You formed your South 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 South 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 South 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.
Prefer to have a service handle the paperwork for you? We recommend Northwest and ZenBusiness as the top registered agent services online. You will save over $100 than if you were to use a service like LegalZoom.
What the State of South Carolina Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of South Carolina has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Any entity wishing to change its registered agent must file the appropriate documentation with the Secretary of State’s office and pay a $10 fee. Entities may mail in a “Notice of Change” form, or make the change online through the Electronic Filing System. Your new registered agent must sign the form to approve their appointment.
Who can be a South Carolina Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of South 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 South Carolina must:
- Be an individual South Carolina resident or a business entity located in South Carolina
- Have a South 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 South Carolina
How to Change Your South Carolina Registered Agent
Ready to welcome your new registered agent to the team? First, you need to make the change official. The Secretary of State allows LLCs to submit change requests online and by mail. Since online filing is the fastest method, let’s start there.
The whole process will take place on the Business Entities Online portal. Select “Existing Business” and enter your LLC name to find your company. On the next page, choose “Add Filing.” At this point, you will need to create an account if you haven’t before. After you’re logged in, choose the resident agent change form and follow the instructions to complete it.
Prefer paper documents? No problem. Download the form titled “Notice of Change of Designated Office, Agent or Address of Registered Agent,” from the Business Forms page. Use black ink or type to fill it out, as the Secretary of State will not accept documents in other colors. Print two copies and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you’d like a copy back. When finished, mail it to:
Secretary of State
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Don’t forget to pay this form’s $10 filing fee with a card online, or a check (made out to “Secretary of State’s Office) by mail.
South Carolina doesn’t require LLCs to file Annual Reports, so making your registered agent change there isn’t an option like it is in some states.
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’ve finished your part! Just sit back and wait for your change to take effect. Generally, the Secretary of State’s office processed online submissions within 24 hours and mailed documents in 2-3 business days.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of South 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 South 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 South 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 South 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.