You formed your Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Commonwealth of Virginia Says about changing a Registered Agent
The Commonwealth of Virginia has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. To make a registered agent change, a business entity needs to file a “Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Office” with the Office of the Clerk either online or by mail. A business that wants a paper form needs to submit a special request to the Clerk’s Office.
The State Corporation Commission has an entire FAQ dedicated to registered agents, with plenty of useful information.
Who can be a Virginia Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The Commonwealth of Virginia 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 Virginia must:
- Be an individual Virginia resident or a business entity located in Virginia
- Have a Virginia 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 Virginia
How to Change Your Virginia Registered Agent
The Virginia State Corporation Commission has a pretty straightforward procedure for registered agent changes. SCC eFile, their online filing portal, makes it quick and easy to get your new agent on record.
Follow these steps and you’ll be finished in no time.
- On the SCC eFile homepage, create an account (if you don’t already have one).
- Click the “Get Started” button under “Existing Businesses.”
- In the box labeled “Registered Agent,” select “Registered Agent Change.”
- Enter your SCC ID and click “File.” If you don’t know your SCC ID, search for your business name to find it.
- On your business page, click the link for “File a Registered Agent Change.”
- Follow the instructions to enter information for your current and new registered agents.
It’s also possible, albeit more complicated, to file by mail. This is because you’ll first need to formally request a paper form from the State Corporation Commission. On this page, check the box for “Statement/Certificate of Change of Registered Office/Registered Agent” and fill in your information. The SCC will send you a form, which you can complete and mail back to:
State Corporation Commission, Office of the Clerk
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197
Perhaps the best thing about changing your registered agent in Virginia is that it’s completely free. Don’t worry about paying a fee when submitting your electronic or paper form.
Some states allow businesses to make registered agent changes on their Annual Reports. However, since Virginia doesn’t require LLCs to file annual reports, this isn’t an option.
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? You’re all done! Online filings are processed immediately and mailed forms take 6-9 business days.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the Commonwealth of Virginia, 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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.