You formed your South Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota 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 South Dakota Says about changing a Registered Agent
The state of South Dakota has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. In order to make the change, a business entity needs to file the appropriate change form with the Secretary of State. This form is available both online and on paper.
South Dakota is one of several states that designates between commercial and noncommercial registered agents. The only difference is that a commercial agent has registered with the state to provide professional registered agent services and an noncommercial one has not. The Secretary of State FAQ page has more information.
For the legal precedents surrounding registered agent changes, see the South Dakota Codified Laws Section 59-11-11.
Who can be a South Dakota Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of South Dakota 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 Dakota must:
- Be an individual South Dakota resident or a business entity located in South Dakota
- Have a South Dakota 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 Dakota
How to Change Your South Dakota Registered Agent
So, you’ve got your new registered agent lined up and now you just need to make the official change. Here’s how to get it done.
Filing online is the best way to go about it, not only because it’s faster, but also because it’s cheaper. This is because there’s an additional $15 fee for paper filings on top of the form’s standard $10 fee. To change your registered agent online, go to this page and click “File a Statement of Change.” Input your Business ID and you’ll be on your way. You’ll be prompted to pay the $10 fee with a credit card at the end of the process.
But if you’d rather file by mail and don’t mind the extra $15 fee, download the “Statement of Change of Registered Office, Registered Agent, or Both.” Complete the form and write a $25 check, payable to “Secretary of State,” then mail them to:
Secretary of State Office
500 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Live near Pierre? You’re also welcome to deliver the form in person.
Some states allow businesses to change their registered agents by updating Annual Reports or Articles of Organization, but South Dakota does not. You must file a digital or paper Statement of 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! Processing times for the Secretary of State’s office vary, but the Business Services homepage is regularly updated to show the submission dates of filings they’ve processed. Monitor this page if you’re eager to know when your change has been made.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of South Dakota, 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 Dakota 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 Dakota 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 Dakota 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 best registered agent services.