How to Change Registered Agent in California?

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A registered agent is an important role that serves businesses regardless of your industry. On top of being a requirement to operate in the United States, having a registered agent ensures that you are efficient and compliant regarding major legal concerns and documentation.

The agent’s role is particularly essential in states like California, which is notoriously the most heavily regulated state in business. The Bear Flag state boasts 395,608 regulatory restrictions, making its total more than twice the size of the national average.

change registered agent in california

This becomes a problem if, for any reason, your current registered agent may not be living up to their obligations in the way that you require. A Babson College report revealed that 60% of small businesses struggle to keep up with regulations, so switching gears is crucial if you find yourself in that position. Read up to see how you can change registered agents in California should the need arise.

See also: How Long do you have to File Probate After Death in California?

Finding Your New Registered Agent

Finding a registered agent in California, you can rely on isn’t challenging. If you wish to go beyond the confines of your employee pool, you can contact one of the state’s significant commercial registered agent services. The top choice is ZenBusiness, NorthWest Registered Agent, and Incfile.

Choosing a commercial service may come with a few additional fees, but this comes with the guarantee that you’ll get an experienced professional to stay on top of their duties. On top of that, they come with their dedicated address so your business can maintain its privacy while receiving legal process.

Alternatively, you may employ an individual to make them your designated registered agent. The requirements are simple, so this job is viable for 18-year-olds in America. One just needs to fill out 1505, hit the age requirement, maintain a physical address considered a registered office, and keep regular business hours to accept legal documents and the like.

Knowing Your Filing Fees

You may already know the primary fees in filing for a registered agent to be legally recognized, but you’ll also need to pay for expenses specific to a change of agent. This varies per state, with some allowing the change for free.

In California, you can expect to pay a $20 fee, specifically if your business entity is a limited liability company (LLC). Corporations must pay a higher price of $25. Whether you do this online or via mail, you must do so with the Secretary of State.

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Applying for Change of Agent

With your fees covered, you may now undergo the official process to change registered agent in California. First, you must notify your current agent that you will no longer use their services. Whether you used a commercial service or appointed your own, this is necessary for liability purposes.

change registered agent in california

Now, you must file a Statement of Information. While other states have specific forms to change registered agent in California, businesses must update their information with the details of their new agents. The Secretary of State also notes that different entities must submit the appropriate document, as separate entities have their own assigned statement forms and registration amendments. Once you’ve submitted the necessary files, you will usually need to wait a few weeks for the update to get processed.

What to Do If You Operate in Multiple States?

If your business operates beyond California, you’ll likely have more filing and adjustment. After all, every state requires its agent to reside in said form. Commercial services often offer national registered agents, which allow businesses to appoint a single agent to handle all multi-state affairs and service of process. Although it comes with added expense, you may want to consider using a commercial agent so that they take all the paperwork for you when updating agents.

Otherwise, you can usually file your necessary documents online to each relevant Secretary of State. Just as you would manage multi-state Business Bank Accounts for Entrepreneurs, having multiple agents also requires you to ensure that each leg of your business is protected from fraud and compliant with tax requirements.

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