How to Change Registered Agent in Tennessee (The Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
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As an entrepreneur in Tennessee, you might need to change your registered agent while running your business.

When you do so, it's best to know where to start.

We partnered with our LLC specialists with 13+ years of hands-on experience to make this process easier for you.

We extensively searched the Tennessee Department of State website to find out what it takes to change a registered agent and compiled this article.

Here's what you need to know.

Quick Summary

  • To change a registered agent in Tennessee, file a Change of Registered Agent/Office form with the Tennessee Secretary of State.
  • Many Tennessee businesses opt for professional registered agent services for their expertise and convenience.
  • The addition of 366,480 jobs from opening and expanding Tennessee establishments underscores the dynamic business environment in the state, highlighting the importance of having a reliable registered agent to ensure your business stays compliant and benefits from this growth.
  • Employing a professional registered agent, in my opinion, provides peace of mind and ensures compliance with state regulations.

How To Change Your Tennessee Registered Agent?

Showing the results on a monitor

To change your Tennessee registered agent, you must fill out and submit a Change of Registered Agent form to the Division of Business Services under the Tennessee Secretary of State.

You can change your registered agent using a professional service, LLC annual report, or amendment.

1. Changing Your Registered Agent Using a Professional Service

Shaking hands with a profsesional

Given that Tennessee businesses face a failure rate of 21.4% within the first year, as shown by Lending Tree, hiring a professional registered agent service is not just a convenience but a strategic decision to help navigate the complexities of early business challenges and compliance requirements [1].

  • Select a Professional Service

Choose a reputable registered agent service experienced in Tennessee procedures. You will need to give the service detailed information about your business and details of both the current and new agents.

This typically includes your business name, type, and any identification numbers associated with your business, such as an EIN or a state business ID.

  • Form Completion and Submission

The service will complete and submit the Change of Registered Agent form. This might involve online submission or mailing the form, depending on the available options.

  • Fee Payment

In Tennessee, the state filing fee for changing a registered agent is generally around $20. The service fee charged by the professional service will be additional and can vary widely.

  • Required Documents

Besides the Change of Registered Agent form, you might need to provide copies of your business's formation documents (like Articles of Incorporation or Organization) and possibly a consent form from the new registered agent, agreeing to take on the role.

  • Confirmation

Once the change has been processed by the Tennessee Secretary of State, you should receive confirmation. Your professional service should also provide you with a copy of the filed documents for your records.

2. Changing Your Registered Agent Online

You can submit a change of registered agent form online through the Tennessee Secretary of State portal.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Visit the Tennessee Business Services online page to change your registered agent online.
  • Enter your Secretary of State control number, which is used to identify your business, and click "begin." Use the business information search tool on the page to look up your Secretary of State Control number.
  • Choose "Change by Business Entity" and click the "Continue" button.
  • Complete the form and send it in with your payment.

Online filing costs $20 and a $2.50 service fee, as noted on the Secretary of State website [2].

Print off the completed form, fill it out, and mail it in with a check if you'd prefer not to pay the $22.50 online filing cost using a credit card.

3. Changing Your Registered Agent by Mail or In Person 

Checking how to change a registered agent in Tennessee on laptop

To file a Change of Registered Agent Form by mail, download and complete the form on the Tennessee Secretary of State's website.

You can also use their web service to print a document pre-filled with information about your limited liability company.

Mail the completed form along with the payment in the same envelope to:

Tennessee Secretary of State
ATTN: Corporate Filing
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., FL 6
Nashville, TN 37243

You can also print and deliver your paperwork to the Nashville Secretary of State's office.

You'll pay in cash if you do so and wait for your document to be processed.

The filing fee costs $20 when filed by mail or in person [3].

But if you mail it, your document will be approved within 3-5 business days. Note that Tennessee doesn't have any expedited processing.

4. Changing Your Registered Agent Through Annual Report

"If you're approaching the deadline for submitting your Tennessee annual report, you can file for a change of registered agent services without filling out additional paperwork."

-Jon Morgan, Co-Editor & Co-Founder of Venture Smarter

Include your new registered agent's information on the report and pay the $20 registered agent change fee on top of the annual report fee.

5. Changing Your Registered Agent by Amendment 

Man sitting on a desk holding a laptop

You can change your Tennessee LLC's registered agent by filing Tennessee Articles of Amendment to your Corporate Charter or Articles of Organization.

This is the most straightforward way to modify your business registration and registered agent services.

Here's a streamlined guide:

  • Amendment Requirements

Understand the specific requirements for changing your registered agent in Tennessee, which can vary based on your business structure.

Complete the appropriate amendment form, which is available on the Tennessee Secretary of State's website. This typically requires information about your business and the details of the new registered agent.

  • Consent Form and Submission

Obtain and document the consent of the new registered agent, who must be authorized to do business in Tennessee. File the amendment with the Tennessee Secretary of State and pay the required filing fee.

  • Fees

The cost for filing an amendment to change your registered agent in Tennessee is $20. This fee is standard for both LLCs and corporations.

If you opt to file the amendment online, there's an additional convenience fee. This fee is $2.25 for corporations and $8.25 for LLCs.

After processing, the state will issue a confirmation that the amendment has been accepted and filed.

We don't recommend this approach if changing a registered agent is your only business change.

Related articles:

Who Can Be a Tennessee Registered Agent?

Searching for a Tennessee Registered Agent

"Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great."

- John D. Rockefeller, Oil Industry Business Magnate

Any individual or business entity can be a Tennessee registered agent as long as they meet all the requirements stipulated by the state of Tennessee.

The state also allows you to be your own registered agent.

Before changing your registered agent service in Tennessee, make sure that your designated registered agent is:

  • A minimum of 18 years of age or older.
  • A resident of Tennessee.
  • Ready to be at the registered office address during normal business hours.
  • Willing to be named as your registered agent.
  • With a Tennessee physical address to deliver documents since P.O. boxes are not permitted in most states.
  • Open to sharing this physical address in the public state record.

FAQs

What Should I Do After Changing My Registered Agent?

You should update your internal records and inform relevant parties, such as banks and clients, about the change.

What if I Have Multiple Businesses? Do I Need Different Registered Agents?

You can have the same registered agent for multiple businesses, as long as they meet the requirements for each entity.

Do You Want to Change Your Tennessee Registered Agent?

It’s sometimes nearly impossible to juggle running your business and acting as a mediator between your business and the state of Tennessee.

You might miss a lot of important paperwork.

That's why we recommend the best Tennessee registered agent services.

These registered agent services ensure that important legal and other papers, such as regulatory notices, arrive on time.

They will keep your company compliant and up-to-date by sending the required papers and accepting formal letters on the company's behalf, such as tax forms, legal notices, and business mail.


References:

  1. https://www.lendingtree.com/business/small/failure-rate/
  2. https://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/RAChangeID.aspx
  3. https://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/RAChangeInstr.aspx

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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