How to Change Registered Agent in Rhode Island
You formed your Rhode Island LLC. You did the paperwork. You started operating your business. And now, for one reason or another, you need to change your resident agent. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
There are a number of reasons you might need to change your Rhode Island LLC’s resident agent. Maybe your designated resident 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 resident agent responsibilities.
Whatever your reason may be, changing a resident agent in Rhode Island 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.
In some places on the Rhode Island website or in state laws, you may see references to “registered agents.” Know that “registered agent” and “resident agent” are synonymous terms and refer to the same position.
What the State of Rhode Island Says about Changing a Resident Agent
The state of Rhode Island has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s resident agent. The Department of State website doesn’t provide a whole lot of information on resident agents and/or how to change them. But if you dig into the state’s LLC Act, you’ll find some helpful material (specifically in Section 7-16-11).
As an overview, it states that any business entity wishing to change its resident agent must file the necessary form with the Secretary of State, and it must include the LLC name, the former resident agent name/address, and the new resident agent name/address.
Who can be a Rhode Island Resident Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a resident agent for your LLC. The state of Rhode Island puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your resident agent, keep these requirements in mind. The resident agent in Rhode Island must:
- Be an individual Rhode Island resident or a business entity located in Rhode Island
- Have a Rhode Island street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)
* If your resident agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in Rhode Island
How to Change Your Rhode Island Resident Agent
You may have your LLC ready to make the transition between resident agents, but first, you need to make the change official. Do this by filing a “Change of Resident Agent” form either online or by mail. To access both options, head over to the Secretary of State’s Business Forms page and select either RI Limited Liability Company or Foreign Limited Liability Company (depending on which you are). You’ll be directed to a list of LLC forms, including the Change of Resident Agent. Next to each form is two options: “Download” or “File Online.” Here’s the fork in the road. Choose one to continue.
If you select “File Online,” it will direct you to the Online Filing System, where you’ll need to enter your Customer Identification Number and PIN. From there, you can follow the directions to complete your form.
If you pick “Download,” the Statement of Change of Agent form will appear. You can then download and complete it. You’ll need to include the name and address for both the new and old resident agents. Follow the instructions on page one to complete it. When you’re done, mail it off to:
Division of Business Services
148 W. River Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615
If you live near Providence and need to get out of the office, you can drop it off in person at the same address.
There is a $20 filing fee no matter how you submit your form. You can pay with a card online, with a check by mail, and with a card, check, or cash in person. If using a check, make it payable to “Rhode Island Department of State.”
Some states allow businesses to change their resident agents on their Annual Reports or Articles of Organization, but in Rhode Island, you must use the specific resident agent change form.
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! You should see your new resident agent on file soon.
Consider a resident Agent Service
Think of your resident agent as a mediator between you and the state of Rhode Island, the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the resident 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 resident agent is essential to every Rhode Island business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your resident agent takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a Rhode Island small business from out of state, a trustworthy resident 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 Rhode Island resident agent, consider using a resident agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional resident 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 “resident 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 resident agent, take a look at our comparison guide on the top five resident agent services.