You formed your Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio Says about changing a Statutory Agent
The state of Ohio has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. Business entities operating in Ohio can make any statutory agent changes – new agent appointment, resignation, address change, etc. – on Form 521: Statutory Agent Update. If you don’t make changes to your statutory agent as they occur, the state can cancel your Articles of Organization.
The Secretary of State’s FAQ page has a lot more information on statutory agent requirements and procedures.
Who can be an Ohio Statutory Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of Ohio 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 Ohio must:
- Be an individual Ohio resident or a business entity located in Ohio
- Have an Ohio 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 Ohio
How to Change Your Ohio Statutory Agent
Once you’re ready to change your statutory agent, you need to get your hands on Form 521: Statutory Agent Update. This form is available either in paper or online.
We’ll start with online filing since it’s a quicker and easier route. Navigate to the Secretary of State’s Filing Forms & Fee Schedule page, then scroll down to find the section labeled “Domestic Limited Liability Company Filing Forms.” There, you’ll find the Statutory Agent Update. The link will take you to the Ohio Business Central portal, where you can make your change.
Directly below the link for online filing, you’ll see a downloadable PDF of the form. Click this link to download your fillable paper form. Complete the document with information on your former and new statutory agents. It must be typed and single-sided, as the Secretary of State will not accept handwritten or double-sided forms. When finished, mail it to:
Office of the Ohio Secretary of State
P.O. Box 788
Columbus, OH 43216
Both submission methods require a $25 fee. For online filings, you can pay via credit or debit card. When submitting by mail, include a check made out to “Ohio Secretary of State” or a “Credit Card Authorization Form” with your card information.
Typical processing time for this form is 4-6 business days, but if you need that new agent sooner, you can mark one of three expedited service options on your form: 2-Day ($100), 1-Day ($200), or 4-Hour ($300). Expedited filings must go to a different address, so if you’re choosing one of these services, send it to P.O. Box 1390 Columbus, OH 43216.
Some states allow you to change your registered agent by updating your Articles of Organization or annual report. This is not the case in Ohio. You MUST file a Statutory Agent Update either on paper or digitally to successfully make your change.
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? Your job is done! You’ll see your new statutory agent on file soon.
Consider a Statutory Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you and the state of Ohio, 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 Ohio 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 an Ohio 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 Ohio 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.