How to Change Registered Agent in Pennsylvania
You formed your Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania has a unique structure for Service of Process. Instead of using specific registered agents, the Department of State operates based on registered office addresses and sends Service of Process to the entities located at those addresses. Therefore, its website and documents refer to registered agents as Commercial Registered Office Providers (CROPs).
What the State of Pennsylvania Says about changing a Registered Office
The state of Pennsylvania has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered office. To make the change, business entities must submit a Change of Registered Office form either on paper or electronically. The registered office address will be used for all service of process; it’s highly important that this is kept updated so that important documents get into the right hands.
The Department of State FAQ page outlines Pennsylvania’s registered office and service of process structure, their LLC Act provides some additional context for registered office changes in § 8825, and their Commercial Registered Office Providers list gives a brief summary CROP requirements.
Who can be a Pennsylvania Commerical Registered Office Provider
If you choose to use a CROP instead of listing your own registered office address, you can’t choose just anyone. The state of Pennsylvania puts certain restrictions on who can serve as a provider. If you’re choosing or changing your CROP, keep these requirements in mind. Your Pennsylvania CROP must:
- Be an individual resident or a business entity located in Pennsylvania who has registered with the state as an official provider
- Have a Pennsylvania street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)
See here for a complete list of CROPs who are registered with the state.
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Pennsylvania
How to Change Your Pennsylvania Registered Office
Despite the rules and procedures surrounding Pennsylvania’s registered office registration, making this change is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is file a “Change of Registered Office” form by mail or online.
If you’re looking to finish the process ASAP, do it online. PENN File, the Department of State’s online filing portal, allows you to get your change recorded quickly and easily. Create an account, select your form, and follow the instructions. You’ll be done in no time.
Filing via postal mail is also a totally legitimate way to change your registered office. Find the form under the Limited Liability Company section of the D.O.S. Registration Forms page. Its second page has step-by-step instructions to help you out. The Department of State prefers typed forms (using a PDF filler like Adobe Acrobat) but you can also hand-write it in black or black-blue ink. When finished, mail the form to:
Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722
Mailed and electronic forms both have a $5 fee. Online, you can pay using a card, and by mail, include a check made out to “Department of State.”
These are the only two methods for changing your registered office. Some states allow you to make this change on your Annual Report or Certificate of Organization, but not Pennsylvania.
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! Average processing time for the Pennsylvania Department of State is 7-10 business days, but they offer three different expedited service options if you submit an “Expedited Service Request” and pay an additional fee. It’s $100 for same-day service, $300 for three-hour service, and $1,000 for one-hour service.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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.