How to Change Registered Agents in California (CA) in 2024


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Change registered agent in California

Changing an appointed Agent for Service of Process is not a frequent activity in any business. While forming an LLC in California, it is mandatory to appoint a Registered Agent as a point of contact between the state and your LLC. However, there might be some times when changing of a registered agent is necessary. It might be the resignation or termination of the individual.

In California, also known as The Golden State, there is a process to change the Agent for Service of Process. In this article, the LLCBuddy editors come up with the methods available to change the registered agent in California. The statement of change can be filed online or offline (whichever method is convenient).

What is Agent for Service of Process in California

The California Agent for Service of Process, appointed by the limited liability company, is a person who receives all the legal documents on your company’s behalf. To become a registered agent in California, one must meet the following requirements,

registered agent
  1. The person must be or above 18 years old
  2. The person has to be a permanent resident of California
  3. The person should have a legal permit to conduct business in California
  4. The person must be available during business hours at the designated office address in California

You can also be your own registered agent in California. However, it is not wise to be your own agent as it can divert your attention from the core of your business.

How to Change a Registered Agent in California

To change the Agent for Service of Process in California, one has to file the statement of change of the registered agent. You must pay the filing fee of $20 to complete your application. To file for the Statement of Change of Registered Agent and Registered Office Address with the California Secretary of State, you can opt for any of the following methods:

Online Filing

To file the statement of change of registered agent in California online, you must search for the appropriate online form. You can file your change of Agent for Service of Process statement online if the online form is available through the Secretary of State. Follow the below-given instructions:

  • Visit the California Secretary of State’s official website
  • Log in to the portal using your credentials.
  • On your dashboard, you will find the option to update your documents.
  • You will get an online form (or in PDF format)
  • Fill out the form (or download it on your PC, then fill it out) with the old and new registered agent’s details.
  • Submit (or upload) the completed form to the portal.
  • In the next section, you will get payment details (if applicable) and pay the fees using a credit card.

Your online change of registered agent update is done! It takes some time to update the details on the portal. Once it is updated, your new registered agent can start conducting business on your behalf immediately.

Filing Through Mail or In-person

If you want to file the statement of change of registered agent via mail or in person (if available), then you should follow the rules. For in-person or mail filings, you need to download the California Cover Sheet Submission (PDF) from the official website of the California Secretary of State. Complete the form by filling in all the information about the LLC and both (new and existing) registered agents. The form has to be signed by the new registered agent. This will provide the consent of the new agent. Once completed, submit it to the below-mentioned address:

Important LinksSubmit Offline Form
Change of Registered Agent – Online
California Cover Sheet Submission – PDF
California Registered Agent – Requirement
Secretary of State, Business Entities Filings, P.O. Box 944228, Sacramento, CA 94244

Fee: The filing fee charged for changing the California registered agent is $20. This fee will be paid to the California Secretary of State by check or credit card.

If you hire a Registered Agent service, filing the Statement of Change would be much easier. Also, the registered agent will help you with the consent letter the new registered agent has to sign. LLCBuddy editorial team suggests a list of the best LLC services that offer registered agent services. Some of them offer standalone registered agent services.

Recommended: You can get the best registered agent service at a reasonable price with online LLC service providers. We recommend using –

#1 TOP PICK

 ZenBusiness Registered Agent – $199 Per Year

Registered Agent Consent Letter in California

The registered Agent’s Consent letter is a document that a new registered agent must submit along with the formation document. It is a statement that the agent submits upon agreeing to work with the LLC. When you change the Agent for Service of Process, you must also submit the consent letter signed by the new agent. In many states, submitting the Change of Registered Agent form does the job; sending any additional consent document to the SOS is unnecessary. However, there are many states where you must submit the consent letter separately and pay a certain fee (if applicable). This consent must include the following details-

  • LLC name
  • A letter that says the person gives consent to serve the LLC as a registered agent
  • The execution date
  • Name of the registered agent
  • Signature of the registered agent

In California, there is a separate document, the Submission of Cover Sheet has to be sent to the SOS along with the change of registered agent form. You must get the Submission Cover Sheet, fill it out, and submit it to the SOS. The agent must sign the form or self-attest. It is proof that the new Agent for Service of Process has given the nod to provide their services to the LLC. An additional filing fee (or expedited fee) might be charged. Check California Secretary of State for fee details.

BOI Reporting

As per the Corporation Transparency Act, from the 1st of January, 2024, every LLC and any other business entity must file the BOI report with FinCEN. In the BOI Report, the owner(s)’ details must be mentioned. It is to maintain the transparency of the organization. It is not required to mention the change of a registered agent while filing the BOI Report in California. However, it is recommended to maintain a proper process and document for any changes made inside the LLC to maintain transparency under any act.

Why Do You Need to Change a Registered Agent in California

There can be several reasons why LLCs want to change their registered agent in California. Some of the main and most important reasons are listed below,

Be Your Own Registered Agent

A prevalent reason is that if anyone wants to be his/her own registered agent. Any LLC owner can be the registered agent himself/herself as per the California Secretary of State. So, you may want to change the registered agent and become one yourself for your LLC. In that case, you must submit the change form with your details.

Want to Hire a Professional Registered Agent

You may have designated yourself or someone from the family as the registered agent for your LLC in the initial phase. But with expansion in business, your roles and responsibilities also expand. You may not be present at the office during working hours. A registered agent is required to be available in the office. So, you must hire a registered agent who could replace you.

Existing Registered Agent Resigns

If your current registered agent resigns or your service provider is out of business, you can change your Registered Agent in California. You must change the registered agent if the existing one resigns or is out of service.

Forming foreign LLC

This is to be noted that a person is eligible to be a California Agent for Service of Process only if they are the California resident. So, if you are forming a foreign LLC in California, you might need to change your registered agent because not all registered agents are eligible to work in different states. 

FAQs

How do I change my registered agent in California?
To change your registered agent in California, you must submit a Statement of Information form to the Secretary of State.
Can I change my registered agent online in California?
No, changing your registered agent in California requires submitting a paper form by mail or in person to the Secretary of State.
What is the fee to change a registered agent in California?
The fee to change a registered agent in California is $20.
Do I need the consent of the new registered agent before changing in California?
Yes, you must obtain the consent of the new registered agent before changing in California.
How long do I have to file the Statement of Information to change my registered agent in California?
The Statement of Information form to change your registered agent in California must be filed within 30 days of the change.
Can I represent my own company as the registered agent in California?
Yes, you can represent your own company as the registered agent in California if you meet the requirements.
What are the qualifications to be a registered agent in California?
A registered agent in California must have a physical street address in the state and be available during business hours to receive legal documents.
Can I appoint a professional registered agent service in California?
Yes, you can appoint a professional registered agent service in California to act on behalf of your company.
What happens if I fail to maintain a registered agent in California?
If you fail to maintain a registered agent in California, your company may fall out of good standing with the state, which can lead to penalties and fees.
Can I change my registered agent address and name at the same time in California?
Yes, you can change your registered agent address and name at the same time by filing a new Statement of Information in California.
How long does it take for the California Secretary of State to process a change of registered agent request?
The California Secretary of State typically processes a change of registered agent request within 2-3 weeks.
Do I need to notify my old registered agent when changing in California?
No, you do not need to notify your old registered agent when changing in California. However, it is advisable to inform them of the change for record-keeping purposes.
Can I appoint a non-resident as my registered agent in California?
No, a registered agent in California must have a physical street address in the state.
Can I change my registered agent after forming my business in California?
Yes, you can change your registered agent at any time after forming your business in California by filing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State.
Is there a specific form to change a registered agent in California?
Yes, the specific form to change a registered agent in California is the Statement of Information (Form SI-550).
What information is required on the Statement of Information form in California?
The Statement of Information form in California requires the name of the company, the name and address of the new registered agent, and the signature of an authorized individual.
Can I hand-deliver the Statement of Information form to the California Secretary of State’s office?
Yes, you can hand-deliver the Statement of Information form to the California Secretary of State’s office during regular business hours.
Can I change my registered agent and file the Statement of Information online in California?
No, changing your registered agent and filing the Statement of Information must be done by mail or in person in California.
Can I be my own registered agent in California?
Yes, you can act as your own registered agent in California if you meet the requirements.
Can I appoint multiple registered agents for my company in California?
No, a company in California can only have one registered agent at a time.
What is a registered agent’s role in California?
A registered agent in California is responsible for receiving legal notices, tax forms, and other important documents on behalf of the business.
Can I change my registered agent without paying a fee in California?
No, there is a fee of $20 to change your registered agent in California.
Can I appoint a family member as my registered agent in California?
Yes, you can appoint a family member as your registered agent in California as long as they meet the requirements.
Do I need to provide a reason for changing my registered agent in California?
No, you do not need to provide a reason for changing your registered agent in California.
Can I change my registered agent name without changing the address in California?
Yes, you can change your registered agent’s name without changing the address by filing a new Statement of Information in California.
Can I change my registered agent before forming my business in California?
Yes, you can designate a registered agent before forming your business in California by including their information in your initial formation documents.
How often do I have to update my registered agent information in California?
you must update your registered agent information in California whenever there is a change, and file a new Statement of Information within 30 days.
Can I hire a professional service to change my registered agent for me in California?
Yes, you can hire a professional service to handle the change of registered agent process on your behalf in California.
Can I resign as my own registered agent in California?
Yes, you can resign as your own registered agent in California by appointing a new registered agent and filing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State.
What information is required on the Statement of Information to change the registered agent in California?
The Statement of Information must include the name and address of the new registered agent as well as the name of the corporation or LLC.

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In Conclusion

Registered Agents are the most important individuals in an LLC. They must be trustworthy, capable, and efficient to handle all the paperwork and documentation. During your business, you may arrive at a point where you need to change the registered agent. The need may arise when the existing agent wants to quit, or you are terminating the existing agent or expanding your business. Changing the California registered agent can be necessary in various situations.

Changing Agent for Service of Process in California is not a complicated process, however, it is better to get a service provider, such as ZenBusiness. It not only offers the registered agent service at a reasonable price but also offers LLC formation at $0. This article has it all. If you have any queries about changing a registered agent, you can drop a comment below in the box.

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