Sometimes, for one reason or another, you want to change statutory 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 statutory agent services serving Ohio).
Changing a statutory agent in Ohio is a simple process that requires a few steps, which we go through in this article.
The process is straightforward and can be completed online or by mail.
It is important to keep the statutory agent information up to date to ensure that important documents are received in a timely manner.
Failure to maintain accurate and up-to-date statutory agent information can result in legal and financial consequences for a business. Therefore, it is recommended that businesses regularly review their statutory agent information and make changes as necessary.
What is our favorite registered agent? We recommend using either ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent service for this. They are reliable, cost effective and trusted organizations that serve every state.
Why Change statutory agents?
There are several reasons why a Ohio business may need to change its statutory agent:
- The current statutory 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 statutory agent must be located in the new state.
- The business is dissatisfied with the current statutory agent’s services and wants to switch to a different statutory agent.
It is important to note that changing a statutory agent is a straightforward process, but it must be done correctly to avoid any legal or administrative issues. The Ohio Secretary of State requires businesses to keep their statutory 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 statutory agent and ensure that the new agent is reliable, trustworthy, and capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.
Who can be a Ohio statutory agent?
Ohio corporations law sets out who can be a statutory agent as:
- An individual resident of the state, or…
- A domestic profit corporation, nonprofit corporation, or limited liability company, or…
- A foreign profit corporation or limited liability company having a certificate of authority to transact business in Ohio, or…
- (Corporations only) A domestic or foreign nonprofit corporation authorized to transact business in Ohio.
In addition, a statutory agent must be open during regular business hours in order to receive service of process.
Steps to Change Your statutory agent in Ohio
If you need to change your statutory agent in Ohio, you can follow these three steps:
Step 1: Choose a New statutory agent
The first step is to choose a new Ohio statutory agent for your business. The statutory agent can be an individual or a business entity that is authorized to do business in Ohio. The statutory agent must have a physical address in Ohio where they can receive legal documents and other important correspondence on behalf of your business.
You can choose a new statutory agent in several ways. You can appoint an officer or director of your business as the statutory agent, or you can hire a professional statutory agent service (our recommendation). We’ve researched and created a list of our favorite statutory agent services: https://registeredagentsreviewed.com/the-11-best-registered-agent-services-reviewed/
Step 2: Notify Current statutory agent
After you have chosen a new statutory agent service, you must notify your current statutory agent of the change. This is an important step because your current statutory agent may have important documents or information that they need to transfer to the new statutory agent.
You can notify your current statutory agent in writing or by phone. Make sure to provide them with the name and contact information of your new statutory agent service, and ask them to confirm that they have received the notification.
Step 3: File Change of statutory agent Form with Ohio Secretary of State
The final step is to file a Change of statutory agent form with the Ohio Secretary of State or electronically via its portal. The form requires you to provide the name and contact information of your new statutory agent, as well as the name and contact information of your business. There is a $25 fee for making this change with an expedited service for $100, $200 or $300 reducing the filing time from two business days to four hours depending on the fee.
Contact Details for Ohio Secretary Of State’s office
Phone: Toll Free: 877.767.3453
Phone: Central Ohio: 614.466.3910
Address: P.O. Box 788 Columbus, OH 43216
After you have filed the form and paid the fee, the Ohio Secretary of State will process the request and update your business records. Your new statutory agent will start receiving legal documents and other important correspondence on behalf of your business.
See here for info on statutory agents in other states.
Consequences of Not Changing statutory agent Service
When a business owner fails to change their statutory 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 statutory agent information is not up to date, the business may not receive notice of the lawsuit. This can result in a default judgement against the business, which can lead to severe financial damages.
- Missed deadlines: statutory agents are responsible for receiving important legal and tax documents on behalf of the business. If the statutory 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 statutory 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.
Best statutory agent Services
Our recommendation is to choose one of our recommended statutory agent services if you are changing statutory agent in Ohio. The firms we recommend are Northwest statutory agent, ZenBusiness and Incfile.
More on these statutory agent services 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
Changing statutory agent Service: FAQs
Can I be my own statutory agent?
Yes, if you are physically resident in Ohio but there are drawbacks to this, particularly if you use your home address as the registered address of the business.
What are the risks of being my own statutory agent?
Some of the issues with this are:
- Privacy concerns: when you act as your own statutory agent, your address becomes a public record and can be easily accessed by others, including clients, vendors, or employees
- Loss of privacy: by declaring your residential address as your statutory agent address, you may have no boundaries between work life and private life
- Need for regular business hours: statutory agents need to have regular business hours to accept service of process, which can be difficult for small business owners who often cannot stay in an office all day and cannot afford to hire full-time employees to work out of a specific location
- Difficulty in maintaining a physical presence: statutory agents must have a physical address in the state where the business is registered, which can be challenging for businesses that operate virtually or do not have a physical presence in the state
- Potential for missed legal documents: if you are not available during regular business hours to accept legal documents, you may miss important legal notices and court summons, which could result in legal consequences for your business
- Limited flexibility: being your own statutory agent may limit your ability to move your business to another state or expand your business to multiple states, as you would need to maintain a physical address in each state where you operate
Can my lawyer or accountant serve as a statutory agent?
Yes, it is fine to use your lawyer or accountant in that capacity, but bear in mind that it is often more reliable and cost effective to use a reputable national statutory agent service instead.