How to Change Resident Agent in Maryland
You formed your Maryland 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 Maryland 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 Maryland 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 quick note: what Maryland calls a “resident agent,” other sources call a “registered agent.” Both terms refer to the same position and set of responsibilities. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll use the term “resident agent.”
What the State of Maryland Says about Changing a Resident Agent
The state of Maryland has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s resident agent. Any LLC looking to change its agent must submit a digital or paper form, signed by one of its authorized members/managers and the new resident agent. This change will only go into effect once approved by the Department of Assessments and Taxation.
The most complete source of information on resident agent changes is on the form itself (“Resolution to Change Principal Office or Resident Agent”)
Who can be a Maryland Resident Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a resident agent for your LLC. The state of Maryland 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 Maryland must:
- Be an individual Maryland resident or a business entity located in Maryland
- Have a Maryland 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 Maryland
How to Change Your Maryland Resident Agent
In order to change your resident agent in Maryland, you can do so by submitting a “Resolution to Change Principal Office or Resident Agent” form or a request through the Maryland Business Express web portal.
Filing online is the far quicker method. Once you navigate to the Maryland Business Express site, here’s what to do:
- Log in (or create an account if you don’t have one)
- Select “Change Resident Agent/Principal Office”
- Search for your business name
- Find your LLC in the results and click the “Change Resident Agent/Principal Office” button
- Follow the onscreen directions to input your information
- Pay your fee
Postal mail is also a reliable option. Download the form, complete it, and send it to:
State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Charter Division
301 W. Preston Street
8th Floor Baltimore, MD 21201‐2395
*You may hand deliver your form to this address as well, although you’ll automatically be charged the $50 expedited processing fee
The fee to change your resident agent is $25, plus a $50 fee if you want expedited processing. Online and walk-in filings are automatically charged the expedited fee and are processed within seven business days. Mailed filings without expedited processing can take up to eight weeks. Pay your fee via check, made payable to “State Department of Assessments and Taxation.” If filing online, you will need to pay with a card.
Making updates on your annual report or Articles of Organization is not a viable option for resident agent changes. You must file the appropriate online or 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’ve done your part! Kick back and wait to see your new resident agent on file.
Consider a Resident Agent Service
Think of your resident agent as a mediator between you and the state of Maryland, 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 Maryland 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 Maryland 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 Maryland 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.