You formed your Montana 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 Montana 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 Montana 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.
Montana is one of a few states that distinguish between “commercial and “noncommercial” registered agents. What’s the difference? Commercial agents are individuals or entities that have filed with the state as professional registered agent services; noncommercial agents have not. If you don’t already have one, you can find Montana’s commercial agents here and non-commercial agents here.
Time Saving Hack: You can change registered agent, get all state paperwork taken care of and have a replacement agent when you hire an online registered agent service.
What the State of Montana Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of Montana has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. To make a registered agent change, an LLC must file a “Statement of Change – Registered Office, Agent or Both” with the Secretary of State’s Office. You may also update your registered agent’s information on your Annual Report.
Who can be a Montana Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Montana 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 Montana must:
- Be an individual Montana resident or a business entity located in Montana
- Have a Montana 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 Montana
How to Change Your Montana Registered Agent
In order to change your registered agent in Montana, you have two options: you can file a “Statement of Change – Registered Office, Agent or Both,” or you can make the change on your Annual Report when that time of year rolls around.
Let’s start with the form. You can submit it online any time (the Secretary of State no longer accepts paper forms). Navigate to the Online Business Filing System to get started. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create an account. After you’ve logged in, find the appropriate form and follow the onscreen instructions from there. Here’s the bonus: this form is free to file!
Every Montana business is required to submit an Annual Report by April 15 each year. If your need for a new registered agent falls between January 1 and April 15, you can cut down on paperwork by simply updating your registered agent information on the report. You can file your Annual Report through the Online Business Filing System as well. The fee is $35, which you can pay via card at the end of the process.
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.
But if you do hire some outside help, know that only individuals with “authority” are allowed to file documents on behalf of the LLC. This means managers, members, etc. So, if you’d like someone else to maintain your paperwork, you’ll need to grant them authority. See how here.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? Then you’re all set! Standard processing time for the Montana Secretary of State is 3-7 business days, but it could be longer during peak filing season for Annual Reports.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Montana, 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 Montana 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 Montana 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 Montana 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.