Sometimes, for one reason or another, you want to change registered agent service.
It might be you aren’t happy with your current service, or you think you have found a better option (here’s our guide to the best registered agent services in Georgia).
Changing a registered agent in Georgia is a simple process that requires a few steps, which we go through in this article.
When a business wants to change its registered agent, it can do so by filing an annual registration or an amended annual registration with the Georgia Secretary of State.
The process is straightforward and can be completed online or by mail.
It is important to keep the registered agent information up to date to ensure that important documents are received in a timely manner.
Failure to maintain accurate and up-to-date registered agent information can result in legal and financial consequences for a business. Therefore, it is recommended that businesses regularly review their registered agent information and make changes as necessary.
Why Change Registered Agents
Changing a registered agent is a common process for businesses in Georgia. A registered agent is a person or entity that is designated to receive legal and official documents on behalf of a business.
The registered agent must be located in the state where the business is registered and must have a physical address (not a P.O. Box).
There are several reasons why a business may need to change its registered agent:
- The current registered agent is no longer available or willing to serve in that capacity.
- The business is changing its physical address or moving to a different state, and the registered agent must be located in the new state.
- The business is dissatisfied with the current registered agent’s services and wants to switch to a different registered agent.
It is important to note that changing a registered agent is a straightforward process, but it must be done correctly to avoid any legal or administrative issues. The Georgia Secretary of State requires businesses to keep their registered agent information up to date, and failure to do so can result in penalties and fines.
Therefore, businesses should carefully consider their options when changing their registered agent and ensure that the new agent is reliable, trustworthy, and capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.
Steps to Change Registered Agent
If you need to change your registered agent in Georgia, you can follow these three steps:
Step 1: Choose a New Registered Agent
The first step is to choose a new Georgia registered agent for your business. The registered agent can be an individual or a business entity that is authorized to do business in Georgia. The registered agent must have a physical address in Georgia where they can receive legal documents and other important correspondence on behalf of your business.
You can choose a new registered agent in several ways. You can appoint an officer or director of your business as the registered agent, or you can hire a professional registered agent service. If you decide to hire a professional service, make sure to research and choose a reputable company that meets your needs and budget like these below.
Price: $99 per year
Best customer service
Price: $125 per year
Price: $119 per year
Best no frills
Price: $99 per year
Price: $299 per year
Step 2: Notify Current Registered Agent
After you have chosen a new registered agent, you must notify your current registered agent of the change. This is an important step because your current registered agent may have important documents or information that they need to transfer to the new registered agent.
You can notify your current registered agent in writing or by phone. Make sure to provide them with the name and contact information of your new registered agent, and ask them to confirm that they have received the notification.
Step 3: File Change of Registered Agent Form with Georgia Secretary of State
The final step is to file a Change of Registered Agent form with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Here is the URL for the form to change your LLC’s registered agent in Georgia:
Once you’re on the website, you’ll need to log in to your account and navigate to the “File Annual Reports/Amendments” section. From there, you can select the option to “Change Registered Agent” and follow the prompts to complete the form.
You can file the form online or by mail. The form requires you to provide the name and contact information of your new registered agent, as well as the name and contact information of your business.
There is a fee to file the Change of Registered Agent form, which varies depending on the type of business entity you have. The fee can be paid online or by mail.
After you have filed the form and paid the fee, the Georgia Secretary of State will process the request and update your business records. Your new registered agent will start receiving legal documents and other important correspondence on behalf of your business.
Consequences of Not Changing Registered Agent Service
When a business owner fails to change their registered agent, they risk facing consequences that can harm their business. Here are some of the potential consequences:
- Lawsuit default: If a lawsuit is filed against the business and the registered agent information is not up to date, the business may not receive notice of the lawsuit. This can result in a default judgment against the business, which can lead to severe financial damages.
- Missed deadlines: Registered agents are responsible for receiving important legal and tax documents on behalf of the business. If the registered agent is not up to date, the business may miss important deadlines or fail to file necessary paperwork, which can lead to fines, penalties, and legal troubles.
- Loss of good standing: If a business fails to maintain an up-to-date registered agent, it may lose its good standing with the state. This can impact the business’s ability to obtain loans, secure contracts, and conduct other important business activities.
It is important for business owners to understand the consequences of not changing their registered agent and to take steps to ensure that their registered agent information is always up to date. This includes regularly reviewing and updating the registered agent information, as well as promptly notifying the state of any changes.
Changing a registered agent in Georgia is a straightforward process that can be done online or through mail. It is important to keep the information up to date to avoid any legal issues or penalties. Business owners can change their registered agent as part of the annual registration process or file an amended annual registration.
One must file the statement of change of the registered agent and pay a filing fee of $20 ($30 for filing through the mail) to complete the application. It is important to note that members or managers for LLCs are not listed, and there is no procedure to “change” them by filing with the Secretary of State.
It is recommended that business owners keep track of important deadlines and requirements to ensure that they are in compliance with state laws. The Georgia Secretary of State website provides helpful resources and information for business owners to navigate the process.
By following the steps outlined in this article and staying up to date with state regulations, business owners can easily change their registered agent and avoid any legal issues or penalties.