You formed your Alabama 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 Alabama 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 Alabama 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.
We recommend hiring a registered agent service to file all change paperwork and take over this important responsibility.
That said, see our review of the best registered agent services to get the best deal. Or if you’d like to use our #1 rated service, visit Northwest Registered Agent, which is $100 less than other options.
What the State of Alabama Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of Alabama has certain requirements about changing your LLC’s registered agent. In order to make the switch, you must file a “Change of Registered Agent” form with the Secretary of State’s office.
You have three options for filing this form: mail, email, and fax. All three methods require a $25 fee. The Secretary of State website includes little detail about the process, but you can find everything you need on the “Change of Registered Agent” form itself.
Who can be a Alabama Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Alabama 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 Alabama must:
- Be an individual Alabama resident or a business entity located in Alabama
- Have a Alabama street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Alabama
How to Change Your Alabama Registered Agent
In order to change your registered agent in Alabama, you need to fill out a “Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity” form. To download it, visit the Alabama Secretary of State website. On the “Business Entities” page, click the “Business Downloads” link and scroll down to find the correct form. You’ll need the following info:
- Your Entity ID Number (to find your ID number, search for your LLC on the SOS website’s “Business Entity Search.” The six digit number to the left of your entity name is your ID number.
- Your entity name (must exactly match the name registered with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office)
- Your current registered agent’s name
- Your new registered agent’s name
- Your new registered agent’s address
- A signature from your new registered agent consenting to the appointment
- Your signature
- Your credit card information (if paying by email or fax)
The hard part is over. Now you just need to submit your form, and you can do so by postal mail, email, or fax. No matter which option you choose, you’ll be charged at $25 fee.
Email is the quickest and easiest way to file. The Secretary of State’s office will receive your form and payment immediately, and their typical processing time is 3-5 business days. Email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fax is just as quick, and you can fax your filing to (334) 240-3138 is you’d like to go this route. You must pay by credit card if filing by fax.
If you’d rather hand it off to the postal service, that’s fine too! Just know that the change to your registered agent may take a little longer. You can pay by check, money order, or credit card. Along with your payment information, mail two copies of your completed form to:
Secretary of State, Business Services Division
P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616
When completing your form, make sure to type and laser print it. The Secretary of State’s office will not accept handwritten forms, no matter how neat your handwriting is.
If you’re lucky, your need for a registered agent change will fall between January 1 and March 15, when you’re filing your annual report with the state. In this case, you can simply update your registered agent information there.
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 your registered agent change is in the works! Need your form processed ASAP? Alabama offers expedited processing for a fee of $100. Otherwise, you should see your change reflected 3-5 days after the Secretary of State’s office receives your filing and payment.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Alabama, 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
- and other Secretary of State correspondence.
A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable registered agent is essential to every Alabama 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 Alabama 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 Alabama 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 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 and Northwest are two very well known options.