Are you considering changing your registered agent? It's a tricky subject. Though it's a pretty cut and dry process, you'll want to consider what's driving this change. In this article, we'll take a look at the whys and hows, the maybes and why nots. Let's get started.
There are dozens of reasons why you may be changing your registered agent. Whether it's because they're going out of business or retiring, or perhaps you just aren't getting along with the agency, you've decided that you want to move on. That's fine. You're well within your rights to do so in all 50 US states.
However, this isn't something to do on a whim. If you have a good registered agent, stick with them. They have a pretty minimal job per LLC or Corporation, so unless they're missing their deadlines or they're giving you guff, you probably have few reasons to change them.
If you're looking for a registered agent that serves multiple states, this is a service that many large agencies offer and this may be an excellent reason to maintain the services of a different registered agent. After all, if a single service is maintaining all of your documentation, you know exactly who to turn to in case of an error or if you need assistance with information.
Though this differs slightly depending on the state that you're in, most laws simply state that you must pay a small fee and enter a form that states you are doing this. Essentially, you are paying a filing fee for that form and nothing more. Most states have fees between $10 and $50 for this form filing fee.
Best of all, most of the time your new registered agent will fill out the paperwork for you and file it. You need only supply the funds to support it and you're done, except perhaps for a signature. You're out the door, back to business, and your new registered agent is already on the case and they're working for you.
Ready to make the leap? A quick online search will find you thousands of agents, many of which are available online. Again, many large agencies are getting to a point where they serve multiple states at once. This lessens the need for multiple agents across several states, which can make things a bit chaotic and confusing.
Reviews should be readily available for your new registered agent. We strongly suggest looking them over and perhaps asking for a portfolio of the LLCs and Corporations that they current work with. This will give you an idea of their scope and experience, and whether or not they're up for dealing with the needs of your company.
In the simplest of terms, no. You have every right to change your registered agent whenever you want. That is, unless there is an active investigation going on that states that you cannot do this. And that does, occasionally, happen. You may end up in a situation where you've done nothing wrong, but the state is investigating the registered agent for wrongdoing.
If this occurs, the state should allow you to ask for a pass to release you from this registered agent. Unless you are involved in the wrongdoing, you should not be held long-term to a contract that is putting your business or your livelihood at risk. However, we do encourage you to keep past documentation from old registered agents for 3-5 years because of possible inquiries. The faster you can give inquiring parties the documentation they need, the sooner you can get back to business as usual.
Unless you have incredibly good reason, there are few times you would need to change your registered agent. However, we do realize that this is becoming commonplace these days, especially when dealing with businesses in multiple states. The multi-state agencies are tempting, if only because it means dealing with a single agent rather than multiple ones, and it's nice to have everything in a single pile.
We won't shoo you away from them, either. We encourage you to choose whomever is best for your business. Registered agents are not difficult to find, not difficult to keep, and easy to maintain a business relationship with. Find one that wants to do their best for your business and keep them busy.