Overview of How to Change Registered Agents in West Virginia:
File an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses
Filing an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses with the West Virginia Secretary of State is the best way to change your registered agent.
This can be done online, by mail, or in person.
Recommended: Submit an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses Online
You can complete and submit an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses online via West Virginia’s One Stop Business Portal. The steps for this process include:
- Log in to the website
- Select “Secretary of State”
- Under “Other Filings” select “Address/Officer/Agent Change”
- Search for and select your company
- Complete and submit the form along with payment
Submit an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses by Mail or In Person
To submit an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses by mail or in person, first, download the form from the West Virginia Secretary of State website and then fill it out.
Submit the form using one of the options below:
Mail or In Person:
One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
North Central WV Business Center
200 West Main St.
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Eastern Panhandle Business Center
229 E. Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
You can pay this fee by check, money order, or credit card. For full instructions, read the change form.
Expedite Your Order
If you need the West Virginia Secretary of State to expedite the processing of your mailed form, you must note that on the Customer Order Request form that is attached to the Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses.
Submit an Annual Report
If you’re within the filing period for your business’s West Virginia 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.
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 West Virginia?
A company or person over the age of 18 located in West Virginia 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 West Virginia, and are always available during regular business hours at that address.
Can I be my own registered agent in West Virginia?
Yes, you can be your own registered agent in West Virginia if you:
- Are 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in West Virginia
- 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 West Virginia?
It costs $15 to change your West Virginia registered agent when filing an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses with the Secretary of State.
How much does a West Virginia 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 West Virginia?
You can change a West Virginia registered agent by filing an Application to Appoint or Change Process, Officers, and/or Addresses 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.