Whether we’re talking weather, vacations, or bags of potato chips, all good things must come to an end, and that includes registered agent duties.
There are numerous reasons you might need to give up your South Carolina registered agent role, but only one way to resign.
Registered agents play an important role in the life of an LLC, handling sensitive legal and tax documents, so it’s essential that agents follow proper resignation procedures. Otherwise, you could leave your company with unplanned fines or penalties, and you could be individually liable.
Fortunately, for South Carolina LLCs it is easy.
Follow these steps and the hardest part of your resignation won’t be the process itself, it’ll be saying “so long” to your former business.
Notifying the South Carolina LLC
South Carolina state law (Section 33-44-110) doesn’t require you to break the news to your LLC before formally resigning. When submitting your official resignation to the Secretary of State, you must include two copies, which they will mail to the LLC’s principal and registered offices. But the registered agent is an important position and giving advance notice can be beneficial for everyone involved. It will give your company more time to plan for a registered agent change and ensure a smooth transition.
On your end, giving prior notice can erase your name from the record sooner. After you resign, you retain your agent responsibilities for 30 days unless the LLC appoints a replacement sooner. If they have the time to get one lined up, you could be off the books right away.
Submitting Your Resignation
Speaking with your LLC beforehand is helpful and courteous, but it’s not what enacts your resignation. To officially resign, you need to submit a “Resignation of Agent for Service of Process” form either online or with a hard copy.
Short on time? File online, as it’s the quicker and easier route. Get started by heading to the Secretary of State Business Entities Online page. Enter the LLC name and select the the correct company. Then, choose “Add Filing,” choose the registered agent resignation and follow the onscreen instructions.
Or, if you prefer to leave a paper trail, find registered agent resignation forms for all business types here. Choose the one for Limited Liability Company. Once you’ve got your hands on the form, filling it out is easy. You only need to include three things: the LLC name, your name, and the date. And that’s it! When you’re finished, send the original plus two copies to:
Secretary of State
ATTN: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton St., Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Whether filing online or by mail, a registered agent resignation comes with a $10 fee. Online, you can pay with your credit or debit card. By mail, pay with a check made out to “Secretary of State.”
Online filings are processed within one day and paper forms take 2-3 business days. As we mentioned earlier, your resignation won’t take effect until 30 days after it is processed unless your LLC brings on a new agent sooner. Just be aware that you may continue receiving mail and service of process for up to a month after you resign.
Handing off Your Responsibilities
When you put down your registered agent responsibilities, someone else has to pick them up, or your LLC will lose its good standing with the state. Help your LLC keep its momentum by carefully planning your transition.
This starts with finding a successor who’s ready to take over right away. Even a small gap in registered agent coverage can result in severe penalties. After you resign and remain on file for the requisite 30 days, your LLC will be without a registered agent (unless they had appointed a new one). At that point, the Secretary of State will mail out a warning. From the date of the warning, if the LLC hasn’t designated a new agent within 60 days it will be administratively dissolved.
Any replacement the LLC brings onboard must meet South Carolina’s registered agent requirements, which means they must:
- Be an individual or business entity residing in South Carolina
- Have a physical South Carolina address (P.O. boxes aren’t allowed)
- Have a mailing address in South Carolina
- Be available at the registered office during regular business hours
An LLC is allowed to give registered agent responsibilities to one of its individual members, but instead of putting additional responsibilities on one person’s plate, it’s sometimes easier to use a professional service.
We recommend using a registered agent service, which can take over registered agent duties, freeing up more time for the LLC’s managers to focus on running the business.
You do a lot for your South Carolina LLC. You’re essentially the shield that protects it from fines, the filter that catches important documents, the conductor that keeps it on track with compliance.
Because you play such an important role, it’s crucial that you follow the resignation procedures exactly — and potentially provide a replacement agent for the business. Otherwise, you might find yourself and your LLC in hot water.
Follow this guide and you’ll be totally fine. Soon, you’ll be on to your next project, whether that’s starting a new business in South Carolina or something completely different.