Overview of How to Change Registered Agents in Texas:
Get Written Consent From Your New Registered Agent
When changing registered agents in Texas, you must get written consent from your new registered agent. This can be done with Form 401-A — Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent.
You don’t need to file this form with the Secretary of State, but you should keep it on file with your company’s internal documents. If desired, you have the option to file it with the Secretary of State for a filing fee of $5 for nonprofits and cooperative associations and $15 for all other entities.
File Form 401 - Change of Registered Agent/Office
Filing Form 401 - Change of Registered Agent/Office with the Texas Secretary of State is the best way to change your registered agent year-round.
This can be done online, by mail, by fax, or in person.
Recommended: Submit Form 401 Online
You can complete and submit Form 401 online via the Texas Secretary of State’s SOSDirect system. The steps for this process include:
- Navigate to the SOSDirect system using the link above.
- Log in to your existing account or create a new account.
- Find and fill out Form 401, completing payment when required.
Once you submit your form, the system will show you a confirmation, and your registered agent will be changed. This may take a little time to show up on your record, but it’s the end of the process.
Submit Form 401 by Mail, by Fax, or In Person
To submit Form 401 by mail, by fax, or in person, first, download the form from the Texas Secretary of State’s website and then fill it out.
Submit the form in duplicate using one of the options below:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697
James Earl Rudder Office Building
1019 Brazos St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-5709 (must include a credit card payment form)
You can pay this fee by check, money order, or credit card. Credit card orders will incur an additional 2.7% convenience fee.
For full instructions, read page three of Form 401.
Expedite Your Order
If you need the Texas Secretary of State to expedite the processing of your form, you must include a cover letter asking for expedited service and add $25 to the total filing fee.
The Secretary of State will then process your document by the end of the next business day.
Submit an Annual Report
If you’re close to the filing deadline for your business’s Texas Annual Report, you can use this filing to your advantage and also change your registered agent without needing to file additional paperwork. This is the simplest way to change your registered agent, but it must be done within the filing period.
Make sure to put your new registered agent’s information on the report. Once you file that report, you’ll effectively change your registered agent.
Get Written Consent
Remember that you must get written consent from your new registered agent. You can do this with Form 401-A — Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent.
File a Certificate of Amendment
Filing a Texas Certificate of Amendment can change your registered agent. However, it costs $150 to file this document, making it the most expensive option.
If you have other amendments to make to your business registration in addition to changing your registered agent, making all those changes on a Certificate of Amendment could be a good option. If you only want to change your registered agent, you’re better off using one of the other two options mentioned above.
Get Written Consent
Remember that you also must get written consent from your new registered agent. You can do this with Form 401-A — Acceptance of Appointment and Consent to Serve as Registered Agent.
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 Texas?
A company or person over the age of 18 located in Texas 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 Texas, and are always available during regular business hours at that address.
Can I be my own registered agent in Texas?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in Texas if you:
- Are 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in Texas
- 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 Texas?
It costs $5 for nonprofits and cooperative associations and $15 for all other entities to change their Texas registered agent when filing Form 401 with the Secretary of State.
How much does a Texas 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 Texas?
You can change a Texas registered agent by filing Form 401 - Change of Registered Agent/Office 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.