How To Change A Registered Agent In California

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Written by: LLCStars Team
Read 7 minLast updated on

The Golden State has some of the strictest laws regarding corporate registration. If a corporate entity wants to form a corporation in or change LLC address in California, they'll need to file certain documents with the Secretary of State (SOS). 

The SOS is responsible for maintaining records of corporations and filing those records with the appropriate county recorder's office.

Like a California LLC change of address, any organization can change a registered agent in California as needed.

This article will go over the roles of a registered agent in California and the easy steps to changing a registered agent.

How to Change A California Registered Agent: Easy Steps

Changing a registered agent is pretty much straightforward as when looking to change an LLC address in California. It involves three simple steps including:

  • Choose a new registered agent in California
  • Notify the current registered agent about working with a new agent
  • Complete and submit a California Statement of Information to the Secretary of State of California. This is doable mail, online, or in person. 

In Person

Secretary of State

1500 11th St.

Sacramento, CA 95814

Online

Go to the appropriate web page. Corporations and Limited liability companies (LLCs) each have their own page.

Browse for and select the organization.

Fill out the online form and pay with a credit card.

Note: The update is usually processed within one day after submitting the form.

Mail

Secretary of State

Business Programs Division - Statement of Information

P.O. Box 944230

Sacramento, CA 94244-2300 

California LLC Cost: Companies in California must file a Statement of Information regularly. The usual filing charge for corporations is $25, while nonprofits and LLCs pay $20. However, a California LLC change of address calls for a $30 fee as part of the amendment filing.

What is the role of a registered agent in California?

Before covering how to change a registered agent in California, let's first understand the roles of the best registered agents.

The law requires every corporation or limited liability company (LLC) to appoint a person who has authority to accept the service of legal documents on its behalf. This person is called a registered agent. 

LLC formation service providers are responsible for receiving legal documents such as articles of incorporation, amendments, notices, and other important papers from the Secretary of State. He/she also receives service of legal documents on behalf of the company. The name and address of the registered agent must be stated in the corporate charter. 

The registered agent can be changed at any time with written consent from the corporation's board of directors, provided that the new registered agent satisfies all requirements under the Corporations Code, including having an official residence within this state.

The Benefits Of Registered Agents In California

A California registered agent must maintain good standing with the state. The registered agent cannot engage in any unlicensed activity. The Secretary Of State holds the registered agent accountable for violations through registration suspension.

The secretary of state will suspend the corporate name if the registered agent violates the law or fails to meet obligations. These include providing false statements when registering the company with the state. An organization could lose its license if a registered agent does not comply with these rules. Also, the company may lose its right to transact business in California.

Many benefits come with having a California-registered agent. Since most California agencies require them to maintain a physical presence within the state, there will likely be fewer problems collecting property taxes and fulfilling other financial obligations.

In case of divorce or death, it is important to designate a representative who receives all court orders and notifications from the courts regarding cases involving a company.

Having a professional handle this task will allow individuals to focus on other matters. Registered agents play an integral role in protecting small businesses against fraud. When a business has been harmed, the owners will have a leg to stand on in court since they have proof of loss. Also, any personal injury claims will be easier to prove if licensed attorneys represent them in court.

Why Change Registered Agents?

In addition to being in line with the state’s requirements, companies in California change registered agents for several reasons. The most common include:

1) Customer Satisfaction

Sometimes, a registered agent might be unresponsive or just plain inefficient at what they do. Perhaps they lost paperwork or changed the name on a company's account without prior notification. These problems happen every day, so changing the registered agent can keep things running smoothly for a business and its customers.

2) Avoid Unnecessary Fees

Some agents charge quite a bit to change their registration, while others offer little or no compensation for the work involved. The fee might seem high, but registering in the correct agency and following their rules is still cheaper than hiring a lawyer or accountant—and less prone to error!

F.A.Q.

Can businesses change registered agents in California later?

Yes, any organization can change registered agents in California at any time. However, they must employ a new registered agent, submit a Change of Registered Agent form with the state, and then discontinue the former registered agent's services.

Conclusion

Registering in the appropriate entity and ensuring compliance is vital when conducting business in states as large as California. Without proper records and documentation, it's easy for disputes to arise over ownership or financial information. 

As indicated, it's fairly quick to change a registered agent in California by following the steps above. For questions about changing a registered agent in California, let us know in the comments below.

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