This guide will outline what you need to know about changing a registered agent in Louisiana and how to get started when you’re ready.
You formed your Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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.
The state of Louisiana has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. The only way to change your registered agent is by filing the appropriate form (either paper or online) with the Secretary of State’s office. This form, or its online counterpart, must include an authorizing signature from either an LLC manager or member (depending on the business structure) and an affidavit of acceptance signed by your new registered agent.
Read more from the Louisiana Secretary of State about registered agents on their FAQ page or state legislature RS 12:1308.
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Louisiana 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 Louisiana must:
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Louisiana
Your former registered agent is out the door, and your new one is ready to start. Here’s how to make the change. The quickest and easiest way to go is through the geauxBIZ portal. If you already have an account, you can sign in; otherwise, you’ll need to create one. Once you’re signed in, follow these steps:
As of January 1, 2018, these parishes are required to submit business documents online: Ascension, Bossier, Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Livingston, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Terrebonne.
But if you live outside those parishes and would rather submit a paper form by mail, go ahead! On the S.O.S. Forms and Fees page, find “Change of Registered Office or Agent – Louisiana LLC.” Download and complete the form, then send it to:
Secretary of State, Commerical Division
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9125
Both methods require a $25 fee, which you can pay by card online or by check – made payable to “Secretary of State” – for mail.
Each year, Louisiana requires you to submit an annual report, and if your registered agent change coincides, you can simply make the change there, which will save you time and paperwork.
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’re good to go! Online forms are normally processed within 24 hours, and paper forms within 3-5 business days. However, you can pay an additional $30 for 24-hour processing, or $50 for 2-4 hour processing.
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Louisiana, 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana registered agent, consider using a registered agent service. These companies provide you with 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 services,” 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 best registered agents. Many of these providers can also form an LLC for you if you’re needing a fresh start. ZenBusiness is a very well known option.
There are numerous reasons you might need to give up your Louisiana 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 Louisiana LLCs it is easy.
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.
Once you resign, it’s up to your former LLC to change its registered agent. And while you aren’t required to notify the company before you submit your resignation to the state, it can make the process easier and more efficient if you do. Speaking with your LLC prior to resigning will give them plenty of time to find your replacement and facilitate a smooth transition. After you file your official resignation with the state, the Louisiana Revised Statutes 12:1-503 requires that you submit one copy to the LLC’s registered office and another to the principal office.
You remain on file as the registered agent for 31 days after you officially resign, unless your LLC appoints a replacement sooner. So, helping your company find a successor reduces the amount of time that you’ll retain agent duties after you resign.
The first step in formally resigning with the Secretary of State is to draft a Statement of Resignation. There isn’t an official form to complete, so you’ll need to create your own. Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward and only requires a few pieces of information. On your statement, you must include:
There’s also a $25 fee to file a resignation, payable by check included with your filing. You will need four copies of your statement in total – two for the state, and two for your former LLC. First, mail two copies, along with your payment, to:
Louisiana Secretary of State
PO Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
Live in Baton Rouge? You can also drop your documents off in person to 8585 Archives Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70809.
Immediately after you’ve submitted two copies to the Secretary of State, send one copy to your LLC’s registered office and another to the principal office.
Typical processing time for resignations is 3-5 business days, but you can request 24-hour expedited processing by labeling your filing “expedite” and paying an additional $30 fee. As mentioned earlier, you will not be off the books as the registered agent until 31 days after your resignation is processed, so keep in mind that you may receive mail and service of process for up to one month after you file.
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 state. Help your LLC keep its momentum by carefully planning your transition.
This starts with finding a successor who’s ready to take over right away. Even a small gap in registered agent coverage can result in severe penalties. If your company doesn’t appoint your replacement right away and goes 60 days without a registered agent, they will be administratively dissolved by the state. Discussing the transition with them beforehand will help them get a new agent lined up and avoid this penalty.
Whomever the LLC appoints, they must meet Louisiana’s registered agent requirements. They must:
A Lousiana business entity can assign one of its owners or members as the registered agent, but sometimes it’s easiest to give those responsibilities to a professional service.
We recommend using a registered agent service, which can take over registered agent duties, freeing up more time for the LLC’s managers to focus on running the business.
You do a lot for your Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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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