How To Change Registered Agent In West Virginia? (The Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: April 1, 2024
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Changing your registered agent in West Virginia may be necessary for various reasons, such as the inability to manage the paperwork as a business owner or if your current agent has moved or is unavailable.

Regardless of the reason, our team of LLC experts has gathered to help you take the right steps to change your West Virginia registered agent.

We are experts in registered agents, and we have had to change our own registered agent more than once in multiple states, including West Virginia, so we are well-versed in the process.

Quick Summary

  • To change a registered agent in West Virginia, one must submit a change form to the West Virginia Secretary of State.
  • Options for changing a registered agent include using a professional service,  online, by mail, in-person, fax or updating the annual report.
  • The creation of 71,783 jobs in West Virginia, as shown by the US Small Business Administration, highlights the need for a reliable registered agent to help your business contribute to the expanding job market.
  • In my opinion, the variety of methods available for changing a registered agent in West Virginia makes the process accessible and convenient for businesses.

How To Change Registered Agent In West Virginia?

Agreement with a new registered agent

To change your registered agent in West Virginia with the Secretary of State, you must fill out and file a registered agent service change form.

The registered agent service change form can be submitted in the following ways:

"Slowness to change usually means fear of the new."

–Philip Crosby, American Businessman

1. Changing Your Registered Agent Using A Professional Service

Clueless woman changing registered agent in West Virginia

Changing your designated registered agent in West Virginia can be efficiently handled using a professional service.

This is particularly important given the 20.0% business failure rate within the first year in the state, as shown by Lending Tree [1]. It highlights the need for professional guidance to navigate early challenges.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Choose a New Registered Agent

Look for a reputable professional service that offers registered agent services in West Virginia.

Choose the service that best suits your needs, considering factors like price, additional services offered, and customer reviews.

You'll need your business entity's name and its West Virginia Secretary of State ID number.

  • Complete the Statement of Change Form

The professional service will require information to complete the Statement of Change form on your behalf. This typically includes your current registered agent's information and the new agent's details.

Expect to pay a fee for both the professional service and the state filing fee. The professional service fee varies but typically ranges from $50 to $150. The state filing fee in West Virginia is $15.

The professional service will submit the completed form to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.

  • Notify Your Previous Registered Agent

It’s a best practice to inform your current registered agent of the change. Some services may handle this for you. A simple written notice or email is usually sufficient.

  • Processing and Confirmation

Processing times vary but can take up to several weeks.

The professional service should provide you with confirmation and a copy of the filed Statement of Change. Ensure your internal records are updated to reflect the change.

Drawing from my experience, ensuring your LLC's compliance with state regulations is crucial for maintaining its good standing.

2. Changing Your Registered Agent Online

Changing your registered agent in West Virginia is a straightforward online process that can be completed via the One Stop Business Portal.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it:

  • Visit the One Stop Business Center Website:

You can change a registered agent online by visiting the One Stop Business Portal.

If you’re a new user, you’ll need to create an account. Provide the necessary details and verify your account.

If you already have an account, simply log in.

  • Select the Correct Form:

Navigate to the forms section and choose the "Statement of Change" form.

Complete the form, including information about your current registered agent and the new agent you are appointing.

You’ll need your business’s legal name and state identification number.

  • Documentation Needed:

Ensure you have legal documentation to verify your business and the authority to make changes. This might include your business registration certificate and a board resolution, if applicable.

  • Filing Fee:

The fee for changing your registered agent in West Virginia is $15.

Payment can be made online through the portal using a credit card or other accepted payment methods.

  • Submission and Processing Time

You will need to submit your application through the portal, which will be processed within 24-48 hours. Keep an eye on your email or portal account for any notifications or confirmation of the change.

Once processed, you will receive a confirmation. It’s a good practice to save or print this for your records.

  • Notify Your Previous Registered Agent:

It is advisable to inform your previous agent about the change.

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

Helping a businesswoman finding registered agent

To change your registered agent in West Virginia by mail, in-person, or fax, follow these consolidated steps:

  • Obtain and Complete the Form: Access and complete the 'Statement of Change' form from the West Virginia Secretary of State's website. Include information about your current and new registered agent.
  • Payment: The fee is $15. For mail or fax, include a check or complete an e-Payment Authorization page for credit card payments.
  • Submission:
    • By Mail: Send the completed form and payment to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.
    • In-Person: Deliver the form and payment to the Secretary of State’s office.
    • By Fax: Fax the form and credit card payment information to the provided fax number on the Secretary of State’s website.
  • Processing Time: It generally takes one to two weeks for the change to be processed, regardless of the submission method.
  • Confirmation: You will receive a confirmation from the Secretary of State's office once your change is processed.

4. Changing Your Registered Agent by Annual Report

In West Virginia, you can change your registered agent during your annual report filing:

You should do this during your annual report filing period. Have your business’s details and the new agent's name and physical address ready.

  • Filling Out the Form: Include the new agent's information in the annual report form, available online or from the West Virginia Secretary of State's website. Alternatively, you can download, print, and fill out the form from the West Virginia Secretary of State's website.
  • Fees: The fee is $25 for LLCs and $50 for corporations.
  • Submit: File online through the West Virginia One Stop Business Portal or mail the form with a check or money order.
  • Confirmation: You'll receive confirmation from the Secretary of State after processing.

This method is efficient for simultaneously updating your registered agent and fulfilling annual compliance. For more details, visit the West Virginia Secretary of State's website.

Who Can Be A West Virginia Registered Agent?

Group of West Virginia Registered Agent

In West Virginia, anyone over 18 years old can serve as a registered agent. This includes both individuals and business entities.

The agent must have a physical address in the state. They should also be available during normal business hours. Their responsibilities include accepting West Virginia LLC annual report filings and service of process [2].

PO Boxes cannot be used as the street address for a registered agent in the state. Additionally, if the registered agent is a foreign business entity, they must be authorized to conduct business in West Virginia.

This authorization should come from the West Virginia Secretary of State.

You can expedite your Statement of Change filing by choosing the option on your form, regardless of filing type.

There is a 24-hour expedited filing fee of $25, a 2-hour expedited fee of $250, and a 1-hour expedited fee of $500 [3].

Related articles:

FAQs

Is a PO Box Acceptable as a Registered Agent’s Address in West Virginia?

No, a PO Box is not acceptable. A registered agent must have a physical street address in West Virginia.

Can I Serve As My Own Registered Agent In West Virginia?

Yes, you can serve as your own registered agent in West Virginia as long as you meet all the requirements.

Can a Registered Agent Be Changed at Any Time?

Yes, you can change your registered agent at any time, as long as you file the necessary paperwork with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

References:

  1. https://www.lendingtree.com/business/small/failure-rate/
  2. https://www.wvlegislature.gov/wvcode/code.cfm?chap=31E&art=5
  3. https://sos.wv.gov/FormSearch/Business/Corporation/cd-2.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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