You formed your Florida 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 Florida 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 Florida 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 Florida Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of Florida has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. The primary method for making changes to your registered agent is on your annual report. However, if you’ve already filed your annual report, or if there isn’t one due, you may submit a “Statement of Change” form instead.
Annual reports can be filed online, but you can only submit a Statement of Change form by mail or in person.
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations has additional information and links to the necessary documents.
Who can be a Florida Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Florida 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 Florida must:
- Be an individual Florida resident or a business entity located in Florida
- Have a Florida 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 Florida
How to Change Your Florida Registered Agent
As mentioned above, there are two ways to change your registered agent in Florida. The first is by updating your annual report. We recommend this method for three reasons: first, you can file it online, which cuts down processing time. Second, you need to file your annual report every year anyway, so it decreases your paperwork load. Third, the Florida Department of State prefers it.
Florida’s annual report is an online-only form. Go here to get started. The Division of Corporations also offers comprehensive filing instructions and an FAQ page specifically for the annual report. The filing fee for LLCs is $138.75, quite a bit steeper than the $25 fee for a Statement of Change. But because you’re filing an annual report every year, making the change there will save you from paying both fees. Payment options for the annual report include credit card, debit card, check or money order.
The filing window for your annual report is January 1 to March 1 each year. If your need for a new registered agent falls outside this window, you can file a Statement of Change of Registered Office or Registered Agent. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option to file this one online. So, download and complete the form, then mail it to:
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 6327
Tallahassee, FL 32314
Live near Tallahassee? Feel free to submit your form in person. Deliver it to:
2661 Executive Center Circle
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Florida uses a separate Statement of Change form for foreign LLCs, so double-check that you’re using the correct one. Both forms have a $25 fee, payable by check or money order. Make checks out to “Florida Department of State.”
There you have it. These are your only two options for changing a registered agent in Florida. Some states allow you to make the change by updating your Articles of Organization, but Florida does not.
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? Nice work. You’ll see your change take place soon. The Florida Department of State typically has quick processing times. Annual reports filed online are processed immediately. If you choose to pay by money order, it takes 3-5 days. Statements of Change take 3-5 days (longer during peak periods). Either way, you’ll have your new registered agent on file within the week.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Florida, 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 Florida 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 Florida 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 Florida 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 five registered agent services.