How Do I Change My Registered Agent in California?

You can change your registered agent in California by filling out a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State.

A business owner may decide to change their registered agent when switching registered agent services, if an agent resigns or goes out of business, or if they want to serve as their own registered agent.

Overview of How to Change Registered Agents in California:

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File a Statement of Information

Filing a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State is the simplest way to change your registered agent.

This can be done online, by mail, or in person.

Recommended: Submit a Statement of Information Online

You can complete and submit a Statement of Information online via the California Secretary of State website. The steps for this process include:

  1. Navigate to the correct webpage. There is a page for limited liability companies (LLCs) and a page for corporations.
  2. Search for and select your company
  3. Fill out and submit the online form with credit card payment

Once you submit your form, the change is generally processed within one day.

Submit the Statement of Information by Mail or In Person

To submit a Statement of Information by mail or in person, first, download the correct form from the California Secretary of State website. There are separate forms for different business types:

Fill out the form and submit the completed paperwork to one of the addresses below:

Mail:
Secretary of State
Business Programs Division - Statement of Information
P.O. Box 944230
Sacramento, CA 94244-2300

In Person:
Secretary of State
1500 11th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Fee: California LLCs and corporations must periodically file a Statement of Information. The regular filing fee is $25 for corporations and $20 for both LLCs and nonprofits.

If you are filing a Statement of Information for the purpose of changing a registered agent outside of the typical filing period, there is no filing fee. Detailed information about the filing periods is provided on the forms.

You can pay any required fee by check or money order. For full instructions, read the Statement of Information form.

Why Change Registered Agents?

A company might want to change its registered agent for several reasons, such as:

  • Changing From an Individual Agent to a Registered Agent Service: While individuals may act as registered agents (including a company’s own executives or employees), they’ll be publicly listed in the state’s database. Some people may consider this an intrusion into their privacy. Registered agents also must be available in their office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday, which could be an inconvenience. Changing to a registered agent service solves these issues.
  • Expanding Business Into New States: Limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and other formal business structures must have a registered agent for each state in which they do business. Not all registered agents have the capability to serve as a registered agent in every state. Some businesses prefer to have the same registered agent for each state rather than several different ones.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Whether it’s about price, customer service, or the quality of the work, some changes happen simply because a business isn’t happy with its current registered agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a registered agent in California?

A company or person over the age of 18 located in California can serve as a registered agent, including individuals in your company. The only exception to this is that a company can’t serve as a registered agent for itself.

Can anyone be a registered agent?

Anyone can be a registered agent as long as they: are at least 18 years old, have a physical address in California, and are always available during regular business hours at that address.

Can I be my own registered agent in California?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent in California if you:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in California
  • Are always available during normal business hours to receive service of process in person

Note that this applies to you as an individual serving as the registered agent for the company. A company can’t serve as its own registered agent.

What does a registered agent do?

Registered agents help keep your business compliant by maintaining up-to-date paperwork. They also are in charge of accepting official correspondence on behalf of your business, such as paperwork from the state and federal government, tax forms, and legal notices.

How much does it cost to change my registered agent in California?

There is no additional cost to change your California registered agent when filing a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State. The document must be filed periodically, with a filing fee of $25 for corporations and $20 for both LLCs and nonprofits.

If you need to change your registered agent outside of the regular filing period and file a separate Statement of Information, there is no fee.

How much does a California registered agent cost?

A professional registered agent service typically costs between $50 and $300 per year. If you choose to serve as your own registered agent, there is no cost.

What form do you file to change a registered agent in California?

You can change a California registered agent by filing a Statement of Information with the Secretary of State.

Should I be my own registered agent?

You may serve as your own registered agent if you meet certain conditions. Some small business owners choose to do this instead of hiring a third party or appointing someone else. 

But, because this position comes with extra responsibilities and potential inconveniences, many business owners decide it’s better for them to appoint another person or a professional service to act as their registered agent. You should weigh the pros and cons of each option and decide which is best for you and your business.

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