This guide will outline what you need to know about changing a registered agent in District of Columbia (DC) and how to get started when you’re ready.
You formed your Washington D.C. LLC. You did the paperwork. You started operating your business.
And now, for one reason or another, you need to change your registered agent. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
There are a number of reasons you might need to change your District of Columbia (DC) LLC’s registered agent. Maybe your designated registered agent moved out of state, left the company, or no longer wants the responsibility. Maybe you had assigned the job to yourself, and you no longer want your address on public record. Maybe (hopefully) your business has expanded so much that you no longer have time to handle the registered agent responsibilities.
Whatever your reason may be, changing a registered agent in District of Columbia (DC) might seem like a daunting task, with a mountain of paperwork and legal proceedings involved. However it’s actually quite simple, and this guide will help make the process quick and painless.
D.C. has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. To make this change, you’ll need to file a RA-3 form, found here. Notice that there are several forms related to registered agents, including those for commercial and noncommercial agents. What’s the difference? A commercial registered agent is one that has filed a RA-1 with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to be listed as a commercial agent; a noncommercial agent hasn’t. Contact your registered agent if you’re unsure which type they are.
For more information on registered agents, including commercial/noncommercial distinctions, see the DCRA Registered Agent webpage.
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of D.C. puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your registered agent, keep these requirements in mind. The registered agent in D.C. must:
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in D.C.
In order to change your registered agent in D.C., you can either complete and submit a RA-3 form or file online through the CorpOnline web portal.
Both methods will require the same information: your LLC name (exactly as it’s listed in the DCRA records), your current agent’s name and address, and your new agent’s name and address.
If speed is your top priority, filing online is the quickest way to go about it. Begin by going to the CorpOnline portal and register for an account. Then, select your form and follow the instructions to complete it.
Of course, mail is always a reliable option too. Fill out your RA-3 electronically (the DCRA does not accept handwritten forms), print it, then send it to:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
PO Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090
By mail or online, the DCRA charges a $50 fee to change your registered agent. Online, you will need to pay by credit/debit card, and by mail, you can pay with a check made out to “D.C. Treasurer.”
Your registered agent information is also located on your Articles of Organization and Biennial Report, but you cannot use either of these documents to make an agent change in D.C. You must file a RA-3 or use the online form.
If you’re too busy, or if you’d feel more comfortable letting someone else take the reins, you have the option of hiring a company or individual to file your paperwork for you. It’s a great way to save time and stress.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? You’ll soon have a new registered agent! Typical processing time for mail and online is 15 days after the DCRA receives the form, so you should see your change take place within the next month.
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you D.C., the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the registered agent was just a formality, look at the documents they handle:
A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable registered agent is essential to every D.C. business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your registered agent takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a D.C. small business from out of state, a trustworthy registered agent is especially important, as the state requires a local contact for your LLC. Having this contact ensures your company will receive and respond to time-sensitive documents, so you won’t miss filings and get hit with penalties.
If you’re unsure where to find a good D.C. registered agent, consider using a registered agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional registered agent so you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t ever miss a filing, tax deadline, or state correspondence.
Sure, you can jump online, search “registered agent service,” and get a ton of results. But the truth is that not all of these services are trustworthy. So, we’ve done some research for you. If you want to know you’re getting a top-quality registered agent, take a look at our comparison guide on the top registered agent services. Many of these providers can also form an LLC for you if you’re needing a fresh start. ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are two very well known options.
There are numerous reasons you might need to give up your District of Columbia registered agent role, but only one way to resign.
Registered agents play an important role in the life of an LLC, handling sensitive legal and tax documents, so it’s essential that agents follow proper resignation procedures. Otherwise, you could leave your company with unplanned fines or penalties, and you could be individually liable.
Fortunately, for D.C. LLCs, it’s an easy and painless process.
Follow these steps and the hardest part of your resignation won’t be the process itself, it’ll be saying “so long” to your former business.
You’re required by District law to tell your LLC before resigning. You must provide the entity with a copy of the Statement of Resignation 10 days before you file it with the Corporations Division. Giving advance notice will also give the company more time to line up a new registered agent and facilitate a smooth transition.
Like the District’s other registered agent documents, the Statement of Registered Agent’s Resignation form is part of the Registered Agent Combined Form.
There isn’t much information required to fill it out. In fact, all you’ll need to provide is the name of the entity, the name of the registered agent, the date of notice, the date of resignation (must be at least 30 days after the Corporations Division receives the form unless the business designates a new registered agent sooner), the registered office address, the entity’s principal office address, and the registered agent’s signature.
When you finish filling it out, you can mail or hand-deliver it to:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 92300
Washington, D.C. 20090
There is no fee to file a Statement of Registered Agent’s Resignation. Remember, the registered agent must provide the entity with a copy of this form 10 days before filing it, in duplicate, with the Corporations Division. 30 days after that, the registered agent’s responsibilities are complete.
When you put down your registered agent responsibilities, someone else has to pick them up, or your LLC will lose its good standing with the District. Help your LLC keep its momentum by carefully planning your transition.
This starts with finding a registered agent that’s available right away. Even a small gap between registered agents can result in severe penalties. Every Washington, D.C., LLC is required to keep a valid registered agent on file, or the District can administratively dissolve them. This is why it’s important to communicate with your company about registered agent changes and/or termination.
Any new registered office provider your LLC appoints must meet the District of Columbia’s registered agent requirements. They must:
We recommend using a registered agent service, which can take over registered agent duties, freeing up more time for the LLC’s members and/or managers to focus on running the business.
You do a lot for your District of Columbia (DC) LLC. You’re essentially the shield that protects it from fines, the filter that catches important documents, the conductor that keeps it on track with compliance.
Because you play such an important role, it’s crucial that you follow the resignation procedures exactly — and potentially provide a replacement agent for the business. Otherwise, you might find yourself and your LLC in hot water.
Follow this guide and you’ll be totally fine. Soon, you’ll be on to your next project, whether that’s starting a new business in District of Columbia (DC) or something completely different.
If you need a fresh start and would like to form a brand new LLC, there are plenty of services that can take care of this for you. ZenBusiness and LegalZoom are two very popular options.
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