How to Change Registered Agent in Texas (Simple Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
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As a Texas LLC owner, you must be prepared to change your registered agent when needed.

When that time comes, it’s essential to know where to start and what requirements you need to fulfill.

We collaborated with our LLC professionals with over a decade of practical expertise in the business industry and spent hundreds of hours searching the Texas Secretary of State’s website for accurate information on how to change registered agents in this state.

Here's everything you'll need to change your registered agent in Texas.

Quick Summary

  • To change a registered agent in Texas, LLC owners must file a Change of Registered Agent Form with the Texas Secretary of State.
  • Several methods are available for changing the registered agent, including using professional services online, by mail, in person, or by fax.
  • Given that 20.7% of Texas businesses fail within the first year, selecting a professional registered agent service can provide the stability and legal compliance necessary to help your business beat the odds.
  • From my perspective, the peace of mind that comes with having a reliable registered agent is invaluable for any Texas LLC owner.

How To Change Your Texas Registered Agent?

Corporate meeting in Texas

To change your Texas registered agent, you must fill out and file a Change of Registered Agent (Form 401) with the Texas Secretary of State.

You can change your registered agent using a professional service online, by mail, or by fax.

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

– Socrates, Greek Philosopher.

1. Changing Your Registered Agent Using a Professional Service

Changing registered agent in Texas with a professional service

Before changing your registered agent services in Texas, it's essential to obtain written consent from your new agent.

This can be done using Form 401-A, Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent. Though not required for submission to the Secretary of State, this form should be retained with your business's internal records [1]

If you're opting for a professional service to manage this process, here are the key steps involved:

  • Select a Professional Service: Choose a reputable registered agent service provider in Texas that complies with state legal requirements.
  • Authorize the Change: Authorize the selected service to act as your new registered agent. This typically involves signing an agreement with the service provider.
  • Provide Necessary Information: You must fill out the following on the change of registered agent form:
    • Texas entity ID number.
    • Name of your business entity.
    • Name and address of your current LLC registered agent.
    • Name and address of the new LLC registered agent.
    • Signature of the authorized representative from your company.
    • Signature of your new registered agent consenting to their appointment.
    • Credit card details if filing online.
  • Fees: The state fee for changing a registered agent in Texas is $15. This fee is reduced to $5 for nonprofit corporations or cooperative associations. Additional charges may apply, depending on the professional service chosen [2].
  • Confirm the Change: Ensure you receive confirmation from both the service provider and the Texas Secretary of State that the change has been processed and is effective.

Remember, while a professional service can simplify the process, it's important to have all the required information and documents ready to ensure a smooth transition.

2. Changing Your Registered Agent Online

To change your registered agent online, follow these streamlined steps:

  • Visit Texas SOS Direct: Access the Texas SOS Direct website to begin the change process.
  • Account Creation: If you're a new user, create an account by providing your personal and company details, including name and address.
  • Filling Out Form 401: Locate Form 401 on the website. Fill it out with the required information about your current and new registered agent.
  • Review and Submit: Before submitting, ensure all details are correct to avoid any errors.
  • Accessing Filed Documents: Post-submission, you can view your filed documents on the Secretary of State website.
  • Payment and Additional Costs:
    • There is a state filing fee of $15 for changing a registered agent.
    • A 2.7% convenience fee is applicable for credit card payments.
    • Each login to Texas SOS Direct incurs a $1 fee [3].

3. Changing Your Registered Agent by Mail, In-person, or Fax

Help from an agent inside the office

First, download and fill out Form 401 from the Texas Secretary of State's website to mail in a hard copy of the form to mail, fax it, or take it by yourself.

Submit the duplicate form to this address by mail:

Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697

For In-person delivery:

James Earl Rudder Office Building, 1019 Brazos St.
Austin, TX 78701

For fax deliveries:

Send your 401 forms in duplicate to (512) 463-5709 with a credit card payment form.

In my experience, processing can take up to two weeks, although it often takes 3-5 working days.

Once processed, the state will return your stamped duplicate copy.

Texas allows you to expedite your application for an extra $25 state filing fee charge.

Provide a cover letter outlining this request and listing a phone number for contact.

Your application will be approved by the end of business the next day.

4. Changing Your Registered Agent by Amendment

Changing Registered Agent using a contract

Filing a Texas Certificate of Amendment might also update your registered agent service.

But it requires $150 to file, making it an extremely costly choice.

Putting all of those changes on a Certificate of Amendment may be a smart alternative if you need to make other changes to your business.

If you wish to change your Texas registered agent service, you should use one of the other recommended options.

5. Changing Your Registered Agent by Annual Report

You can submit your form if you're due to file an annual report, so you won't have to file extra registered agent paperwork.

Here's how to do it:

  • Timing: Choose to change your registered agent when you are due to file your Texas LLC Annual Report. This approach helps avoid filing separate paperwork for the registered agent change.
  • Filing the Annual Report: While filing your Annual Report, include information about your new registered agent. Ensure you provide the new agent's name and address.
  • Documentation Needed:
    • Texas entity I.D. number.
    • Current and new registered agent details.
    • Consent of the new registered agent (Form 401-A, if required).
    • Authorized representative's signature from your company.
  • Price: Texas LLCs don't incur a separate filing fee for their annual report. This process simplifies compliance and ensures all your entity's records are up-to-date with the Texas Secretary of State.

Drawing from my experience, I recommend it if you're within the deadline for the Texas LLC Annual Report of your business. It's an opportune time to make the registered agent change to streamline your filings and potentially save on costs.

Related articles:

Who Can Be a Texas Registered Agent?

Having a meeting with three people

A Texas registered agent can be an organization or an individual that meets all state requirements.

This role is particularly significant considering there are 3.2 million small businesses in Texas, which constitute 99.8% of all businesses in the state, according to the US Small Business Administration [4].

To perform this duty, you must:

  • Be an individual Texas resident or a company authorized to transact business there.
  • Keep your registered office address in Texas the same as your physical business address.
  • Consent to the appointment.

The registered agent may be an officer or employee of the company, but the business entity may not act as its own registered agent.

FAQs

Can a Company be Its Own Registered Agent in Texas?

No, a company cannot act as its own registered agent in Texas; the agent must be an individual or a separate legal entity.

Can I Serve as My Own Registered Agent in Texas?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you have a physical address in Texas and are available during normal business hours.

 

References:

  1. https://direct.sos.state.tx.us/help/help-corp-filing-401.html
  2. https://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/registeredagentfaqs.shtml
  3. https://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/sosda/index.shtml
  4. https://advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-Small-Business-Economic-Profile-TX.pdf

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.
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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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