Are you unsatisfied with your California registered agent? Or perhaps you’re currently serving as your own registered agent, but would rather hire a professional registered agent service instead?
The state of California makes it rather easy to change your registered agent, but there are some details involved in the process that are worth reviewing.
In this guide, we’ll discuss all the relevant details of changing a registered agent in California.
Guru Tip: If you would prefer to have a professional service deal with the paperwork and take over registered agent duties, hire a California registered agent service. It’s just a small annual fee.
What Is a California Registered Agent?
Why is a registered agent required for every limited liability company (LLC) or corporation? It all comes down to the fact that the state needs to be able to contact an official representative of your business if they need to deliver important documents to you, especially service of process.
Without a registered agent, you could remain unaware of a lawsuit against your business progressing through the court system.
Who Can Be a California Registered Agent?
If you’re looking to change your company’s registered agent, it’s a good idea to know who is eligible to serve as one.
The California Secretary of State dictates that a registered agent must be either an adult individual who is a resident of the state of California or a corporation that is certified (via Section 1505) to serve as a registered agent. In either case, the registered agent must have a physical street address in California (P.O. boxes do not qualify). In california, you may serve as your own registered agent, but your home address will be placed on public file.
If you’d like to hire the services of a commercial agent or use a company which is already certified to serve as a registered agent, you may wish to review this list of California registered agents which was compiled by the California Secretary of State. If you should decide to use one, you’ll need to arrange it with the entity previous to listing your registered agent.
How to Change Your Registered Agent in California
If you would like to change your registered agent for any reason, the process is simple.
To change your existing registered agent in the state of California you must fill out either the Statement of Information form for LLCs (LLC-12) or the Statement of Information for Corporations (SI-550) depending on your business entity’s type.
If you wish to mail your submission, PDF files of both the Statement of Information form for LLCs and the Statement of Information form for Corporations can be completed online and printed before sending.
If you’d rather complete and submit the form online, you may do so by visiting the “File Online” page of the California Secretary of State’s website and selecting either the “LLC Statement Information” or “Corporation Statement of Information” tabs.
Whether you file digitally or via hard copy, the documents require the following information:
- The California agent’s name
- The California agent’s street address (P.O. boxes do not suffice)
- Whether the California agent is a corporation or an individual.
Change of Registered Agent Fee: $20.00 for LLCs and $25.00 for corporations
Should You Hire a Professional California Registered Agent Service?
Hiring a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent has some distinct advantages. First and foremost, compared to serving as your own agent, professional registered agent services allow you to keep your personal address private. They’re also much less expensive than hiring a lawyer or accountant to provide registered agent service.
An often-overlooked benefit is how easy it is to expand your California business into other states if you choose a professional registered agent. They typically have offices in all 50 states, so if you begin transacting business in an additional state, your same registered agent service can handle that for you.
If you’re interested in hiring a professional registered agent service, take a look at our guide to the top service providers.
The process for changing a registered agent in California isn’t a complicated one, but it’s certainly advisable to know exactly what you want to do ahead of time. If you know what you want going in, you’ll find that the process is really quite painless.
We hope this article answered your questions about changing your California registered agent!