Change Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

Read our guide about what changing a Pennsylvania Registered Agent entails and see why you should use our experts to do it for you.

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There are a number of reasons you might need to change your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.

What the State of Pennsylvania Says about changing a Registered Office

The state of Pennsylvania has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered office. To make the change, business entities must submit a Change of Registered Office form either on paper or electronically. The registered office address will be used for all service of process; it’s highly important that this is kept updated so that important documents get into the right hands.

The Department of State FAQ page outlines Pennsylvania’s registered office and service of process structure, their LLC Act provides some additional context for registered office changes in § 8825, and their Commercial Registered Office Providers list gives a brief summary CROP requirements.

Who can be a Pennsylvania Commerical Registered Office Provider

If you choose to use a CROP instead of listing your own registered office address, you can’t choose just anyone. The state of Pennsylvania puts certain restrictions on who can serve as a provider. If you’re choosing or changing your CROP, keep these requirements in mind. Your Pennsylvania CROP must:

  • Be an individual resident or a business entity located in Pennsylvania who has registered with the state as an official provider
  • Have a Pennsylvania street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)

See here for a complete list of CROPs who are registered with the state.

* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Pennsylvania

How to Change Your Pennsylvania Registered Office

Despite the rules and procedures surrounding Pennsylvania’s registered office registration, making this change is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is file a “Change of Registered Office” form by mail or online.

If you’re looking to finish the process ASAP, do it online. PENN File, the Department of State’s online filing portal, allows you to get your change recorded quickly and easily. Create an account, select your form, and follow the instructions. You’ll be done in no time.

Filing via postal mail is also a totally legitimate way to change your registered office. Find the form under the Limited Liability Company section of the D.O.S. Registration Forms page. Its second page has step-by-step instructions to help you out. The Department of State prefers typed forms (using a PDF filler like Adobe Acrobat) but you can also hand-write it in black or black-blue ink. When finished, mail the form to:

Pennsylvania Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

P.O. Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Mailed and electronic forms both have a $5 fee. Online, you can pay using a card, and by mail, include a check made out to “Department of State.”

These are the only two methods for changing your registered office. Some states allow you to make this change on your Annual Report or Certificate of Organization, but not Pennsylvania.

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 all set! Average processing time for the Pennsylvania Department of State is 7-10 business days, but they offer three different expedited service options if you submit an “Expedited Service Request” and pay an additional fee. It’s $100 for same-day service, $300 for three-hour service, and $1,000 for one-hour service.

Consider a Registered Agent Service

Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Pennsylvania, 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:

  • service of process notices
  • tax information
  • lawsuits
  • and other Secretary of State correspondence.

A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable registered agent is essential to every Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 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.

Need to Resign your Pennsylvania Registered Agent?

There are numerous reasons you might need to give up your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.

Notifying the Pennsylvania LLC

You’re not required by Commonwealth law to tell your LLC before changing the registered office. Rather, you must notify them promptly after filing a “Statement of Change of Registered Office” with the Department of State. In some cases, though, it’s beneficial to inform them beforehand. If you’re terminating the registered office without submitting a new one, the LLC will need to register one themselves. Giving advance notice will give the company more time to line up a new registered office and facilitate a smooth transition.

Submitting Your Resignation

Since the Department of State doesn’t keep registered agent names on file, only registered office addresses, there is no form for a registered agent resignation. Instead, you’ll file a “Statement of Change of Registered Office by Agent” form, submittable online or on paper.

To file online – usually the quicker option – navigate to the PENN File portal. You will need to create an account if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve logged in, select the appropriate filing and follow the onscreen prompts to complete it. You can pay the $5 fee using a credit or debit card.

You can get your hands on the paper form through the Department of State Registration Forms page. Here are the steps to complete it:

  • Enter your return postal address or email address.
  • Enter the LLC name (#1) and your name (#2).
  • If you’re appointing a replacement agent, enter their name on #3.
  • If you’re changing the registered office address, enter the current address on #4 and the new address on #5.
  • If you’re simply terminating your status as the provider of the registered office, check the box on #6 and enter the LLC’s last-known address on #7.

The filing fee isn’t expensive, only $5, and you can pay it with a check made out to “Pennsylvania Department of State.” Mail the check and your completed form to:

Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

As soon as your filing is processed, the termination or change of registered office will take effect. Standard processing time is 5-10 business days. If you don’t have that kind of time, you can choose one of three expedited service options: same-day processing ($100), three-hour processing ($300), or one-hour processing ($1,000). Before you know it, you’ll be off the books and onto your next endeavor.

Handing off Your Responsibilities

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 Commonwealth. Help your LLC keep its momentum by carefully planning your transition.

This starts with finding a registered office that’s available right away. Even a small gap between registered offices can result in severe penalties. Every Pennsylvania LLC is required to keep a valid registered office address on file, or the commonwealth can administratively dissolve them. This is why it’s important to communicate with your company about registered office address changes and/or termination.

Any new registered office provider your LLC appoints must meet Pennsylvania’s registered office provider requirements. They must:

  • Be an individual resident of Pennsylvania or a corporation authorized to do business in the Commonwealth
  • Have a physical Pennsylvania address (P.O. boxes aren’t allowed)
  • Have a mailing address in Pennsylvania

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.

Finishing Up

You do a lot for your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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