutory agent is to update the details on the Statement of Information document, also known as an annual report.
The Statement of Information is a multipurpose document that all California LLCs must file within 90 days of incorporation and every 2 years after that.
However, you can file the document at any time if you want to update your LLC details with the state.
The filing procedure is relatively straightforward; you must only fill out your new LLC registered agent details and submit the completed Statement of Information to the Secretary of State. Your California statutory agent for service of process will be updated within a few days.
You can change a California registered agent online, by mail, in person, or through a professional service.
1. Changing Your Registered Agent Using a Professional Service
If you're a busy entrepreneur, you can hire a professional to change your registered agent service.
Most professional services have pre-filled Statement of Information documents that you can use to edit as per your business.
They'll then file the registered agent paperwork for you; you'll only need to pay the processing fees.
Once the SOS approves your amendment application, the professional service will notify you.
2. Changing Your Registered Agent Online
The easiest way to change your California registered agent for the service process is to do it online.
Visit the official California Secretary of State website and select the type of form you want to file, in this case, the Statement of Information .
Follow the commands therein and fill out the details of your business, including the new registered agent's contact details.
Once you verify all the details, submit the online form and make the payment.
3. Changing Your Registered Agent by Mail
Changing a LLC registered agent for service of process by mail is another option, but it's slower.
Once you access the California Statement of Information PDF document, download it.
You'll fill out the cover sheet first, providing your details (name, physical address, and phone number) and business details (name, entity number, and business address).
Proceed to fill out the Statement of Information document to update the details of your new registered agent. Provide official signatures under the signature line before submitting.
Remember to attach the filing fee as a check or money order payable to the Secretary of State.
You can mail the completed cover sheet and Statement of Information documents to this official address:
Secretary of State
Business Programs Division Business Entities
P.O. Box 944260
Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
4. Change Your Registered Agent In-person
Submitting your Statement of Information document in person is another way to change your California registered agent service.
This is great if you want to take your amendment papers to the head office in Sacramento.
Once you download the form online, please complete your details and submit it with the $20 filing fee.
You can hand-deliver your Statement of Information document to the Secretary of State's office at:
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
How Long Does It Take to Change the Registered Agent in California?
It takes up to seven weeks for the Secretary of State to process and update the change of your registered agent in California. Keep in mind that the processing time can vary depending on the frequency of transactions performed during that period.
How Much Does It Cost To Change a Registered Agent in California?
It costs $20 to change a registered agent in California for an LLC. Corporations have to pay $25 for processing the Statement of Information document.
Do You Want To Change Your California Registered Agent?
If you previously acted as your own registered agent and want to shift to a commercial registered agent service, you'll need to update this information with the Secretary of State.
To ensure you do everything correctly per California laws, we recommend hiring the best registered agent services in California to help you navigate the complicated filing process.
These six registered agent companies are committed to providing reliable and cost-effective registered agent services to their clients.
They will help you with the entire amendment process, from filing to submitting your Statement of Information and other subsequent business filings you may need.
And to help you stick to your deadlines and never miss a filing, these California registered agent services offer lifetime company alerts and an online account dashboard to track your other business-related documents.