You formed your West Virginia LLC. You did the paperwork. You started operating your business. And now, for one reason or another, you need to change your agent for service of process. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
There are a number of reasons you might need to change your West Virginia LLC’s agent for service of process. Maybe your original 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 agent for service of process responsibilities.
Whatever your reason may be, changing an agent for service of process in West 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.
A note to avoid confusion: what many states call a “registered agent,” West Virginia calls an “agent for service of process” or “agent of process.” These titles are synonymous and refer to the same position. For the purposes of this guide, we will follow West Virginia’s lead and use “agent for service of process.”
Time Saving Hack: You can change registered agent, get all state paperwork taken care of and have a replacement agent when you hire an online registered agent service.
What the State of West Virginia Says about Changing an Agent for Service of Process
The state of West Virginia has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s agent for service of process. A business entity can change agents at any point as long as it uses Form AOO (for mailed filings) or the One Stop Business Portal (for online filings). Another option is updating the agent information on the business’ Annual Report, due by July 1 each year.
Who can be a West Virginia Agent for Service of Process
You can’t pick just anyone to be an agent for service of process for your LLC. The state of West Virginia puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your agent, keep these requirements in mind. The agent for service of process in West Virginia must:
- Be an individual West Virginia resident or a business entity located in West Virginia
- Have a West Virginia street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)
* If your agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in West Virginia
How to Change Your West Virginia Agent for Service of Process
Your former agent for service of process is out the door and your new one is ready to go. But first, you need to formally file your change with the Secretary of State’s office. You have multiple options for how to do it: online, mail, fax, email, or on your Annual Report.
Online: You can take care of the whole process through the WV One Stop Business Portal. Your first step is to create an account (if you don’t already have one). Logged in? Select the appropriate form, input your new agent information to file the change, and pay your $15 fee by card.
Mail: Your go-to form will be Form AOO, and you can download it here. This form encompasses a few different business entity changes, but you’ll only need to focus on number four: Agent for Service of Process. Enter your current agent’s name, and then your new agent’s name and address. You’ll also need an authorizing signature from your new agent.
For a paper submission, you also need to include a Customer Order Request, which is page four of the document linked above. Pay the $15 fee by check or card. If you’re paying via card, also complete and include an e-Payment Authorization (page six of the linked document). When finished, mail these documents to:
One-Stop Business Center
1615 Washington Street East
Charleston, WV 25311
Fax: You may fax your completed documents, including e-Payment Authorization, to (304) 558-8381.
Annual Reports: Each year, you must file your Annual Report between Jan. 1 and Jul. 1. If your need for a new agent falls within this window and you haven’t yet filed your report, you can include your new agent’s information there. File your Annual Report online at the One Stop Business Portal or download a paper 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! Standard processing time is 5-10 business days, but you have the option to request expedited service on your Customer Order Request. 24-hour service is $25, 2-hour service is $250, and 1-hour service is $500.
Consider a agent for service of process Service
Think of your agent for service of process as a mediator between you and the state of West Virginia, the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the 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 agent is essential to every West Virginia business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your agent for service of process takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a West Virginia small business from out of state, a trustworthy agent for service of process 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 West Virginia agent for service of process, consider using an registered agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional agent for service of process 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 agent for service of process, take a look at our comparison guide on the top five registered agent services.