You formed your New York 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 New York 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 New York 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.
A quick note: In some places on the New York Department of State website, you’ll see references to an “agent for service of process.” Know that this title is synonymous with “registered agent.”
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 New York Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of New York has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Any entity doing business in the state may change its registered agent by filing a Certificate of Change with the Department of State and paying a $30 fee.
Who can be a New York Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of New York 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 New York must:
- Be an individual New York resident or a business entity located in New York
- Have a New York 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 New York
How to Change Your New York Registered Agent
Time to make your change. Head over to the Department of State LLC Filings page and scroll down until you see a few different Certificate of Change forms. There are separate forms for domestic and foreign LLCs, and different forms for registered agents who are making their own changes, so read the descriptions carefully when choosing your form.
Here’s the information to include:
- Your LLC name (and your alternate name, if your original was unavailable in New York)
- The New York county where your LLC is located
- Your new registered agent’s name and address
- A manager, member, or authorized person’s signature
- Contact information for the filer
There is a $5 fee to change your registered agent, which you can pay via check or money order (payable to “Department of State”) or card, but only if you complete and submit a “Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization” form.
When you’ve finished your form, send it, along with your payment, to:
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, New York 12231-0001
Or, fax it to (518) 474-1418
The “Certificate of Change” form is the only approved method for changing your registered agent in New York. You cannot do so by updating your Biennial Statement or Articles of Organization.
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? You’ve done your part. The Department of State’s typical processing time is seven business days, but you can request 24-hour, same day, or 2-hour expedited service on your “Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization” form for an additional fee.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of New York, 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 New York 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 New York 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 New York 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.