You formed your North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of North Carolina has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Any company that wants to change its registered agent must submit a Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent,” or a paper copy of its Annual Report. These document must be signed by the new registered agent.
Who can be a North Carolina Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of North Carolina 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 North Carolina must:
- Be an individual North Carolina resident or a business entity located in North Carolina
- Have a North Carolina 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 North Carolina
How to Change Your North Carolina Registered Agent
The most common method for changing a registered agent in North Carolina is by using the “Statement of Change of Registered Office and/or Registered Agent” form. You can find this form, among many others, on the Secretary of State Forms page.
This form requires the name and address of both your former and new registered agents as well as a signature from the latter. The filing fee is $5 and you can pay it with a check or money order made out to “North Carolina Secretary of State.”
You have two options for submission: postal mail or online through the PDF Upload Portal.
For mail, fill out a “Cover Sheet for Corporate Filings” (download this from the Forms page) and send it, with your form and payment, to:
Business Registration Division
PO Box 29622,
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Every business entity operating in North Carolina is required to file an Annual Report by April 15 of each year. If your registered agent change falls between Jan. 1 and Apr. 15, you can update the information on your Annual Report, but only if you’re filing on paper, as the registered agent need to physically sign the form. Learn more about filing your Annual Report here.
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? That’s all for now! The Secretary of State’s office normally processes mailed forms in 7-10 business days and online forms in 3-5. If you can’t wait that long, you can request 24-hour processing for $100 or same day processing for $200. Make this request on your Cover Sheet.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of North Carolina, 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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.