You formed your Iowa 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 Iowa 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 Iowa 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.
Prefer to have a service handle the paperwork for you? We recommend Northwest and ZenBusiness as the top registered agent services online. You will save over $100 than if you were to use a service like LegalZoom.
What the State of Iowa Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of Iowa has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Once you have your new agent in mind, you will have to file a Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent. Or, if you have fortunate timing and your need for an agent change comes at the same time you’re filing your Biennial Report, you can make the change there.
The Statement of Change is available for either paper or online filing, but the Biennial Report must be filed online. All online submissions go through the Iowa Secretary of State Fast Track Filling system.
Who can be a Iowa Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Iowa 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 Iowa must:
- Be an individual Iowa resident or a business entity located in Iowa
- Have an Iowa 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 Iowa
How to Change Your Iowa Registered Agent
As mentioned above, you have two options for how to change your registered agent: by mail and online. If speed is your priority, filing online is the quickest method. Everything you need is on the Fast Track Filing portal. Click “Sign up” to create your account and follow the directions from there.
If you prefer to do all your business on paper, postal mail is also a reliable option. On the Secretary of State’s Forms and Fees page, find the Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent form under the Domestic Limited Liability Companies section (make sure you use the form from the right section!). Complete the form and send it to:
Business Services Division
Lucas Building, 1st Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
If you happen to live in Des Moines and you want to take it in yourself, you can also drop it off in person at the same address. There is no fee to file this form, regardless of which filing method you choose.
Your registered agent change may happen right around your Biennial Report filing period. If this is the case, you’re in luck! The state requires you to file your Biennial Report every two years anyway, so you can decrease your paperwork by making the change there. File your Biennial Report through the Fast Track Filing system. You’ll also have to pay a $45 fee.
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! Normally, the Secretary of State’s office take 2-3 days to process a registered agent change, so you should see it reflected in your records soon.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Iowa, 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 Iowa 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 an Iowa 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 Iowa 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 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.