Breaking Up With Your Registered Agent

Posted on July 14, 2014 by James Gilmer in Business Compliance, Registered Agent.

You’ve seen the warning signs and red flags.

You pay to receive documents, a service you thought you had already paid for with your annual fee. You were supposed to receive an annual report notice, but didn’t, and now you are stuck with a state penalty, and are no longer in “good standing.” Your annual rate just doubled, though it was enticingly low at the start. Or, your annual rate just went up, and the price was already high.

Things just don’t seem the same as when you first hired your registered agent!

A few months ago, I covered 10 FAQs about registered agent service, where I alluded to changing providers. This post will outline the specific steps you need to take to change agents, or staying with the theme, how to break up with your registered agent, and how to keep your business compliant.

Changing registered agent services can really tug on the heartstrings.

He loves me, he loves me not.

The chief concern is that the state must always have a registered agent on record, whether it’s a commercial provider, or an individual (often an officer or director) with an address in the state.

If you’re considering switching your registered agent to a commercial provider, first, look at your options, and select the best one for your business. Ask the following questions: what are the fees? How and when do I get my documents? Do I like and trust this company?

Once you’ve signed up for a new service, you must inform your state of the change. The process and fees vary by state. In some, you file a change of agent form, and in others, you file an annual report. In most cases, it asks for basic information, such as entity name, the new registered agent address, and a signature.

The state will update its records, and the new agent information will appear on the Secretary of State’s website. Once this has happened, you can have the dreaded “talk” with your previous agent provider. You must inform them of your change, otherwise, they’ll assume you’re still a client and keep billing you. Some service providers make this a painful process and keep annoying you with invoices for months – all the more reason to choose a provider that is easy to work with.

When you cancel your previous registered agent service, the provider will want to see confirmation that they are no longer listed in the state’s records as your agent. Typically, you can provide a copy of the change of agent filing, and a screenshot of your company’s records from the state’s website.

And that’s it. After seeing you’ve moved on, your previous registered agent provider should stop billing you. Most importantly, your business remained compliant throughout the entire process.

If you need help switching, are stuck in an unfavorable contract, or simply have questions, please ask them below, or give us a call!


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