There are a number of reasons you might need to change your Michigan 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 Michigan 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 Michigan has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s resident agent. You can switch up your resident agent one of two ways: by filing a form CSCL/CD-520: Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Resident Agent, or by updating the agent information on your Annual Statement.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has an LLC page, which is a great source of information not just on resident agents, but also LLC formation, required filings, and more.
You can’t pick just anyone to be a resident agent for your LLC. The state of Michigan puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your resident agent, keep these requirements in mind. The resident agent in Michigan must:
* If your resident agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Michigan
Let’s start with the designated change form since that’s the most common method. This is Form CSCL/CD-520, and you can find it on the LLC Forms page.
Once you’ve completed this form, you can submit it by mail or in person. For mail, address your form to:
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities \u0026 Commercial Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, Michigan 48909
If you’d rather take a trip to the LARA office and drop it off, you can do so at:
2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, Michigan 48864
No matter which option you choose, there is a required $5 fee, payable by check (made out to “State of Michigan”) or by card (if you deliver your form in person).
As stated above, you may also update your resident agent information on your Annual Statement, which must be filed no later than October 1 each year. Annual Statements are filed online for a fee of $20. Since you need to file your Annual Statement each year anyway, including your resident agent change there will save you money 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? Then you’re good to go. LARA usually processes forms 3-5 days after receipt, but if you need it sooner, you can fill out an “Expedited Service Request” for 1-hour, 2-hour, same day, or 24 hours service. The fees range from $50-1,000.
Think of your resident agent as a mediator between you and the state of Michigan, the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the resident agent was just a formality, look at the documents they handle:
A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable resident agent is essential to every Michigan business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your resident agent takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a Michigan small business from out of state, a trustworthy resident 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 Michigan resident agent, consider using a resident agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional resident 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 best rated registered agent services. 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 Michigan resident agent role, but only one way to resign.
Resident 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 Michigan 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.
Because the resident agent is an important role, your LLC will want plenty of time to find a new one, so make sure to give them advance notice of your resignation. This is not just because it’s helpful, but also because it’s required by Michigan state law.
Section 450.1243 mandates that you send a copy of your resignation to a manager or member of your LLC before sending it to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). This gives them ample time to change their resident agent, thereby avoiding fines and penalties.
The first step in the process, before even notifying your LLC, is to find the “Resignation of Resident Agent” form. You can submit it online or download a hard copy.
Got the form? Time to fill it out. Whether you’re filing online or on paper, here’s the information you’ll need to include:
First, send it to a member or manager of your LLC, then to LARA. If you’re filing online, your form will be submitted automatically. If you’re using postal mail, send your form to:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities \u0026 Commercial Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
Live near Lansing? You’re also welcome to submit it in person to 2501 Woodlake Circle, Okemos, MI 48864.
But don’t forget to pay the fee! It costs $5 to file a resignation. Online, you will pay using a credit card. By mail, include a check or money order. In person, you may pay via check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).
Your name won’t be erased from the record right away. After your statement is processed, you will retain resident agent duties for 30 days, unless your LLC appoints a replacement sooner. If you need it processed right away, you can request 24-hour expedited service for $100, same-day service for $200, two-hour service for $500, or one-hour service for $1,000. Otherwise, standard processing is approximately ten business days.
When you put down your resident 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 resident agent coverage can result in severe penalties. If your company hasn’t listed a new agent by the time of their next Annual Report (due by Feb. 15 each year), it will be administratively dissolved. For this reason, it’s important to give your LLC enough forewarning to effectively change its resident agent.
Their replacement must meet Michigan’s resident agent requirements. As a reminder, a resident agent must:
An LLC’s owner or member may serve as its resident agent, but sometimes it’s easiest to outsource the agent’s responsibilities.
We recommend using a resident agent service, which can take over resident agent duties, freeing up more time for the LLC’s managers to focus on running the business.
You do a lot for your Michigan 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 Michigan 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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