Changing your LLC’s registered agent is a simple process, but it’s important to do it correctly in order to avoid compliance issues.
Recommended: Northwest ($125/year) offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.
Changing Your Registered Agent
Once you decide who you want your new registered agent to be, you can easily change your current one by filling out the proper form provided by your state's business services office. There may be a nominal fee depending on your state.
When filing your new registered agent, make sure to submit your new registered agent’s signed consent form if applicable. This step can vary by state, read about the specific steps for changing registered agents in your state:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
And, Read More About Registered Agents In Your State:
Reasons for Changing a Registered Agent
We all value our privacy; if you decided to act as your own registered agent when you initially formed your business, you can change your mind and choose to go with a professional registered agent service instead.
Your registered agent service’s address will be listed on the public record— not your personal or office address. This is especially important to consider if your business operates out of your home.
A registered agent service will maintain your privacy by:
- Preventing you from being served with a lawsuit in person. You don’t want to get served in front of your family, employees, or worse, your customers.
- Having their address public instead of yours. As a result, you’re less likely to receive unsolicited mail.
Who Can Be Your New Registered Agent?
If you’ve decided to change your registered agent, you have a few different options. Registered agents have to meet the following requirements:
- be 18 years or older
- have a physical address in the state where the business is conducted
- be available during normal business hours
If you or a member of your LLC are not serving as the registered agent, you may consider hiring a professional registered agent service. In addition to having a legitimate office in the state of your LLC, we encourage you to find a national registered agent service with the following features:
- Compliance management: reminders for filing annual reports and other important deadlines
- Document management: local scanning of all official documents so you can access them from your online account
- Availability: a reliable customer service team who can answer any questions you may have
- Thorough coverage: the ability to provide registered agent services in all 50 states
For detailed reviews of registered agent services, visit the Best Registered Agent Services article by our friends over at Startup Savant.
Typical Methods to Change Registered Agents
The easiest method to follow when changing registered agents is by filing your state's version of a Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office form. Many states offer this filing online, while others still require the request to be mailed in. Check your state in the list above for more specific details.
Other methods that allow you to change registered agents include filing your LLC's Annual Report, or by filing a legal amendment for your business. However, both of these methods are not as easy and are time-sensitive, or expensive to file.
Changing Registered Agents Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?
It is possible to be your own registered agent. You could also choose to elect a member of your LLC, or even a friend you trust, as long as the person meets these requirements:
- is 18 years or older
- has a physical address in the state where the business is conducted
- is available during normal business hours
Another option would be to hire a professional registered agent service. One of the disadvantages is that it is more expensive than acting as your own. However, using a service helps you avoid any fees or further legal trouble caused by missing or misplacing an important document or notice. This can actually save you more time and money in the long run.
Who can be a registered agent?
Anyone can be a registered agent as long as the assigned person or entity is available on weekdays, during regular business hours (8 am- 5 pm), and at the given registered agent address. This is important in case of a lawsuit and to remain compliant with legal forms and deadlines.
Although you can be your own registered agent, we recommend you consider hiring an experienced and reliable registered agent service like ZenBusiness, Incfile, or Northwest to handle this portion of your business needs.
How much does an LLC registered agent cost?
A registered agent service can cost anywhere from $50 to $300, but hiring a registered agent service will save you time and money in the long-run.
How much does it cost to change my registered agent?
Changing your registered agent can cost from $0 to $50 per state depending on the number of states you’re registered in to do business with your LLC.
What is a statutory agent?
A statutory agent is another name for a registered agent, a process of service agent, or a resident agent. Although most states use the name registered agent, different states use different titles.
What is a resident agent?
A resident agent is another name for a registered agent, a process of service agent, or a statutory agent. Although most states use the name registered agent, different states use different titles.
What is a service of process agent?
A service of process agent is another name for a registered agent, a resident agent, or a statutory agent. Although most states use the name registered agent, some states use different titles.
What does “service of process” mean?
Service of process means receiving legal documents, such as a summons. A summons is an order to appear before a judge due to a pending lawsuit.
What is a commercial vs. non-commercial registered agent?
Most states require LLC owners to provide their LLC’s registered agent’s name and address when forming your LLC. In some states, you will be asked whether you are electing a commercial or non-commercial registered agent. Some states refer to the professional registered agent as commercial agents and individual agents as non-commercial.